PAM: Choose the right navigation software for your district with this checklist

Solving navigation for a new era of customer experience

With so many navigation solutions to choose from, how will you know which navigation platform is right for your district or venue?

Turning spaces into loved places starts long before your visitors arrive.

It starts with giving every visitor a consistent, clear experience that makes visiting the district easy from the very start of the day. Your visitors are naturally adept at deciphering information if it’s provided to them in ways they can quickly identify and trust. For this reason, physical signage, digital touchpoints, and personal devices must all share a common wayfinding methodology, terminology and even design language.

You will need a simple way of keeping information current and consistent over time. This information must be easy to manage, so that different kinds of user touchpoints are in sync and accurate, always.

In the past, you would have engaged several vendors to implement physical signage and digital touchpoints, a different solution for each kind of touchpoint. If this sounds laborious, imagine the ongoing hassle associated with maintaining these stakeholders and vendors as time goes by!

Thankfully, with today’s navigation software, it is now possible to bring every physical and digital touchpoint together into one integrated platform. As precincts get smarter, that need is becoming essential.

navigation platform

A checklist for choosing the right navigation platform

The most successful wayfinding systems consider the entire journey, account for visitors’ preferred means of travel, and guide them into and around your environment. Such solutions also provide tailored directions for people with mobility, accessibility or language challenges. Everyone is welcome; you deliver the best possible user experience for every visitor.

Of course, implementing a system with this level of accuracy is a challenge. When investing in navigation software, it’s a good idea to ask:

  • Can the navigation platform be used to provide consistent messaging across physical and digital touchpoints? 
  • Will the navigation platform deliver information in the ways customers want, from event information to location-based maps?
  • Will it connect your visitors to the district experience from door to door, or sofa to seat?
  • Will location-mapping features drop out, cut out, or become less accurate as people move indoors?
  • Will you have control? What happens if Google Maps has old information? What happens when visitors arrive on-site and Google Maps cuts out when visitors need it most?
  • Communicating with multiple vendors can be impossible to manage. Will the navigation platform unify communications for signage, digital, kiosk, app, web and mapping vendors?
  • Is it possible to give stakeholders – such as wayfinding studios, sign fabricators, marketing and facilities management teams – a single source of information and communication, so there’s only one source of truth?
  • Will the navigation platform be more effective and cost less than existing navigation processes?
  • Can the navigation platform tie in peripheral information, such as building information systems, event or room management, or marketing management?

Solving the experience conundrum in the digital age starts with having a well-designed physical signage system, but it doesn’t end there. You may also need digital touchpoints, mobile apps, crowd management sensors, interactive screens – the options are limitless, and managing these specialists and vendors will fall on you, the owner of the district.

It’s therefore essential to utilize a common user interface: a single, integrated navigation platform from which to manage every touchpoint and ensure they share a common design style, branding and of course, naming convention.

Choose wisely, because your ability to implement future smart city technologies depends on a navigation platform capable of quickly scaling to meet tomorrow’s needs.

If you’d like to learn more about PAM’s approach to solving the biggest challenges that precinct managers face, read Part 1 and Part 2 of our series on wayfinding in the digital age.

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