Imagination Creates Innovative Navigation for Luxury Mall
Swire Properties, working with Imagination, a global communications agency, has introduced 10 interactive digital directories (IDDs) for shoppers at its flagship mall, Pacific Place. The IDDs are part of the Pacific Place Contemporisation Project, a major undertaking by Swire Properties to ensure that the mall continues to set the standard for high end shopping in Hong Kong. The project involves major interior and exterior refinements and significant changes to the mall’s mix of shops; the addition of the IDDs has dramatically improved the self-service experience at customer touch points.
Swire Properties appointed Imagination to develop an interactive information resource for visitors to the mall, centred on an intelligent way-finder which provides easy navigation to stores and restaurants within the mall and the nearby Starstreet Precinct.
The way-finder takes account of where the shopper is currently standing, in order to provide them with the shortest and most convenient routing to their destination. Pacific Place is the first mall in Hong Kong to offer this service.
Imagination was responsible for the design, scope, software development, build, testing and installation of the touch screen IDDs. Renowned British designer Thomas Heatherwick — whose work includes the UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo — designed the external casings for the IDDs, which echo his fluid architectural vision for Pacific Place.
By the end of the year, a total of 13 IDDs — including nine 46-inch screens and four 32-inch screens — will be installed throughout Pacific Place. The IDDs are designed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible, with their touch screens using up-to-date swipe functions that are increasingly common on mobile devices. The IDDs offer English, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese language options and real time updates on mall events and in-store promotions. A direct link to the Hong Kong Observatory provides live weather warnings as well.
“Providing an easy way for shoppers to find their way around our mall is an essential component of our customer service experience,” said Chris Heywood, Senior Portfolio Manager, Swire Properties. “As well as making major improvements to the environment in our mall, we have tried to reimagine the shopping experience. Together with the enhanced interiors and enriched retail mix in the mall, the IDDs form one of the highlights of the Pacific Place Contemporisation Project that brings a total, refreshed shopping experience to our visitors.”
Imagination’s CEO and Global Creative Director, Douglas Broadley, highlighted the need to balance form and function: “Our challenge was to create a usable object of beauty that exploits the best technology, provides more to the user than just information and fits perfectly within its environment, thereby enhancing customers’ premium shopping experience.”