AAARGGGHHHH!!!! The ‘Tips and Techniques for Digital Signage Layout‘ published over on the Digital Signage Expo (DSE) site whilst undoubtedly well intentioned are TRULY AWFUL and as many of the folks who wrote into us today have said also; it’s “exactly the kind of ill-informed advice that hurts our (still nascent) industry” more than almost anything else!
As one senior exec in the industry told us “To have something like this posted with implied authority is infuriating”
First off, trying to specify where content goes on a screen without considering the content itself or its context is very very WRONG.
Bill Gerba, who is presenting a ‘7 best practices’ speech’ at DSE seems to agree with our criticism. In a Twitter he made recently when we first raised the issue “Have to agree with @DailyDOOH, the tips don’t make sense. Screen zones can only be planned AFTER objective, context, placement and content”
The article makes not one mention of one of the most obvious ways to capture the viewer’s attention and get the message across; which is of course, FULL SCREEN – it’s what the OOH folks have been doing for decades now.
And rather than talking about what is common, why doesn’t the article talk about what is right? Now we are not saying that one methodology could possibly be correct for all applications but there are some facts that must be taken into account when doing any sort of design: –
- People can only look at and process one thing at a time
- Peoples’ attention is attracted by motion
- The smaller things are, the shorter the effective viewing distance
We’d also put forth for major consideration that in most any out-of-home space a screen will never capture peoples’ full attention to begin with. Other than in movie theaters, people are not there to look at the screens – most viewing will be done at a glance and there will always be myriad distractions in the environment – including most significantly, other people!
That said, the implications of chopping a screen into multiple zones are that you turn one big screen into multiple, less readable screens and your multiple zones compete for attention reducing impact and effectiveness of all of them!
If it’s worth putting on the screen, then make it bold and readable! Lou Giacalone calls this “temporal interleaving vs. spatial interleaving” and it also implies keeping the messages nice and short.
Phil Lenger, President and Owner of Show+Tell Productions, along with Lou will be telling you how content should be done at DSE and we suggest that folks go along to the ‘Content Day – How to Create Compelling Content‘ – it’s on the Tuesday, 2/24/09 9:00am – 5:00pm and is a Full Day Conference