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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.
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