Increasing interoperability and improving the user experience of NFC connected applications and use cases

The NFC Forum has developed a new global identifier to increase interoperability and improve the user experience of NFC connected applications and use cases. The Wayfinding Mark System will provide designers and product manufacturers flexibility while enhancing those brands that integrate contactless connections in their consumer journey.


Why Wayfinding?

Because, says the NFC Forum, NFC is different. Other wireless technologies indiscriminately broadcast their presence to the world around them – only NFC is centered on user intent. The use cases for NFC technology presume and require user control and likewise every new use case that needs user control will require NFC.

Marks that simply indicate the existence of a technology, are not sufficient for NFC. To be successful the Forum says that it must guide users to a tapping location and that in order to fulfill the NFC promise in the world, it must orient users to the proper tap location of its technology. The foundational NFC wayfinding mark, also known as the “Directional variation,” guides users to the precise location of the NFC antenna, ensuring an optimal connectivity experience.

Evocative of the original N-Mark, radio technologies in general, and common near field antenna designs, the NFC Forum suggests that this fresh new mark overtly invites users to tap and unlock the full potential of connectivity.


How to Use the Wayfinding Mark

The NFC Wayfinding System is designed to adapt for the diverse uses and consumer awareness of the technology while leveraging the continuity of learned behaviors. While the Directional variation gives the most explicit tap location guidance, certain use cases may merit the use of a variation or a complementary mark.


DirectionalThe Directional variation is most helpful for tags and on occasionally used devices to overtly guide the user to the precise location of the NFC antenna for an optimal connectivity experience.



The Simplified variation can be used in everyday use cases where users have a high degree of familiarity. Adopters should be careful in their choice of this variation because it provides significantly less wayfinding guidance which may be an issue for the less familiar user.



The Charging variation provides users with confirmation of NFC charging functionality and the location of the antenna. It is reserved for this use case only.



The Instructional variations are complementary marks that can be used in cases where user awareness and knowledge of NFC technology are presumed to be low. It provides the most literal guidance of tapping from a mobile device to establish a connection.

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