Follow these guidelines to make the most of your screen designs:
Providing access to users with disabilities is not just a good idea, it's fast becoming the law. A few adjustments will do the trick, and besides, most of these guidelines will help all users:
Text should be easily visible at a reasonable distance from the sign.
Always ensure that text colors have high contrast with the background color.
Avoid dark backgrounds with neon colors and white characters.
Keep your font sizes large, especially for your main messages. To test size, create a test screen with lines of different font sizes and have people view the screen at the farthest practical distance. Remember too that people may view the screen as they pass by.
The exception to this would be for screens meant for interaction, where the user is standing directly in front of the sign. Even here, though, keep in mind viewers with older eyes or low vision.
Serif fonts work well for long text passages, but digital signs are the wrong medium for paragraphs of text. It's best usually to stick with sans-serif fonts.
Interactive signs should have alternative accessible designs.
Accessible elements (e.g., buttons) must be placed between 36 and 42 inches when measured from the floor.
Consider accessibility when designing your wayfinding content (such as stairs and accessible entrances).
There seem to be three distinct viewing patterns for digital signage:
When a sign is located in a busy hallway, viewers are likely to see the sign only momentarily as they pass by. Their attention is fleeting and you cannot guarantee at what point in a rotation you may catch their attention. This viewing pattern is best for single, very simple messages that rotate in order to attract attention.
Examples might include:
Design here should be simple so as not to distract from the message.
Signs in this viewing pattern tend mostly to be static in nature; that is, users cannot interact with these signs (via touch or other means) in order to accomplish functionality. These are simply signs to be looked at.
When a sign is located in a lobby, by an elevator, near a service desk—anyplace where people are expected to wait for a bit of time—you have more freedom with content. This viewing pattern lends itself to longer messages, and is best for:
Design can also be more rich and detailed if desired, as people will have more time to study it.
Signs in this viewing pattern tend mostly to be interactive in nature, allowing touch input to facilitate user navigation through menus, wayfinding via maps, scrolling through content, and use of other functionality.
When a sign is located in a retail space, either near products or by the register, the expectation is that the viewer has a bit more time to read and that the content on the sign may be helpful to him/her in making purchasing decisions.
Uses for this viewing pattern could be:
Strong design may be most important here, where sales rely on brand and visual appeal.
Signs in this viewing pattern tend mostly to be static in nature.
Even in the Point of Wait and Point of Sale viewing patterns, digital signage is not a place for writing paragraphs. It is more communications at a glance, so think of your viewers grabbing snatches of content at a time.
Simple, relevant images are better than complex ones that draw the attention away from your message
When creating graphics or video, specify a size that matches or exceeds the output resolution you have selected. Technology will generally scale down higher resolution media for a lower resolution screen (though perfectly matched media looks best), but low resolution media will not look great on a high-res digital sign.
Also use standard aspect ratios (such as 4:3 or 16:9 as much possible for your media, since you may want to repurpose that media. Your layouts are much easier to create if you have consistently sized pieces to work with.
When developing a screen with multiple content zones, remember that less (fewer zones) is often more (effective), as too much information will overload and disinterest many viewers. A lot depends on how close your viewers will be to the sign, how much viewing time you expect each person will spend,, the
Getting your viewers to act requires a simple, strong, clear message.
If your sign presents a rotating series of screens, consider the environment when deciding the loop length:
For a a refreshing non-pattern feel, try mixing the duration times from screen to screen in a set.
Explore other's thoughts: