4 ways to use interactive displays at the office
Exploring the use of interactive displays in different sectors
From the retail industry to classrooms, interactive displays have revolutionized the way we learn and communicate. In retail, interactive displays are a tool that has been used for several years to great effect. Amongst other ways, they have been used:
- to grab the attention of people passing by
- to show the newest in-store arrivals
- to educate people on how to use the products
- to enhance the customer service experience.
They are also used as part of self-service kiosks, where customers can complete a check out on the spot without requiring any staff, in the same way they would complete a check out online. Lately, interactive displays are also being used to create a more personal and immersive retail experience for consumers, allowing store visitors to explore the possibilities the product offers before making a purchasing decision. This could, for example, take the form of interactive mirror touch-screens that can autogenerate suggestions based on what items the customer is trying on.
Interactive Displays in Classrooms
Interactive displays are also playing an important role in the modern classroom. In the last several years, there has been an increasing awareness of the inadequacy of traditional teaching methods and an increased focus on making lessons more diverse, in order to cater to different children’s learning requirements and preferences. Gone are the days of the ‘one size fits all’ approach to education. Instead, many schools are adapting their curriculum and including different forms of media in classrooms to better engage students and help them learn and retain information more effectively. Interactive displays and whiteboards are, thus, playing a vital role in making education more flexible, equal and accessible to every child.
Interactive Displays in Business
The business sector is not far behind in the adoption of interactive displays either. The benefits of interactive displays in retail and education have clearly been noticed by the corporate sector, and they are looking for ways to tap into the power of this technology. With the right approach and a little bit of creativity, interactive displays can also revolutionize the way businesses operate. Let’s have a look at how businesses can benefit from installing an interactive display in their own offices.
Improve communication with digital signage
One modern and innovative way of using an interactive display is for digital signage. Digital signage is defined as using a digital display to show images, video, webpages, text or other forms of media. Chances are that you have spotted several forms of digital signage – in public spaces, train stations, museums, shopping malls, restaurants and others. They have been historically been used to provide information, for advertising, entertainment, merchandising and to provide a personalized experience to users. What’s so great about using them at the office?
Digital signage could provide you with an excellent channel to provide meaningful content to a specific audience. Its digital form makes the content interactive, dynamic and easy to update with the latest information – meaning it provides relevant and engaging content to your audience, or in this case your employees and visitors to your company offices. Let’s look at some ways of using digital signage in practice.
An interactive display could be used to build a dashboard, which would then be displayed in a prominent location in your offices. A dashboard is an electronic interface that collects and visualizes data from multiple sources, such as databases or a web platform. Having a dashboard allows a company to monitor your business by tracking KPI metrics, showing historical trends and other relevant key data.
The benefits of installing a digital dashboard are several. Having a stream of live, real-time data from every department collected in one visible and accessible place creates a lot of transparency in the company. This transparency about what’s going on in different departments could also help to boost cooperation internally. As they say, the best ideas come from working together, and sharing data is one way of aiding the process. An added benefit is that a digital dashboard saves a lot of time on making weekly and monthly reports; time that could be used on more productive activities. Furthermore, highly visible data that everyone in the company has access to – management and employees – could be a way to align expectations and priorities, as everyone is clear about the company goals and is interested in working together to achieve those goals. Finally, access to live data helps you build a data-driven culture in a company, empowering employees to make decisions and act quickly based on the information they have at hand.
2. Scrum Boards
Scrum Boards are very much dynamic, as the content on them is edited or rearranged almost daily. They can be drawn on whiteboards or visualized using sticky notes on a wall or a corkboard. However, it can be an advantage to have an online scrum board, especially if teams are spread out in different offices/buildings or some team members work remotely. This will help distribute information increase productivity by collaborating real-time, any time and from any location. Another benefit of using online Scrum Boards are the web-based cards. These cards are interactive, and since size is not an issue, can provide more information than a sticky note. Furthermore, most online Scrum Board software gives users the possibility to make attachments to the card, meaning that there can be a richer exchange of information. If a company is also focused on thinking green, online boards are a great way of saving several kilos of paper every year!
