New digital wayfinding signs in MD Anderson Library

Three new digital wayfinding signs were installed in MD Anderson Library. The signs are located in the main lobby, in the 2nd floor Red Wing, just outside Special Collections, and in the basement. The signs provide users directions to important destinations, study zones, and call number range stacks.

Photo of the front page of the newly-installed digital sign in MD Anderson Library.
Front page of the newly-installed digital sign in MD Anderson Library.

A photo of the digital sign seen in the main lobby.
Digital sign seen in the main lobby.
A photo of the digital sign seen in 2nd floor Red Wing, just outside the Red Elevators and Special Collections.
Digital sign seen in 2nd floor Red Wing, just outside the Red Elevators and Special Collections.

The signs were developed using Four Winds Interactive digital signage software by J Fisher, UH Libraries Web Project Manager.

Requirements gathering centered on mirroring current information found on current static signs in the library, such as study zones and call numbers. A list of important destinations in MD Anderson was created and wayfinding “tracks” were programmed into the sign. Future work on the sign will determine how well these destintations fit user needs as well as what important information is missing on the signs.

Layout mockups

Mockups used in the planning and development of digital signs. Users are able to select a destination and get directions to that destination. Mockups by Daniel Pshock.
Mockups used in the planning and development of digital signs. Mockups by Daniel Pshock.

Mockups were created to plan out interactive elements in Four Winds. Some features were not able to be added in the current iteration but will be re-addressed in future projects.

Specific design decisions include

  • Keeping all touch targets below the half-way point of the screen for accessibility of users with shorter reaches, e.g., wheelchairs
  • Conveying interactivity of touch targets with Touch Area section
  • Displaying location within the system both in location tabs on the bottom and touch area selections

Mockups underwent several stages and changed according to the possibilities of the Four Winds system. For example, displaying location within the system was accomplished in touch area selections but not in location tabs.

Next steps

  • On-the-fly user assessments will be conducted throughout the fall semester on these signs to determine: a) How library users interact with the signs b) What information is missing and/or not needed on the signs and c) How touch targets can be re-arragned and/or improved. Signs could be used to update users on library events, weather, classes, etc.
  • Determining what other locations might be suitable, either to move the current signs to or to add additional signs
  • Assessment will either be in the form of non-obtrusive observations or in briefly surveying users who stop and interact with a sign