It looks like LevelVision and Met|Hodder have teamed up to produce some best practices for digital signage (with a specific emphasis on LevelVision's fairly unique 4-pane digital floor mat thingies. While the information on their site seems to be geared towards their screens in college book stores, most of their recommendations easily extend into other venues, and, more importantly, other forms of in-store digital signage. For example, have a look at their tips for crafting messages:
Tags: digital signage, content, advertising
Those suggestions look a lot like some of the digital signage best practices articles that we put together over on WireSpring's digital signage blog a few months ago, specifically those about optimizing message text for the best recall, and creating a strong call to action that produces meaningful results. Of course, both we and Met|Hodder go further. Our whole series on content got to be pretty long, and covered things like visual design and composition:
Simplicity: Digital signage is communications at a glance, so make sure the shopper can get your meaning quickly
- Use language economically – fewer, shorter words
- Use action-oriented verbs and active construction
- Headline-like phrases work better than full sentences
- Consider a single word as an attention-getter
- Deliver one, focused message per screen
- Avoid too many messages in one segment
Repetition: You only have 10 seconds, but you never know when in that short time a shopper will see your message
- Within a single segment, repeat your key message at the beginning and end (that’s why brevity matters)
- Consider using more than one segment to deliver the same message – although using a different design
Call to action: Never leave the shopper in doubt. Tell them what you want them to do – how and when, too
- Strong verbs drive audiences to the take-action message
- Give audiences information that allows them to act, a Web URL for example
- If you have an in-store promotion, direct shoppers to the location of merchandise that’s part of the promotion (e.g., “at the checkout”)
- Provide a timeframe for action (e.g., “sale ends July 31”) if that’s appropriate
- Consider leaving call-to-action messages on screen throughout a message, or at least show it at the beginning and end
- Making great digital signage content: Get better recall with chunking and coding
Group key phrases or concepts together -- batches of three usually work nicely. Repeat important words and phrases 2-3 times in a row for reinforcement. Consider using alliteration and rhyme, since people are trained to respond well to these patterns.
- Making great digital signage content: Optimize for context and eliminate distractions
Use imagery and symbols that are relevant to the viewer. These should make sense based on the tasks viewers will be looking to complete when they see your screens. Be careful when including images that are very attention-grabbing, like people's faces and pictures of babies. These can easily divert attention from your core message.
- Making great digital signage content: Crafting your copy and call-to-action
Keep your text simple and clear. When writing your call-to-action, start it with a verb, keep the verb and subject close together, and either leave the call-to-action on screen the whole time, or show it several times per spot.
- Making great digital signage content: Sorting out font faces, sizes and styles
Use sans-serif fonts and large font sizes so that viewers can read your message at-a-glance. Don't use too many fonts in a single piece of content, and don't go overboard with colored text. Avoid writing in all caps.
- Making great digital signage content: Does color matter?
Choosing one color over another rarely has any impact on the success of your content. So, pick colors that meet your business and stylistic goals, e.g. those that match the color schemes of your venues or advertisers.
- Making great digital signage content: Use contrast to your advantage
More contrast between foreground and background is a good thing. A minor change like increasing the contrast by 10% can make the content easier to read, and recognizable to a much larger audience.
- Making great digital signage content: Motion, silhouettes and animation
Use motion selectively: you don't want to interfere with readability or comprehension. Give people enough time to read the text, and don't move your text around abruptly. When you're animating an element, try to pick something that has a strong and easily-identifiable silhouette. Consider keeping your logo and other important features on the screen at all times, without excess motion.
- Making great digital signage content: Composing shots and scenes
Remember that digital signs have more in common with posters than with TV. Match up your text and visuals, and treat each slide like it's a stand-alone poster. Use visual transitions to link related slides within a larger piece of content.
Tags: digital signage, content, advertising