Touch or Non-Touch Directories: Not Always a Simple Choice (Part Four)

Posted On : Wednesday, August 3, 2016 By : redyref

Touch or Non-Touch Directories: Which is the best choice for your business? This is the question we’ve been addressing for the last three weeks, and which we’ll conclude today. To briefly recap the previous weeks’ discussions: We define a non-touch digital directory as either a static screen that always displays the same information, such as office numbers and locations, or a screen that rotates through a set series of different informational “slides”. These are also known at times as a form of digital signage. Digital touchscreen directories, on the other hand, offer different levels of interactivity, depending on the complexity of the software, from one- or two-button operation, to full touchscreen capabilities, much like a tablet. Considering the impact of the “three Ss” before making a decision is a big part of ensuring you get the the right fit for your business’ needs. We’ve so far covered Situation and Setting, which means we’ve arrived at the final S: Surroundings.

The term “surroundings” refers to the immediate placement of the directory within its environment. It answers the question, “where does the directory installation make the most sense?” This decision greatly impacts whether or not a touchscreen is necessary. For instance, if the directory is for an office building with 15 tenants, and all can comfortably be displayed on the screen at once, along with their location, a simple, static, non-touch wall mount directory may serve those purposes completely adequately. However, if the facility is larger, or tenants require greater functionality, such as a digital receptionist option, then advanced software will be necessary and a touch screen with high levels of interactivity will now be required, and installation of the directory as a freestanding kiosk is likely the more accessible choice.

Even those property management companies who staff their lobbies with receptionists often find that automating part of the front desk experience with options like visitor check and wayfinding software can be extremely useful, especially during the busiest times of day. A desk-mount interactive directory, located at the reception desk, is often the best choice in this case. Visitors may then get many of their wayfinding needs met digitally, but still have access to a staff member if they require additional assistance.

What about an apartment building? Smaller facilities can easily make do with a simple wall-mount static digital interface, but a high rise in Midtown Manhattan has completely different requirements. With 100 or more tenants, they would at the very least need limited, one- or two-button touch screen capabilities so that visitors are able to scroll through a list of tenants. Digital receptionist software would allow visitors to be granted access to the lobby once “buzzed in.” And because it would need to be touch-accessible to all visitors, installing the directory as a floor-mounted enclosure would likely make more sense than mounting it on the wall.

While the decision to invest in a touch or non-touch digital directory may not be simple, careful planning and a thorough grasp of your own “three Ss” can go a long way toward helping you to make the right choice for your business. We invite you to submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today and RedyRef will be there every step of the way in creating the best possible digital directory for your company’s unique needs and goals.