The Mall of America is now home to six new interactive wayfinding kiosks courtesy of nearby St. Paul, MN-based print and digital solutions provider Express Image, which installed the units in sync with the holiday shopping rush.
The kiosks feature a search function, step-by-step directions, dynamic pop-ups, and text-to-phone features, including functionality that informs the guest as to which direction to go to start their shopping journey, all in a modern physical design.
Express Image states that kiosk users "are greeted with a vibrant, eye-catching tool that allows them to receive the customized assistance they need within as little as 10-20 seconds. The 2-D wayfinding provides an eagle view with stacked multi-floor destination, travel times and route directions. The directory provides the power to instantly share and visualize the data on your smartphone through the text to phone feature that further engages customers and allows them to interact with mall guest services."
After being closed on Thanksgiving at the start of the holiday shopping season, the Mall of America might be keen to do everything it can in the remaining weeks of the rush to get people where they want to go as quickly as possible.
Sometimes the tension of holiday shopping at the big, local mall is only heightened by the exasperation of decoding the mall directory before you can actually start your shopping. Sometimes, you've assured yourself you have the right storefront number on the map corresponding to the store you're looking for, only to figure out later that you misread which level of the mall the store is on.
The ability to have the kiosk text direction to your phone is a capability that by itself pretty much assures that you won't have those sort of problems. The new approach seems to be working, as the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reported that during a testing period about 15,000 unique visitors used the new kiosks.
Redesigning the user experience around mall directories and turning them into more engaging machines that can actually communicate with visitors is probably long overdue for many malls, not just the Mall of America.
This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2016 holiday shopping season. You can browse our holiday page for more stories.