How to Effectively Use Signages and Wayfinder in a Post COVID-19 World
Globally, many countries, states, and cities are already easing the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Stores and workplaces are beginning to reopen or partially reopening.
In this light, most business owners are assessing operations and ways to keep employees safe. While many are finding ways for staff to work remotely, some still require employees to work onsite, especially those within the service, FMCG, and health industries. But regardless of how this transition occurs, one thing is clear: it will not be business as usual. How can our spaces be redefined for this new reality or the new normal?
As we all step carefully back into the world, we will need to shift our behaviours, interactions, and ways of moving through spaces. When implemented thoughtfully, signage and wayfinding graphics can encourage practices to help people navigate this new world.
Implementing signage such as floor decals to show directional arrows or to mark a 2-meter distance, digital signage that encourages touchless interaction and wayfinding signs, helps consumers and employees feel safer in the space they’re in and promotes a healthier environment.
At Argillic Brands, we have supported some of our clients as they plan to bring people back to their offices, and other gathering places, we’ve created some social distancing signage, PPEs and communication materials for them.
Here we’ve outlined some ideas for signage and wayfinding graphics that introduce new practices and can help people feel at ease in this post-COVID-19 world:
Use your custom-made signs to communicate in a friendly way.
Existing off-the-shelf signs may sometimes induce stress. While the messages are essential, the typography and colour palettes of some signage can make a space feel harsh and unpleasant. Shifting the design and tone of voice to something more friendly and human can help to instil a sense of community and shared purpose.
Rather than using alarming messages such as “Put on a mask!” try signage that is less harsh, and illustrates how new behaviours might benefit the collective, such as “Let’s cover our mouth and masks.”
Image credit: Argillic Brands
Use the signage to assist in the entire user journey through your space.
When creating your signage system, it’s important to fully consider what is most important to the people who are returning to these spaces what are they thinking, feeling, and needing? Examine the full user journey from the moment they leave the safety of their homes to getting situated at their desk or sliding into a booth for dinner with friends.
Image credit: Gensler
For example, consider introducing friendly messages like “Welcome back” at the entrance, physical distancing floor decals in elevators and lobbies, and “Let’s wash our hands to protect each other” signs in restrooms.
Pair a communications campaign with new signage.
When properly done, instructional signage, positive messages, and iconography can also increase the user experience.
Helpful signage such as welcome signs, markers for security and check-in processes, hand sanitizer stations, meeting room sitting protocols, etc. can be more impactful when supported by a companion communications campaign that lets customers, employees, and guests know that new measures have been implemented.
While direct, friendly, and efficient communication is always important, it is even more crucial in these times of uncertainty.
Use digital signs and SMS text messaging programs to keep employees updated with the latest information. Friendly, uplifting messages for email, social media, and other digital communications, along with printed collateral in the physical space can be developed, to let people know what to expect when they return.
Image credit: Gensler
If you sell physical products, professional shots will definitely help to increase sales. If done correctly with lighting, your products will look more crisp and clear so your customers can see the product in more detail, rather than taking images with mobiles or smaller compact cameras which can lead to your images losing some detail and definition.
Reflect your company’s brand on your signage.
As we help our customers tackle these new challenges, we have an opportunity to design an experience that articulates the organization’s brand and integrates with the architecture of each space. By transforming what otherwise could feel ominous and restrictive, innovative solutions can create a positive and uplifting experience.
Use clever phrasing, creative illustrations, or other visuals that are uplifting and align with the personality of your brand. Also, consider the material, colour, location, and scale of these new signs so that they complement the space.
Through the power of design, we can address these needs proactively. By focusing on the user experience, we can ultimately transform this challenge into an opportunity, creating more enjoyable and connected places for everyone.