December 28, 2020 | Rudy Zavala
We’ve all been there – the restaurant bar with screens of every size and description all akimbo on every flat surface. It is supposed to feel vibrant, but the actual vibe is more likely to drive business away. Well-designed AV installations can make all the difference.
AV design has moved from the conference room to the hotel lobby, the table in the restaurant and the waiting room at the hospital. Consumers are starting to expect AV everywhere. Whether you serve restaurants, hospitals, universities, hotels – industries of all kinds are embracing AV. Increasingly, design matters just as much as the technical aspects of an installation.
Design thinking is becoming an important aspect of creating any product or environment. It’s like if the kitchen gadget doesn’t feel good in your hand, you don’t use it. If the restaurant bar just throws up screens without a design approach in mind, patrons will find somewhere else to watch the big game.
Which is why AV design matters for every industry. Your clients’ AV systems need to work seamlessly and with the end user in mind. Design cannot be an afterthought. When you marry the technical, functional aspects of your work to the design aspect, your clients will thank you, even if they don’t understand everything you’ve done for them.
Let’s take a look at how AV design can make a big impact in the sectors you work in most.
That maze of large-screen TVs is just the start. AV is everywhere in the restaurant world. For instance, self-serve kiosks are becoming the norm at fast food and fast-casual dining establishments. AV design in restaurants is a vast and fast-growing market.
You can help clients develop digital menu boards. You along with every patron have experienced the difference over the past several years. Digital menus are much easier to read than the old standard boards. They are becoming ubiquitous, so the opportunity for helping in the design process is huge.
Customer experience is important, but so is ease of use. With your expertise in the design and execution of a menu and kiosk program, your restaurant clients will experience signage that can be changed quickly, transitioning from menu to menu depending on the time of day and season of the year.
In any fast-paced restaurant or bar environment, the simpler the control panel, the better. Systems that use an iPad for quick changes to menu boards, music or visual channel choices will help employees get back to serving customers more quickly.
AV design in hospitals is changing the way patients experience a visit and the way caregivers interact with one another. Hospitals are a labyrinth of corridors, and patients and their loved ones are under stress especially as they first enter the hospital environment. Digital signage can do a lot to create a clearer direction for where a visitor or patient needs to go. Audio output is also critical in alerting hospital staff.
Rather than scheduling everyone to be at the same place at the same time, they can confer on diagnosis, course of treatment, symptoms, etc without having to physically be in the same place.
User-centered design is getting a boost in the education space, and you can be a part of it. Experiential AV design in education is another market with solid growth potential.
More and more campuses are using video walls in common space to keep the flow of information moving along. As an integrator, you have a critical role in making sure data is transported from distant parts of campus without interruption. You need to make sure the interface to change messages is accessible and usable to whatever department needs it, from student life to advancement, to recruitment—these large, complex systems needs to work for everyone. So while “drag and drop” configuration tools are becoming the norm, which is great for usability, Integrators are still needed to set these systems up and keep them running.
Collaboration is key in education, so that is another aspect of AV design that is coming into its own in higher education.
AV design in the hospitality space is another sector with nearly limitless potential. From hotel lobbies to every corner of an all-inclusive resort, design plays a big role in visitor interaction with your client’s brand.
For instance, cruise lines and all-inclusive resorts are using AV technology to enhance the guest experience. Strategically placed touchscreens can help guests book dinner reservations, time at the spa, or a spot at the wine and yoga session. Once again, design is the star, with the layers of signal management, routing, control, and setting up the physical environment playing that crucial supporting role in enhancing the end user’s experience of that environment.
Design is playing an ever-increasing role in AV integration. Now more than ever, your work can help your clients’ businesses shine.