April 22, 2019
Digital Signage Tips and Tricks

Screen Fatigue: Don't Make These Digital Signage Content Mistakes

The 4 Main Mistakes of Digital Signage Content

Realize that Digital Signage Technology is NBD. A few years back, customers were wowed by the mere existence of digital signage. But as the screens started popping up in all types of locations -- shops, hospitals, offices, schools -- people became disenchanted with the eye-catching displays. As Justin pointed out, ATMs are also digital signage kiosks, and nobody’s fainting in excitement over them.

Now that the products have gone mainstream, people are less inclined to poke around and explore the solution, especially when they’ve escaped their office screens to go out shopping. So, don’t put content on a screen for the sake of filling up the medium with data. (After all, if they really wanted to stay on the computer, they could just shop online.)

Sometimes they may even become annoyed, especially when the displays are poorly-designed with over-the-top graphics and animation. The novelty has worn off, and that’s a good thing: It means it’s time to figure out how to actually maximize the impact of the digital signage displays.

1. Boring Content Promotes Avoidance

It doesn't matter if you're running 1080p or 4K resolution screens — drab content will ruin your whole deployment. Digital signage is meant to attract attention and encourage engagement. If your content is black text on a white background, you might as well throw a tarp over your signs.

While there might not be anything you can do to pep up a message like: "Meeting in the Conference Room at 3 p.m.," you can make the appearance fun. Photography is a tried-and-true method of engaging audiences. Motion graphics can easily transform slides from boring to mesmerizing. Digital signage users can also create short, animated video clips to turn longer messages into appealing content.

2. Using Digital Signage as a Second Website

When strategically deployed, digital signage is an incredibly effective marketing and messaging medium. But in a world of endless screen-time, it’s important to display content that serves a genuine purpose. We chatted with Sprinklr Display’s VP of User Research and Display, Justin Garrity.  He emphasized that what’s “trendy” in digital signage doesn’t always align with what customers actually want.

A great example of this is interactive digital signage. Countless retailers have installed massive screens in their stores, all equipped with innovative software (because, let’s face it, it’s hard to resist cool stuff.) But these products can quickly become more nuisance than necessity.

3. Playing Stale, Outdated Slides

I used to work for a company that ran the same five campaigns on their signage for months on end. It was annoying to an almost torturous level. I remember thinking: "If I have to look at the 'Welcome New Hires!' slide one more time, I'm quitting." (In my defense, the "new hires" mentioned on the slide were already up for their yearly reviews.)

Don't drive your audiences to insanity. Viewers want fresh content on a consistent basis. Even if you don't have a new message to play, change the visual appearance to give old messages a new light. A quick change of the color elements and static visual graphics can work wonders. Purchase a few integration and applications from your CMS provider to automate new content for you.

4. Death by Novel

It used to be: “Say it; don’t spray it.” Today, it should be: “Don’t say or spray it, unless you CTA it.” Okay, that might not be as cool or universally understood. Let us explain. Right now, you’re probably reading this via phone, tablet, or laptop. Once you’ve finished it, you’ll move on to your email, or Twitter, or Google Drive. And then tonight, you’ll spend a few hours in front of the TV.

That’s modern living. We won’t depress you with stats on how much time the average person spends, each and every day, staring at the ever-present glowing screen. Suffice it to say, we all know it’s not insubstantial. It’s no secret that we all feel like we waste too much time on the internet, and excellent digital signage is an exception to the idea that screens are useless time-suckers.

Here's the lunch menu, a message from the CEO and a fun fact — you have 10 seconds to digest all of that! Go! Lack of focus leads to confusion. Digital signage is meant to streamline communications, not muddle them. If one slide covers all the topics of your newsletter … you're not using the medium properly. Keep asides to the side and limit the content of the slide to one idea: "BBQ Cookout: Friday, July 24, 2015, 1-3 p.m."

Content Overload Kills Audience Engagement

You know the saying: "Brevity is the soul of wit." Audiences want brief messages that are easy to digest — so long text passages in a tiny font size equals a content disaster. If your audience doesn't get the message in 3 seconds, you need to delete some text.

Remember, this is digital signage — not an essay writing contest. Paragraphs are a turnoff. Try to keep your message to two short sentences at most. If you can't limit your text, then split your message into multiple slides. Don't limit the effectiveness of your digital content with silly mistakes. These are easy fixes, and can only lead to improvement. Viewers must stay engaged with fresh, relevant content so that you get the most out of your digital signage.

And while it is always easier to assign these responsibilities to someone with a graphic design background, it isn’t always necessary. Instead of getting overwhelmed and resigning from the design position, you can steer clear of the faux pas listed above. Avoiding those will take your signage to a whole new level of design and improve the effectiveness of your signage communication, readying you for our next blog piece: implementing design best practices.

Effective Digital Signage Enhances the Physical World Without Distracting From It

You’ve got to remember that the digital signage isn’t the experience. When used correctly, it serves as a helpful tool that enables customers to better appreciate the world around them. There are all types of ways to picture this. Sports stadium? The signage should add a new dimension to the game, not tear people’s eyes away from the action. Shoe store? The signage should compel shoppers to try on the shoes, not watch models strut around in them.

The screens in our pockets are chock-full of mindless text and images, already. Great digital signage doesn’t need to be another endless scroll. When it is strategic and intentional, it can truly add to people’s lives in a meaningful way.

The Trick to Eye-Catching Digital Signage is Fresh Content

Great, so you have successfully deployed a digital signage solution that fits your needs. You've followed all the proper deployment rules and have signage installed in strategic locations, and you can navigate the CMS software with the best of them — but do you actually know how to reap the benefits of digital signage?

No? You're not alone; many users struggle to keep their content looking awe-worthy! The good news is that most common digital content blunders are easy to remedy! After turning on content automation programs, users usually see an instant increase in audience engagement. Contact your digital signage software providers and implement some content programs, and start broadcasting digital signage like this!

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