A Buying Guide for Digital Directories

If you own or manage a large commercial facility like a hospital or a mall, a convenient, attractive, and budget-friendly digital directory is a useful addition to your space. Digital signage is informative, serves as an advertising space, and assists your guests in getting where they need to go. It’s also a major timesaver for your staff members, who will be able to better focus on customer care and the work at hand.

When adding digital signage, however, there are many factors to consider! What type of equipment should you use and what are some good indicators of a reputable, reliable vendor? To help, the team at TouchSource has put together this buying guide for digital directories for you. Read on to learn more!
 

User and operator experience

It’s important for your guests to be able to see and read your digital directory display with ease. Whether the display you choose is interactive or static, it’s important to consider the user experience. If too many listings appear on one display, it becomes difficult and overwhelming for your users to quickly and efficiently find the information they need.

It’s also vital that the software you select enables your operators to make changes and updates quickly and efficiently. If your entire system needs to be taken down for three hours while one small change is made, neither your guests nor your staff benefit from the convenience of having digital signage. Having the ability to make updates and changes quickly and seamlessly benefits the user and the operator.
 

The right equipment

When outfitting your commercial space with a digital directory, you may be tempted to forego professional digital displays and simply pick up a few consumer TVs. While TVs might seem like a more budget-friendly choice, they’re more likely to last a short time, are difficult to arrange on a video wall, and cost more in the long run. 

Commercial digital monitors, however, are made with a thinner border and minimal branding and display in both portrait and landscape orientation. In addition, commercial digital monitors have brightness and anti-fingerprint technology that enable them to be easily viewed in a variety of different lighting situations.

Digital monitors intended for commercial use are also vented differently than consumer TVs. A standard TV is only intended to be operated for a few hours each day, whereas your digital monitors will likely see 24 hours of constant use, several days a week. Also, unlike TVs, monitors used for commercial digital signage have better ventilation to keep them from overheating. 

While it might seem like an easy choice to make the smallest investment initially, choosing high-quality, commercial digital signage monitors for your digital directories will save you money in the long run, look nicer, and make for the best user experience.

Choosing monitors that are the right size for your space is another factor to consider. In a large, busy space like an airport, a small monitor does not offer enough space for a group of people to view it, resulting in a frustrating experience. Or, if your commercial property has more moderate traffic, extremely large monitors with excessive data can be overwhelming.

Planning to alternate content with your digital directory? Opt for a commercial monitor that features a built-in media player. Media players allow you to control your network of monitors from a remote location, and the lack of an external media player means there’s no extra installation or hardware to worry about.
 

Vendor service and care

The company you choose to purchase your monitors and software from is as important, if not more so, than the hardware itself. Building a simple, effective system is actually a complex process, and you’ll be working closely with this company throughout the installation and afterwards. 

When choosing your vendor, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How do they provide tech support? Are they based in North America, and will you be able to reach them during normal business hours? Will you get to speak with real humans who understand your issues and concerns?
  • Do they offer an in-house design team that understands your needs and design? Are they able to deliver a directory system that will look incredible in your space, serve your customers well, and provide a user-friendly experience for your employees?
  • What will the support experience be like? Are they a well-established, reputable company? Will they go out of business and leave you without support in the coming years? 
  • Do you feel like they put you, the customer, first? Are they caring and responsive?

Everything from TouchSource is crafted and supported in the State of Colorado. So, most of the time you’re open, we’re open, too. You’ll always be able to speak with a caring and knowledgeable human who understands your needs and wants to exceed your expectations when it comes to solving your challenge. Our team can help you create your digital directory system with commercial monitors and user-friendly software that will serve you and your clients for many years to come.

Contact us to learn more!