Desiging for digital signage? With ScreenScape’s built-in Media editor, creating effective digital signage content has never been easier.  What does effective digital signage content look like? It’s beautiful, it’s simple, it has a clear and precise message, and often it’s dynamic and tailored for the local audience.  Looking for some help designing your next digital poster? Here are 9 Tips for Effective Digital Signage Content Creation:

1. Keep It Short.

The 3-step Catch, Inform, Action (CIA) message works best in most digital signage environments:

  • Don’t use a lot of words to convey your message.
  • Be declarative.
  • Be grammatically complete.
  • Be otherwise standard.
  • Contain alliteration, metaphor or rhyme.

Image of Men in Bar with Digital Signage Playing 3 Part Message

2. Choose the right font & font size

Legibility matters. The bigger the room and the greater the distance between the screen and its audience, the bigger your digital signage message should be. Also, time is money: the longer it takes viewers to make sense of your message, the less chance they’ll read and understand the whole thing:

  • Utilize the brand’s font guidelines.
  • Vary the usage of font.
  • Make your text big enough (if in doubt, bigger is better).

3. Use a strong, constant call-to-action.

A retail advertisement or commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete or ineffective. The same is true for digital signage.

  • Start the call-to-action with a verb.
  • Keep the verb and the subject close together: “Ask a salesperson for details” or “Book your appointment today”.
  • Use size, color and surrounding negative space to draw attention to your call-to-action.

Automotive Showroom with Red Car and Digital Sign in Background

4. Take advantage of the serial position effect.

The serial position effect notes how an element’s position in a list affects the number of readers who are able to recall it later.

  • Present the first few items on the list at a slower speed to enhance the primary effect.
  • If you have a call-to-action at the end of your content, keep it short and simple so it won’t compete with your core message.
  • When in doubt, choose your two best messages and leave it at that. Sometimes less is more. If there’s one message that’s more important than the rest, keep it on the screen for as long as possible.

5. Consider contrast before color.

Contrast, not color, is far more important when it comes to getting your content noticed, watched and remembered. It’s all too easy to include graphical elements that draw the viewer’s attention away from the critical part of your content: the message itself.

Bill Gerba Color Contrast Chart for Digital Signage

Color Contrast Chart from “Making Great Digital Signage Content” by Bill Gerba

6. Gather ALL available creative assets

Most digital signage will be deployed as an additive component to existing marketing and advertising campaigns. All the raw assets (graphics, animations, video, sounds, etc.) available should be pooled, inspected and analyzed, then reused or re-purposed for digital signage. You can find these assets in a variety of places.

7. Choose your imagery carefully

Chunking is a way of arranging information so that your memory has fewer items to recall later. Coding is how our brains make things easier to remember by arranging them into groups of similar items.

  • Identify the core messages.
  • Think of a single image or visual element to go along with each of these core ideas.
  • Take each message-visual combination and do a poster mockup.
  • Elements that have a strong and easily identifiable silhouette will take fewer cognitive resources to identify.
  • Consider the environment in which the spots will run; different images can have entirely different meanings in different contexts.

For more about images, you can read our blog post, Choosing the Right Images for Digital Signage.

8. Consider the Medium as print with motion

While you may think that having an object move on screen would make it more eye-catching and more memorable, the opposite can also be true. In fact, poorly planned motion can decrease visibility and readability, making your content less effective.

  • Just because you can make it move doesn’t mean that you should.
  • Don’t let motion interfere with readability or comprehension.
  • Typically, you get only 1.5-3 seconds of full attention from people looking at your sign. Any period when important text or other critical message components are off the screen is potentially a missed opportunity to connect.
  • The most important features of your spot should be static.

Find out more about using animations in your digital signage here.

9. If available, use sound effectively

The vast majority of digital signage networks do not use sound. Sounds can be part of digital signage content, and where it is appropriate, it can enhance the viewer’s experience. When designing content, ask if it requires sound. Remember, in digital signage sound is ALWAYS used to support the visuals.

  • Point of Sale networks could have sound, but that depends largely on the location of the screen.
  • The most likely candidates for sound are Point of Wait networks.
  • Sound should not necessarily be used in every message in a playlist. Use it sparingly to create impact.
  • If in doubt, keep it simple! Still have some questions about content creation? Try searching in our help documentation, or reply to this email with any questions—we’re happy to point you in the right direction.