Design Matters in Digital Signage


By Kelly Eisel
Marketing Copywriter, Industry Weapon

Your digital signage is finally ready to go and your content management system is stocked full of content. Unfortunately, your self-celebration is quickly silenced by the lack of audience engagement. In fact, no one seems to notice the signs at all. What gives?

If you’re like the vast majority of those who implement digital signage, you’re not a designer. If that’s the case, you have to acknowledge the harsh reality of the situation — your slides are repelling your audience’s attention. Just because your content is being fed through a screen doesn’t mean everyone will automatically connect and engage. Think of how you quickly avert your gaze from mediocre-at-best advertisements on the subway, so too do the people in your workplace.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What is so wrong with my design?” I’ll answer the question for you. Your first mistake is you didn’t actually consider a design at all. Sure, you might put the right message and images on your slide, but those assets alone do not create an engaging visual. This brings us to the second question you should ask yourself…

What is design?

Your content is made up of two essential pieces, the message and the design. Both are vital in trying to reach your audience. A typical problem users have is that their messages aren’t reaching their audience. A strong design can eliminate this situation. Design is the marriage of form and function. Good content design will give your message a visual package that excites consumers enough to explore.

Almost half, a full 46.1 percent, of people say a company’s design is the No. 1 criterion for discerning their credibility. If a company’s content looks messy, consumers assume the same of their products and services. Good design not only organizes the mess, but can also add a noticeable finishing touch. When your desk is organized and clean, it’s much easier to find your keys rather than when you have to sift through stacks of paper and the remains of yesterday’s lunch. Graphic design works the same way: It helps viewers digest the information while putting in minimal effort. Okay, next question.

How does design apply to digital signage?

When you have endless flexibility for content creation like digital signage, design is the science that crafts and harnesses your message. Keep in mind that you’re designing content for large screens or kiosks, not a desktop computer. Create for the environment. Don’t focus on creating an award-winning design, instead keep the following principles in mind. Use a design that makes your message understandable, a design that is unobtrusive, and a design that is honest.

Visual thinking happens faster than text-based thinking; with digital signage this is a vital detail. The message should already be narrowed down to the essentials: the who, what, where, when or why. The visual elements, too, should be set up in a way that helps viewers easily understand the message. The design should not get in the way of the message; rather it should support the message in a visually appealing manner.

Digital signage is a powerful tool for communication; its ability to attract, engage and retain audience of all types is unparalleled. However, if your content is bland or confusing, the messages will go right over your viewers’ heads. By creating content that is aesthetic, concise, refreshed and entertaining, your digital signage will be a hit. Spend a little extra time learning design basics, so your slides will capture the attention of your audience.