The Need: There is a large and varied amount of daily, weekly and quarterly events and exhibitions that occur at this New York City landmark institution. Additionally the American Museum of Natural History is a very large and difficult to navigate physical location. Up until this project was completed, the only means of navigation through the complex was via printed signage and brochure based maps that were distributed to Museum visitors.
The Challenge: Initially our team was asked to assess the content and event needs of the Museum. Upon the presentation of our assessment and analysis we were then asked to design a wayfinding focused digital signage system that would serve all of their content and administration requirements. We then designed and ultimately built a system that would be installed on High Definition LCD screens in various locations including the main ticketing thoroughfares of the American Museum of Natural History.
Events at the Museum are created and managed from many different departments within the institution. The primary challenge was that the only central location that events were managed and viewable to the general public was via the website. We did not want to develop a system that was standalone and require people to manage events in two places. This would ultimately cause differences in events and confusion to Visitors when events were not in sync. Many times hall closings, daily events etc had changes that needed to be made on short notice. The decision was made to develop the Digital Signage system to receive data from the website as well. Additionally administrators already knew how this web based system worked and would not require any additional training.
The Result: Working with the Education, Events and Ticketing teams at AMNH to assess and understand the Museum’s needs, we architected, designed and ultimately programmed a wayfinding signage system that could be managed via their website and seen by thousands of physical visitors every day via LCD screen in high traffic areas. The administration area of the www.amnh.org website was modified to handle the Digital Signage system’s streamlined content requirements and minimal administration training was needed.
The system rotates through four different event types. Daily Events, Daily Programs, Current Exhibitions and what is Coming Soon. Each screen will load all of the events of the day and scroll elegantly through them until they have been shown. Some days there may only be 1 screen worth of events and other days there may be 4 screens of daily events. The system recognizes this volume metric and adjusts the rotation cycle appropriately.
This wayfinding focused digital signage system is a testament to how our team was able to think out of the box, develop creative solutions that make sense for large organizations with complex needs, and ultimately be successful in its implementation.