The Digital Moment of Truth – Consider the Environment
Consider the Environment
The physical environment of the venue can have a big impact on content design considerations. Knowing where the digital display will be located will help to keep the content looking seamless to the environment. An issue many companies have with digital signage is how it fits into their environmental design. As a content designer, it is your goal to seamlessly relate the content to where it is placed at the location. If possible, survey the location.
When surveying the location, there are many things to be considered. Taking photos of the location will help in coordinating the right elements into the content design. Take pictures of the surroundings, and more specifically take pictures of where the digital signage will be located. When surveying the location, understand the differences in viewing angles and distances from the screen to understand what would be legible. Also, if sound is going to be incorporated, think about how it will fit in the environment and proximity to the consumer. If it’s not possible to visit the location, coordinate with the business stakeholders in finding out as much as possible.
Technical details of the digital display technology are often overlooked, but are actually a large part of the equation when creating content. Be sure to figure out exactly what size screen and aspect ratio will be used. Knowing distances and screen sizes will help in creating a clearly defined message. It will help in understanding what can be seen, and what will be lost at certain distances. It may not make a great impact on certain decisions when creating content, but it is helpful to know on what type of screen the content will be displayed, whether it is an LCD, LED, Plasma, etc… This can affect viewing angles as well as brightness.
Understanding traffic frequency is also important. How many times does a consumer visit the location over a period of time? This will help in planning the frequency of your content updates. It will also help in determining the scheduling of media to be displayed.
Scheduling is the key to providing the right content at the right time. When creating a single piece of content, understand that it is usually used as part of a schedule or playlist, and must fit with other content pieces to form a cohesive program. Schedule your playlist according to traffic patterns throughout the day. A playlist can vary depending on the time of day, week, month and season. A content loop should be discussed with the business stakeholders in understanding the objective of the display. Special openings or featured specials could be a part of a new playlist. You may also need to break the day into parts. This will help in creating specific content for specific times of day.
Critical success factors include the display capability, suitability of medium and content effectiveness. By taking advantage of all of knowledge of these characteristics, the content designer has a better opportunity to create content that connects with the consumer.
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