Content in digital signage is what you put on your screens and it is the most important factor in the success of your digital signage. It is also often the most overlooked piece of a digital signage project. But before you start designing or selecting your content you need to do some planning and come up with a strategy.
Define your Goals
Before starting any project it’s important to start with why. Why do you need digital signage and what is the problem you are looking to solve with it or goal you want to achieve. Here’ a few examples that we’ve heard from our customers:
- I want to share events and announcements with students to improve event attendance and increase student engagement.
- We received money from a donor for digital signage and we want to create something that will help recruit students.
- I want to be able to distribute alerts when there’s an emergency.
- I want to entertain people while they wait in my lobby and share updates from my organization.
It’s important to understand what your goal is or what problem you’d like to solve so that the rest of your digital signage implementation is done in a way to support it.
10 Presentation Design Tips
- Clutter your Presentation with too many pieces of content
- Skew your text
- Have small line spacing
- Use more than 2 fonts
- Use more than 3 colors
- Pick complimentary fonts, this graphic can help you pair Google fonts
- Use a tool like Adobe Kruler to pick color combinations and use colors with high contrast
- Keep your message short, you should be able to read it in under 7 seconds
- Have 1 inch of font height for every 10 feet in viewing audience distance
- Use high quality images that are sized and optimized for the web
Your Presentation layout should change based on your goals and how long people will be in front of your screen. Below are a few examples of how it should be laid out and what the mix of content should be based on different dwell times.
Less than 1 Minute Dwell Time
If your audience is spending less than 1 minute in front of your display your content should be entirely in support of achieving your goals. For example, if you’re looking to increase event attendance then you should only show events on your display because you will only have a few seconds to get someone's attention. You don’t want them looking at the news or weather instead of your message.
- Full screen content that supports your goal
- Little to no entertainment content
- 1 zone
Example: 1 zone, focus is solely on the upcoming events
1-5 Minute Dwell Time
If your audience is spending between 1 and 5 minutes in front of your display, for example if they’re waiting in a line, your content can be a mix of entertainment and goal focussed. In this setting a 50/50 split will be effective, the entertaining content will reduce the audiences perceived wait time and they’ll still be exposed to your messaging.
- 50% entertainment, 50% your content
- 1-2 zones
Example: 2 zones with pricing, the weather, and logo
More than 10 Minute Dwell Time
If your audience is spending more than 10 minutes in front of your screen, for example in a reception area, your content can be weighted more heavily towards entertainment. In this setting a 70/30 split will be effective in reducing the perceived wait time and getting your messaging across.
- 70% entertainment, 30% your content
- Okay to have 3 zones, can mix your content with entertainment content in one of the zones in a rotating schedule
Example: 3 zones with Weather, Time, Announcements rotating with News
Schedules, Playlists, and Timing
Recall of digital messaging can be up to 10 times higher than printed messages. But for there to be any recall your message needs to be seen at least three times. And given the human attention span is no more than 7 seconds it’s best to have a few items that rotate every 7 seconds so that someone viewing your screen will be exposed to the same message multiple times. Having too many items in a playlist can dilute the message of all the items so be brutal about cutting out anything that isn’t important.
If you are using multiple zones keep use similar content in each zones playlist so that your audience isn’t overwhelmed. Using the example images above, in the top left zone the playlist includes news and announcements which are both text and follow a similar layout so it’s easy for someone to watch and digest the information. Don’t put videos, news, ticker tape, weather all in one playlist because it will confuse and overwhelm people.
With regards to timing you should try to time your content to specific times of day. For example, if you’re a school, in the morning have all your displays focussed on only that days announcements when all your students are in the hallways and likely to be looking at the screens. And then during the day you could switch them to a more general set of upcoming events or announcements. Another example, if you know the average amount of time people spend in your line is 5 minutes having a 5 minute loop of entertaining content on your display will be perfect to keep people entertained while they wait.