Besides the fact that it has been proven to work, Digital Signage Content also:
- Improve customer engagement.
- Provide greater client satisfaction.
- Trigger more impulse purchases.
- Boost brand growth rate.
- Open more business opportunities.
However, to make the most out of these advantages, you need to execute your digital signage marketing strategy carefully. That means understanding what makes the content effective and engaging.
This article tackles the ultimate formula for digital signage content, broken down into eight helpful tips:
1. Add Contrast for Legibility
It is hard to understand the message if different elements are mashed up together without clear separation. Because of this, you need to add contrast to your digital signage design to improve its legibility.
To do this, you must pick contrasting background and foreground colors to ensure that the text stands out. Many color schemes incorporate this rule – dark text on a light background or light text on dark – to ensure that the digital signage design can be seen even from farther away.
Digital signage experiments have proven that adding contrasting colors to a design is most effective in seeing designs. Plus, text that stands out from the background is easier to read naturally.
2. Follow Proper Ratios
Ratios in digital signage designs describe the width-to-height proportion of the screens where the content will be shown.
Unlike websites, digital screens always have the same ratio: 16:9 for horizontal screens and 9:16 for portrait screens. This means that if you follow the correct ratio, your content design is most likely to fit most digital screens.
That is, of course, unless you are designing for other screen types like iPads (e.g., iPad-based menus), which have a 4:3 ratio. To be safe, always know the screen you are designing for first.
Of course, clarity is a slightly different matter, as it will depend on the display resolution or the number of pixels shown on a screen. The higher the resolution, the clearer your design is shown.
These numbers also determine whether a screen comes with high definition (HD). Below are the standard pixel dimensions found on various screens available on the market today:
- For quarter HD: 960 by 540 pixels
- For HD-ready or standard HD: 1280 by 720 pixels
- For full HD: 1920 by 1080 pixels
- For ultra-HD: 3840 by 2160 pixels
Pro Tip: Aim for 1920 by 1080 (landscape mode) clips and images for your digital signages content wherever possible.
3. Divide the text 3-by-5 for Focused Messages
Have you ever tried looking at a design where there is so much going on that you cannot figure out the actual message? This design dilemma could be easily solved by dividing the text using the 3-by-5 rule.
The idea is to maintain three lines of text with no more than five words per line or five lines with a maximum of three words each.
This keeps your message concise and easy on the eyes. It also supports messages that are flashed within a shorter dwell time.
When designing with text, always factor in readability. Keep the font size large enough to see clearly from a set distance.
Moreover, make sure you prioritize the information you include. Remove anything that does not add value to the content and arrange it according to its hierarchy (more on this below).
4. Arrange Digital Signage Content by Hierarchy
Make sure that your digital signage content design elements are arranged according to their importance.
Follow the hierarchy of information and leave a larger space for the first-priority element in your design. This can be:
- An image.
- A headline.
- An offer.
You can choose other elements, of course. The point is to ensure that the key information is given the most focus in the entire design.
5. Subtract Elements to Create White Space
It might be tempting to cover all spaces in the digital signage screen with as many things as it can contain, but the rule book says, “Do not.”
Covering the design with texts and images from top to bottom can look cluttered and overwhelming. This could inadvertently cause the audience not to engage with the signage.
To prevent this, subtract unnecessary or less essential elements to create white space between information. This will make the content more digestible for the target viewers as it helps them determine which data to focus on and what comes next.
Plus, adding white space in your digital signage content layout offers readers’ eyes a place to rest while easing the message into their view.
6. Match the Audience Dwell Time
Besides the design itself, you also need to think about when and how long you should show specific content. For this, use the following dwell time rules as a guide:
- Shoppers and passersby: short-term viewing of about 30 seconds.
- Reception desk, coffee shop, and staff members: mid-term viewing from 30 seconds to two minutes.
- Waiting areas, restaurants, and offices: long-term viewing lasting anywhere between two to 30 minutes.
Knowing how long your design must be shown and when is crucial for designing images with audio and video clips on digital signage. Of course, the duration or “dwell time” varies depending on the location, target audience, and the content’s purpose.
For example, offices and waiting areas with longer dwell times do well with half-an-hour playlists on rotation. Since the people there can watch the entire thing continuously, your message will be conveyed completely.
On the other hand, digital signages on shop windows require content designed for glances and short dwell time, as two 30-second ads played on loop.
7. Divide your Design into Zones
Dividing your digital signage display into zones helps maximize on-screen space while ensuring no wasted content.
For this rule, always use only one “hero” zone and showcase less important (or static) content in the supporting zones. This zoned display rule directs you to focus on the content in the hero zone, preventing your viewers from feeling overwhelmed with too much information.
When zoning your digital signage design, make sure you use complementary content. A good example is using one video zone, a static newsfeed zone, and a Twitter updates zone for a visual, real-time, and informational design.
Besides the more technical rules in digital signage design, you must consider the audience who will engage with your content. Dig up information about them – what they like and what affects their decisions – and use that to your advantage. When in doubt, seek audio-visual design services for your digital signage content needs.