Parking lot to chair: Wayfinding on Campus from Frosh Week to Graduation Day
Whether we’re talking about first year students or 5th years, having instant access to detailed directions can help minimize stress and make university experiences better.
University is an exciting time in a young adult’s life. It’s their first real taste of freedom and independence, and, often, their first time living completely on their own. New students have many experiences to look forward to, but there are also many adjustments they need to make, all while trying to meet high expectations to succeed in the classroom.
One extra thing students don’t realize they need to worry about, at least at first, is finding their classrooms — or anything else on campus. Wayfinding is not usually the first thing students think about when they show up to university, but it quickly becomes an important part of their campus experience.
The need for wayfinding on campus
Just like thousands of other freshmen, the first thing I did when I got to campus was take a long walk, so I could explore. It was overwhelming. The campus was the size of a small city, and, somehow, all the buildings looked the same. There were only two available options to help me find my way, and I tried both.
The first was navigation by landmarks. I took note of the important landmarks near each of the classes on my schedule. You can imagine how well that went; none of the landmarks were memorable enough.
My second option was the welcoming centre, which was staffed with people who are supposed to help guide you in the right direction. As helpful as they are, we all know we’ll forget half of the long list of verbal directions as soon as we walk out. As for physical maps, what student wants to be seen carrying all that paper around these days?
One thing students are rarely without is a smartphone, making it the perfect tool for wayfinding. A fully functional indoor navigation app that uses intelligent search can help students find their classrooms, residences, or the nearest coffee place. Seamless indoor-outdoor wayfinding ensures students get from their car right to their chair with ease. This type of navigation app doesn’t stop at directions; students also get personalized offers on products, notifications about campus events, or even safety alerts right on their screens.
Navigation beyond the first year
We tend to focus on the experiences of first year students the most, because they have an obvious need for a wayfinding solution, but even those in their final year will find a navigation app useful. School campuses are always changing, as new construction or renovations take place, and buildings are added as the university grows and evolves. No matter how long a person has been attending university, odds are there have been changes in the time since they arrived on campus.
Classes for the various disciplines students tend to major in are generally housed in the same building or area, and as they go about their daily routines, becoming very familiar with this one location, they tend to forget about the rest of the campus.
Whether we’re talking about first year students who have no idea where anything is on campus, or 5th years who suddenly need to visit a lab in an area of the school they don’t normally visit, having instant access to detailed directions can help minimize stress and make university experiences that much better. It can even help students find the small stuff, like the nearest vending machine, or printer.
Mapsted Location Technology
Facilities and operations teams often play a large part in making the campus appealing and safe, and the university an attractive prospect for potential students. Implementing location-based technology on your campus, like Mapsted’s, which includes an interactive indoor-outdoor wayfinding solution, ensures that your school makes a great first impression, and is positioned for growth and expansion. Mapsted Location Technology offers a long-term, cost effective location-based solution that helps successfully guide your students from frosh week to graduation day. Create a smart campus that will help you effectively manage space efficiency, increase enrollment, and keep students, visitors, and staff safe.
Using Mapsted Maps, you have the ability to update information such as closures, maintenance events, or class and building names on the map in real time. Having those changes immediately available to visitors, staff and students, enhances people’s experience of your campus, whether it’s their first visit, or they’re just days away from graduation.
Mapsted Location Platform helps you manage and customize individual services, including geofenced safety alerts, to meet specific business needs.
If you prefer an out-of-the-box app that you can fully customize with your university’s branding, Mapsted Location Solutions offers a line of flexible out-of-the-box application solutions, including CampusGo, a fully functional, all encompassing location-based app, built using Mapsted Maps and Mapsted Location Platform.
CampusGo is the only indoor navigation platform that requires no additional hardware. That means your campus doesn’t need Bluetooth beacons, Wi-Fi routers, or digital kiosks for wayfinding services to work, making it cost-effective and highly accurate.