Creating a screen display is easy. Nevertheless, to make the most of this new medium it pays to put some thought into designing your content. The basic technical aspects of creating a screen display are covered by a previous blog post

The Theater panel occupies the largest portion of your screen display, and is the area where the most diverse types of media content can be displayed. For example, It is in the theater where all videos play, as well as photo sideshows. You can also post text inside the theater and RSS feeds.

Who is your audience?
Where are they going to be in your venue? Are they quickly passing through or do they wait or linger for a few minutes? How you answer these questions will greatly affect the design of your signage.

Does your audience hear the audio of your screen?
If your display is not able to output audio, avoid playing video content which requires the audio to be heard in order to be understood. In this case steer your video content choices to ones which are visually appealing and tell their story well using effective imagery or text.

Where should you mount your display?
For a detailed look at where to mount your screen please refer to a previous blog post here.

Poster Slides:
Poster slides are playable only in the Theater Panel, and should be uploaded at a standard size of up to 1200px Wide by 900px High at a resolution of 72 dpi. Computer screens can only display at 72 dots per inch and anything with a higher resolution will be wasting bandwidth and processor resources. Anything with a lower resolution will appear pixelated or granular. The fixed size recommendation and aspect ratio 4:3 for images is important, since images will a different aspect ratio will produce black bars on the either the top or sides of the image, as well as images which are larger will affect the performance of your display by eating bandwidth and processor resources.

For further reading on appropriate and effective uses of poster slides please refer to this web page: http://support.screenscape.net/guidePosterSlides

How do I present effective display ads?
When using text in your poster slides, remember to use large typefaces and use them sparingly. Less is indeed more. Small text or too much of it will be difficult to read and your audience will quickly loose interest. If you are advertising a product or service, make sure you can easily read the advertiser’s name. Use short words for faster comprehension. Choose a text and background color which offer high contrast. High contrast makes text more visible. Simplify everything. A flashy moving image ad can actually be less effective than a simple fixed image slide with large text, shorter words and sentences and a high contrast layout. Print ads never make good content on a screen display. With print the viewing time is much longer, so details can be presented. The most important message of a print ad should be the focus of your display ad and the other details omitted or placed on an additional slide to create a small series. This way, you will communicate clearly to your audience, and not have them straining to read small text or worse, miss your message entirely.

Hosted Video
When adding video content to your screen, use hosted video for the highest quality video playback. On YouTube, the quantity of content is exceptional, but the quality varies. To ensure your video is being displayed optimally, upload from the highest quality source you possess; as long as it is below 100MB in size. Windows Media Video (.wmv), Quicktime (.mov), Audio Video Interleave (.avi), Motion Pictures Expert Group (.mpeg), MP4 (mpeg-4), and Flash Video (.flv), files are recommended. These will be then converted and hosted by our servers as Flash video files. If you have pre-processed .flv files you can point to a URL where they are located (so long as this URL isn’t password protected or otherwise security protected). For more detailed information about hosted video, refer to this support article.

Tip:
Whenever possible, make a slideshow of several text slides or poster slides together in order to consolidate slides with a similar topic or content into a single widget. This makes widget management easier and improves playback as well as the overall flow of your display.

Are you maximizing the ScreenScape Community?
Remember you do not have to re-invent the wheel. There are likely many types of content in the ScreenScape Community which would suit the needs of your display. Do a key-word search by location to find display content which would suit your venue’s needs. All of this content can be added to your screen if it has been shared in the community. This type of open content sharing is a powerfull and unique feature of ScreenScape, to which each member has access.