How should you present the information – what kind of content is appropriate for each message? Should you use a fixed message or one with movement? Would the message be better on a touch display? You need the right message to achieve the commitment of the audience.
The still images and messages show information in a way that is familiar. They are similar to printing in the way information is organized and presented, except that the quality does not degrade over time, there is no confision with multiple messages, there is nothing to throw away and the messages fall from the playlist when it is no longer relevant environmentally conscious, as well as time saving.
A digital signage message is on the display for about 10 seconds or less and most people who see it are moving through their space, on their way to somewhere with other things on their minds, and so that you only have about two to one, five seconds (depending on the lines of vision) to attract their attention and make them slow down and take what the message says. Keep it simple, clean and direct.
Humans have evolved to notice things that move in the corner of our eyes. In the past, it was to warn potential dangers – today, in our increasingly information-rich environments, the movement attracts us to potential interests and opportunities. Digital signage is dynamic, and movement is undoubtedly part of that phenomenon.
Video is a great addition to digital signage messages. Done well, a short video can tell a whole story that first attracts and then captivates your audience, making them receptive to the real purpose of the message.
Video is not the only type of movement available to you. Having a ticker moving through the top or bottom of the display can attract people with the same ease, while also conveying a lot of information. We are used to watch tickers on news channels, and the public tends to gravitate towards the familiar. People will often see the movement of the ticker, it will turn to look at it and read more while it scrolls in the view – this probably means to look also at other messages that are on the display at that moment.
When designing for videowalls, be sure to consider the bevels around each of the displays. Keeping this in mind will help make a smooth and attractive large-scale motion picture.
Animated icons can also have just enough movement to draw someone’s attention to the display, especially if it is for something useful, such as current weather or traffic.
A perfect digital signage display uses both motion and still images.
Yes, interactive is the next step, and after that it will be mobile. People already use their mobile devices all the time, in all the places where they have access to Wifi (and soon almost everywhere they go will have WiFi). Literally anything with a display can be a digital sign and that includes the displays that people already carry with them – smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Allowing people to access their messages from their mobile devices means that they will always have their digital signage with them – whether they are in front of their display or not. Depending on your system, you can send messages via RSS or use an application so that people can see your playlists. Whatever method it offers, it must be voluntary and easy to use. If people have to touch their display more than three times to get what they need, they are likely to abandon it.
Effective digital signage incorporates all three types of content. How can you determine if your messages, no matter what kind, will get the job done?
Have a test run – show your messages and then walk around the facility to see what attracts your attention.
Digital signage is dynamic, just like your audience. To get your attention, you need to find the right balance of messages and means to get involved, inform and entertain. Remember that the form always follows the function – the message comes first, then the design and delivery method. If you stay true to that, you can reach more people more often with more things they want and need.