A Scrum Board uploaded to an interactive display in the office, like a dashboard, has several benefits. First of all, it gives the project visibility to the rest of the company. It also saves project managers a lot of time in briefing and communicating developments to external stakeholders (management or clients). Finally, the project is also more transparent, as everyone in the office can see the board and be able to keep track of developments in real time.
Digital wayfinders are replacing physical maps, directories and other forms of physical signage in the retail, education, healthcare and transport sectors. Wayfinders are strategically placed throughout buildings and are able to pinpoint the user’s current location and show them a map of the location they are in, making it easy for users to find their way around. Users can also use it in the form of a directory to look up the location of a specific shop or room and get instructions on how to get there. Wayfinders provide clear information that can provide a positive experience for users by reducing the frustrations relating to not being able to find out how to get to a specific place.
A digital wayfinder is not only useful in retail. It would also be a useful installation in the corporate setting; for example, in business complexes, larger company offices or headquarters. Most companies have some form of lobby or reception area where clients or other external partners come in, mostly to get information about which meeting space they need to go to. Installing a wayfinder is, therefore, an innovative and cost-effective way to communicate information and direct people to the right place without requiring additional reception staff. Similarly, interactive displays and wayfinders could be used with a meeting room management and room booking software, allowing employees to see which meeting rooms are being used, by whom, and for how long. Employees would also be able to book a meeting room directly from the display interface. This solution could be extremely helpful for most employees – especially for the ones sitting in meeting rooms, who will not be interrupted in a middle of an important discussion by a knock on the door to check if the room is being used.
4. Collaboration tools
Aside from improving communication internally or with visitors to your company, interactive displays or interactive whiteboards can also be used to encourage collaboration. Collaboration is one of the guiding principles in the world of business. Many businesses are adopting an interdisciplinary approach to strategy and planning; setting people with different skills and competencies together to generate new and innovative ideas.
In such a setting, technology can be an extremely helpful tool to aid collaboration. An interactive whiteboard in a meeting room could be one way of boosting team productivity and collaboration. An interactive whiteboard, also known as a smartboard, is an interactive display that looks just like a whiteboard and reacts to user input either directly or through other devices. These smartboards have several features, such as writing and character recognition, data visualization tools such as charts, graphs and polls, and other virtual tools such as rulers, compasses and protractors. They can also be used to play audio and video.
By having an interactive whiteboard, you provide the opportunity for meeting participants to really engage with the content being shared, rather than just sitting and looking at a slide deck full of text. Research shows that the human brain processes images 60,000 faster than text, and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. It is, therefore, safe to say that most people are visually-driven by nature. People are also more likely to feel engaged, motivated and have a sense of responsibility and accountability if there were actively involved in the creation process.
This knowledge can be used to optimize the way companies share information in meetings and presentations. We truly believe in the importance of using audio and video in meetings to better engage and inspire participants. We are also strong advocates of co-creation as a strategy for generating new ideas and help build cohesion in the company.
Therefore, we have no problem recommending interactive whiteboards as a tool to help teams understand and engage with the content being shared in meetings and be involved in the idea generation process. Visual content that is made by meeting participants themselves, such as drawings and sketches, are easy to understand and remember. With interactive whiteboards, users can freely add on to each other’s content, and unlike pen and paper, can be erased and rewritten as many times as necessary, and the content of the whiteboard is sent to everyone on email at the end of a meeting, ensuring that everyone gets the same information.
To summarize, interactive displays and interactive whiteboards can be used for a variety of purposes and can provide plenty of benefits to companies. In this post, we covered how to use interactive displays to improve communication internally, with external stakeholders such as management or clients or visitors to your office building. The displays can be used for dashboards, scrum boards, way finders and meeting room management. We also discussed another way to use interactive displays, in the form of smartboards, which are a great tool to improve collaboration between teams or meeting participants through visual communication and co-creation.
There are plenty of sectors to look at for more inspiration on how to successfully use interactive displays in your business, both internally at the office or as part of your business operations, to engage with customers, create positive experiences and build loyalty towards your brand.