Mall of America’s Interactive Screens Streamline Wayfinding

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Express Image and Mall of America partnered to roll out 106 touchscreen wayfinding kiosks designed to help guests explore the massive mall. The 22-inch interactive screens are strategically placed in high-traffic areas to make finding any of the 500 retail stores a personalized, immersive experience. The intuitive map and search interface includes nine different languages, ADA routing, and easy-to-understand directions and mapping that drastically reduce the average time it takes to navigate to a destination.

Nominating Company: Express Image, Little Canada, Minnesota
Venue: Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota
Project: Mall of America/Interactive Wayfinding Kiosks
Category: Venues & Public Spaces

BACKGROUND
In 2016, Express Image and the Mall of America embarked on a journey to develop an interactive wayfinding kiosk solution that would help 44 Million annual guests navigate a mall with four shopping levels and more than 5.6 million square feet. The initial objective was to improve the guest experience and reduce the time it took for guests to find their way.

On average, shoppers spent 3 ½ minutes to find their destination and decipher directions on the old printed directories. During the busy 2016 holiday shopping season, the first test flight of six wayfinding kiosks were deployed, equipped with touch analytics that delivered focus group and survey metrics to determine the features and functionality that most improved the guest experience.

In April of 2017, after the test flight was so successful, 88 additional kiosks were rolled out, and another 12 were rolled out in August of 2017.

CHALLENGES
Express Image’s biggest challenges came from transforming Mall of America’s static directories into an interactive digital kiosk that was accessible and universally understood by a diverse set of guests from around the world. The focus was developing a map design, category designation, or user-interface that remained true to the Mall’s brand and their goal of providing a better customer experience. Challenged with massive touchscreen usage and ambient lighting changes throughout the mall, Express Image deployed a durable hardware solution and customized design completely responsive to touch and brightness in all conditions.

SOLUTIONS
During the 2016 test and throughout the 2017 Mall of America Kiosk rollout, Express Image developed wayfinding kiosks with touch analytics capable of deploying A/B tests and usage surveys to better understand how guests interact with the kiosk to continuously improve the customer-centric user interface. The Mall of America now has actionable metrics that show foot traffic, keyword search and kiosk feature usage.

Early key findings prompted Express Image to pivot development to incorporate a more intuitive map layout with a unique quick route feature combined with a multi-language component that included nine different languages and ADA-compliant routing to better accommodate international travelers and diverse visitors.

RESULTS
The Mall of America digital wayfinding kiosks vastly improved the guest experience by reducing the average time it takes for guests to find where they want to go from 3 ½ minutes to 30 seconds. Across Mall of America’s 44 million annual guests, the cumulative time saved amounts to more than 50 YEARS. Increased “speed to destination” allows for more time shopping and less frustration searching for answers while providing an opportunity for guest to discover unique information, stores and brands. The enhanced customer interaction ultimately increases store revenue, adding value to the Mall of America and its tenants. As digital wayfinding experts, Express Image is always using the data we collect from the MOA kiosks to test new marketing and connection ideas to validate feature usage and improvements.

PROJECT PARTNERS
Mall of America
Star
AOPEN
Micello

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