Ask the Board – August 8, 2016 | AMANDA GRABOWSKI


How is your company addressing or circumventing smartphone obsession?

We have several units on campus that embrace the “smartphone obsession” by making information from digital signs portable. For example, when we designed some signs for wayfinding, we included a navigation breadcrumb trail so a user could see what steps they took to get to the directions provided on the map. (We had found that many maps don’t include this, and a user has to go back to the home screen and start over). Then, we found that with many of our buildings on campus, directions were too complicated for anyone to remember. Since we promote “all things digital,” we didn’t want someone to have to take notes or try to use phone photos to try to figure out where to go. We found that using QR codes that provide a summary of the navigation to the user’s smartphone has added great value. We have designed signs on campus to provide different navigation based on accessibility. So if a person is in a wheelchair, and pushes the icon on an interactive screen to move all buttons from the top to the bottom, we have the navigation set up to send that user by way of an elevator instead of the stairs, which is the default. QR codes have also been great for when someone is passing by a digital sign that’s specific to an event. They can take the event information with them and continue on their path. 

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Business Systems Analyst
University of Michigan

End User Council

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