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Floor stickers, plastic screens and social distancing – How design may shape our post-lockdown experience

If the experiences of the past year have taught us anything, it’s that our way of life has changed significantly. From going to the shops to meeting friends and family, we have suffered the age-old adage of not knowing what we have until it’s gone. We’ve adapted and survived, and while the global threat is still ongoing, we’re slowly taking steps towards an eventual return to a new normality.

Businesses across the globe have taken steps to ensure both their customers and staff are protected as much as possible, and as individuals, we’ve followed procedures to help prevent the spread of the virus, but there’s still more to do.

1 – Graphics and signage

Throughout the lockdowns and when the virus was at its peak, some public-facing businesses were allowed to remain open (supermarkets/pharmacies, etc) albeit under certain restrictions. The Covid-fighting graphics that we’re now familiar with, both internally and externally, are likely to be required for all businesses now planning to reopen over the next few weeks.

From one-way floor stickers to new barriers guiding the customer journey through the store, these new elements have proven invaluable to satisfying both the business and customer needs in one. We’re likely to see some form of entry and traffic system now being integrated into every indoor space, resulting in a vastly different shopping experience.

Image Credit: Tesco

2 – Workplace modifications

Indoor spaces aren’t restricted to those who provide a product or service to the general public; your workplace is also likely to be a very different environment when you return. Protective screens, hand sanitation stations, and anti-bacterial wipes are all likely to be present.

Alongside this, your company may also have adopted temporary internal signage and graphics, telling you where to stop, how to move, and so on, to ensure that distancing of at least one metre can be achieved easily.

 

Image Credit: Wimbledonsw19.com

3 – More screen-to-screen, less face-to-face

While we all have to maintain a safe distance from each other, distancing from external clients and suppliers will continue, resulting in business meetings continuing to take place digitally over Zoom, Teams, Skype, and other such platforms. Obviously, this comes with its own challenges, but also a wealth of benefits from a business point of view.

Increased productivity through reduced travel costs, and content planning in advance can ensure that meetings are efficient and time-saving. Supplying an agenda will also minimise any disruptions caused by slow internet connections and other pitfalls, with brands being able to showcase their efficiency in leading and building relationships on the back of difficult circumstances.

4 – Test and trace, vaccines and data submission

With the prevalence of the virus and the high infection rate, global brands have partnered to develop track and trace apps and systems, as well as the government now strongly considering rolling out vaccine passports. Such apps could become commonplace, with customers required to provide specific information before entering certain premises.

As such data is used to locate and manage outbreaks, we’ll see cumulative data systems increasingly often, as we have been doing throughout the outbreak, tracking both spikes and decreases by area and so on.

5 – Acceptance of the new normal for a while.

As with all of the above, and mentioned previously, this is and will be the new normal for a while, and it’s something we have to accept as a society. Design elements and user experience principles can help shape the new systems we’ll be seeing more of, but ultimately, they have to be embraced on an individual level to be completely effective.

After all, if we all act responsibly and effectively, we’re likely to return to our old normality sooner rather than later.

Want to know more about how design could help your business through crisis? Come and arrange a (virtual) chat with our design team through hello@hydracreative.com or call us on 01142509578.