The Digital Signage Insider
Thoughtful analysis, industry news and best practices for digital signage, M2M and kiosk projects
Making great digital signage content: A quick reference guide
Author: Bill Gerba on 2008-05-23 16:17:14
For the past few months, our articles have focused on a simple question: how can you make your digital signage content more effective? To answer this question, we've looked at quite a few rules-of-thumb and real-world examples of how to create great content. However, I also know that going through the whole series can be a bit daunting. After all, we're talking about nine articles and more than 9,000 words -- not exactly light reading. So to make things easier, I've put together a quick reference guide to the digital signage content series, complete with a brief summary of the key points from each article. Whether you're reading the articles for the first time or you just need a refresher course, I hope you find this one-stop shop useful.
Making great digital signage content: The serial position effect
Place your most important messages at the beginning and the end of your list. Introduce the first item on the list at a slower speed, and leave enough time at the end for people to remember the last item. If possible, choose your two best messages and get rid of the rest.
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.
Wow, we really did cover a lot of ground here! I still have a lot more questions, though, and I bet you do too. So tell me:
First, what else would you like to know about digital signage content? Where should our research lead us next?
Second, what was your favorite (or least favorite) article in the series, and why?
I really appreciate your feedback, so please leave a comment and let me know.
Subscribe to comments for this article
Previous Article: Making great digital signage content: Composing shots and scenesNext Article: A summer reading list for digital signage and kiosk teams
Front page of Digital Signage Insider Blog
LEGAL STUFF: The Digital Signage Insider is written by multiple authors. The author of each article is clearly identified at the start of the article. The opinions expressed in each article are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the official opinions of WireSpring Technologies, Inc. All articles are copyright © 2004-2013 by their respective author. All content besides the actual article text, e.g. surrounding branding and informational content, is copyright © 2000-2013 WireSpring Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. Except as provided in WireSpring's Republishing and Syndication Policy
, no articles may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without WireSpring's express written consent.
About this blog
WireSpring provides hardware, software and services for digital signage and kiosk projects. But this blog is a labor of love.
Our posts cover everything from case studies to creative briefs, and we post new articles about once a week.
Article topics are selected by our writers and editors, with the goal of providing objective and useful information to the entire digital signage industry.
This means covering a lot of projects that have nothing to do with WireSpring's products, and we're fine with that.
Whenever we mention a project that WireSpring is directly involved in, we'll be sure to provide appropriate disclosure in the text.
If you'd like to suggest a topic for a future article, feel free to leave a comment or contact us
We don't take very kindly to PR spam, so please review our past articles before contacting us to verify that what you're planning to send is a good fit for our audience.