Not All News Is Good News

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Sitting on the train after a long day in the office, the regular commuter looks up from the magazine he was reading and glances at the breaking news on the digital screen in the carriage in front of him …

“At least 43 people were killed and 247 injured, 51 critically, when two passenger trains collided in China early on Monday”

He pauses, he thinks “hold on, wait one second, I’m on a train

Screen network operators do need to be careful when taking live news feeds and think carefully about the audience and the environment they are in.

Neil Chatwood, a real commuter on the line earlier this month, kindly wrote to us and pointed out in a comment “I’ve seen the GO train installations recently while on a break in Ontario. The install itself is very impressive. A neat, hardworking unit with no apparent weakness in the design. I’ve never met a Canadian thug, but I’m sure they would have problems tackling the thing”

One of his issues was with the content, here he said ” I understand it’s a commuter environment but the time between the stops doesn’t warrant the sheer amount of information on the screen. I’d say the average time between stops is about 9 minutes, so lets assume average Joe is on the train approx 27 minutes. This is ample time to run a decent length loop with information and advertising”

And as we have pointed out many times before, crowded / busy screens including in this instance TWO scrolling news feeds is probably far too much.

Neil told us “Instead they have opted for a layout with 4 or 5 different areas, which includes 2 scrolling news feeds. I’d be wary of doing this on a 42” display – but these screens music be about 17”-19. I personally don’t think it’s a great use of the screen estate. That said, it’s an impressive installation and entertained me (perhaps for the wrong reasons) during my rides to Oshawa”

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