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An empty screen is no screen at all

How to create engaging digital signage content
by

Paivi Rucidlo

on 9 February 2015

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Transcript of An empty screen is no screen at all

AN EMPTY SCREEN IS
NO SCREEN
AT ALL

FONTS

Even the fanciest video wall is pretty much useless without content. Digital screen is only a means to an end.
Content is king (and so is the viewer).

DS screens are what we call a
'glance media'
. They're not interpreted the same way one would stare at a laptop screen, home TV, or a print brochure. Screen content should be quick and easy to absorb.
DS content is NOT print, web, or PowerPoint.

Then again CREATING content for screens is faster, more cost efficient, and
more fun that traditional materials.
BIG NO NO!
CONTENT
What is digital signage content about?
Most common mistakes
How to catch the attention
Colors
Fonts & text
Try out before roll out
Tools & tips



How to create engaging digital signage content
HOW TO CATCH THE ATTENTION
FAMILIAR SHAPES >
eyes naturally search for circlers, triangles, and squares
HUMAN FACES>
the best graphic element to catch the look of a passer by
SEPARATE ELEMENTS>
side by side, not on top of each other. Leave some air.
USE VISUAL>
half to two thirds of the surface should be visual/graphic material (excluding info, guidance, and such screens)
USE OF COLORS
Content producer ABC
DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT
IN A NUTSHELL
The costs of print:
design
printing
papers/material
distribution and/or suspension
recycling

Who wants to produce a whole new set of prints for every new item or idea.
Plus, layout is a drag and changing the design time consuming.
With a digital screen you can present a whole bunch of TARGETED messages in a minute, let alone in an hour or a week. Distribution can be done remotely with a few clicks. Spelling errors and new ideas can be updated as they appear.

Convenient, huh?
Digital signage content is meant to catch the attention, engage a viewer, and to communicate
Planning is still everything, also with screens.
FIGURE OUT FIRST:

The
purpose
of the screens
Target
segments
Size, direction, amount, and location of
screens
Dwell time
(eg. shop window vs. waiting room)

Excisting
material
Content update
frequency
Content
mix
(playlist/loop)

MANY FORMS OF
MATERIAL
The content on digital signage
screens is mainly
still images
(JPG, PNG, 1080x1920)
videos and animations
(MOV, AVI, MPEG4, 720p)
branded templates
(text, price lists, etc)
Digital signage content can also be Flash, conference and guidance info, web content, news feeds, weather info, live stream, touch and interactive content, social media applications...
of the material companies use on screens is simply
IMAGES & VIDEO
95%
Mix different kinds of content to create an interesting and engaging playlists. Constant movement is restless,
plain still material falls into background.
react especially strongly to moving images
18-24v
25-43v
react strongly to moving images, but remember still images better
44-67v
notices moving images, but reacts and remembers still images
WAY TOO MUCH STUFF >
viewer is drowned in information with the first glance > the whole message fails to get through

NO IMAGES; JUST TEXT >
picture still tells more than a 1000 words

GRAPHIC MAYHEM >
blurs, shadows, tints, fades.. pretty much anything that makes the message unclear

IRRELEVANT or UNWANTED >
pushing whatever available material just to avoid black screens, or placing console game ads to cosmetics department




NOT USING THE TOOLS OF THE SYSTEM >

ready made templates, scheduling, editors..

NO ORDER or REPETITION >
most important messages deserve more reps, text material followed by visual..

BORING >

Digital content shouldn't remind the viewer of a PowerPoint presentation or a lecture

RECYCLING >
existing material used on screens 'as it is', not updating the material one bit
(is king)
JUST TO COMPARE..
with easily absorbable messages
SNACK SIZE
Got the idea?
Let's make the screens rock!
3M Visual Attention Service
-web tool (https://vas.3m.com/)
What's the likelihood of viewer looking at different areas of the image within the first 3 to 5 seconds
BIG CONTRAST >
especially between background and text
RGB COLORS>
digital surfaces work best with RGB color setups
FRESHEN UP >
avoid using main colors together (blue, red, yellow), or too many colors mixed together. White works on screens with almost any dark color.
NO BLURS OR PATTERNS>
small, strong patterns, blurs, and fades work better on print than on screen
KEEP IT CLEAR
Digital material doesn't have to be too simple or plain. You can use all kinds of shapes, color details, and transitions. Just remember to keep the overall appearance clear, not cluttered.
FONTS & TEXT
SANS-SERIF WORKS>
clear, strokeless fonts are best (Arial, Helvetica, Verdana...)
NO
ITALIC
>
don't make the text cursive
3x5 RULE>
if possible, limit the amount of text either to 3 lines o 5 words, or 5 lines of 3 words
SPLIT YOUR MESSAGE >
don't try to squeeze every bit of information to one image, rather split it to multiple 'slides'
GROW THE TEXT (FOR REAL) >
one of the most common mistakes is too small font size combined with way too much text
SHORTER, SIMPLER MESSAGES TIED TOGETHER
You might feel that the content is even too plain and dressed down. Try to remember that for the viewer GLANCING your material the first time simplicity brings understanding. And
only understanding brings activation.
TEST THE EFFECT
5 second quick test >
show your material to a colleague for only 5 seconds and ask what she/he remembers. product? Image? Price? Brand?
Distance test >
look at your material on the screen of your 15" laptop screen from 7 feet away (= 42 inch display from about 50 feet away). Can you see and read the message?
A/B promo testing >
Make minor changes to two copies of the same material (text color, font..). Add material A to screen on location 1, and material B to screens on location 2. Which location has more activation? Works best for promotion and competition materials.
ALWAYS REMEMBER THE TARGET

It takes approximately 4 seconds for the viewer to notice and
register
five 'pieces' of information (image, text, price..).

The locations and sizes of the screens have a huge effect on how efficient the media is altogether. Shop entrances,
eye level screens
, big LED's, and service counters create most activation.

The viewer wants to find relevant material JUST FOR THEM (
audience of one
). Add weather info, beauty tips, recipes, and/or other material to the playlist/content mix -something that does not try to sell or push.
Internet is full of templates that you can use to create material to screens without a degree in graphic design >
for example powtoon.com or spotomate.com
Use the tools of the system >
FirstView manager enables you to create and use ready made templates. Design the background image and layout, and let the system create the complete presentation on screens.
Check out these too >
TOOLS & TIPS
http://www.freepik.com/
http://www.videoblocks.com/
http://www.1001fonts.com/
http://www.serif.com/free-graphic-design-software/
http://graphicriver.net/


PLAY, TRY, AND GET EXCITED
Don't be afraid to test out crazy ideas.

With digital signage it's not the end of the world if there's a typo or wrong font color on screen. You'll be able to design, update, distribute, and change content in minutes.

P.S. We're here in case you get stuck
www.firstview.fi
Digital already for a decade
FirstView Digital Signage
Comments on the content guide? New ideas or
tips for digital content designers?
We'd be happy to hear them at
paivi@firstview.fi
STILL,
est. 2004
Most common mistakes
Full transcript