Create a shorthand language with icons to help guide the viewer with specific visual themes. Depending on the type of display purpose, these can fall into a number of categories. They can be seasonal, departmental, contextual or emotional. Animate icons in specific ways to enhance network continuity. Icons need to be consistent. For example, all icons may relate to a specific look and feel. They may be bold or soft, or bright or pastel, in nature.
Transitions add movement to the screen and can direct the viewer’s attention to one place or another. Transitions need to be seamless within a piece of content and among other pieces of content. Don’t place too much attention on the transition that it takes away from the message.
Utilizing images and symbols that a viewer can relate with will help. They should be relevant to the objective. Be cautious when using images that grab the viewer’s attention (people’s faces, pictures of babies, animals, etc…) as these can easily divert attention from the main message.
Motion graphics can be effective, but can also draw away from the message. Keep in mind that the text must be legible. Limit the amount of movement so that the message can be read and properly perceived.
Feeding the Beast: Template Usage
Structure the zones on the screen. For some display networks, one may want to have an on-screen zone with main content, another zone with secondary content, and potentially a third zone for informational content. Storyboard the zones out, explaining each of their purposes. Only use zones for a reason. Consider the content needs of the display, the viewing distance, size of the display and traffic patterns of the audience.
Themed messaging can be useful according to the type of network. Example- In a corporate communications network one may want to have themes based on the department so viewers understand the type of message being presented.
Creating a template that pulls information from an RSS or XML feed can keep content fresh and up to date. This type of content can be used to deliver video clips, images, text, web content, and other data-driven messaging. Taking the time needed to create an application like this can help drive new content to the screen without the labor of producing original content for every messaging need.
The most important messages should be at the beginning and the end of your content. Allow the first item to be recognized and digested, and leave enough time for people to remember the last item at the end. It is better to focus on a maximum of two items. Limit the things the viewer has to remember.
This is one section taken from Reflect’s recently published whitepaper, The Digital Moment of Truth. Click Here to download the full whitepaper. Select whitepaper download from the category drop down list, enter your information, and you will receive an email with a link to download the whitepaper.