It is essential to identify the best place to position a Digital Signage solution, the type of Installation, and the orientation of the screens in order to hit the target and reach all the communication objectives*.
*this article is the first of a series in which we will illustrate all the secrets and strategies to make the best use of this technology.
Digital signage is a form of proximity communication. It works when it can catch and engage attention, positively stimulating the 5C target, that is: colleagues, collaborators, customers, consumers or citizens.
It is not easy nor banal. Nowadays people are immersed in a complex bimodal environment. Attention is constantly shifting from the real environment surrounding them to a multimedia universe of apps, chats, texts, emails, social networks. Individuals, bombarded by hundreds of stimuli, move in space with a variable and subjective propensity to listening.
For this reason it is fundamental to identify the best place to position a digital signage solution in order to hit the target and reach all the communication objectives.
This is the only way to ensure that the communication aimed at the user will work, converting the messages into concrete results.
A three phase approach
In order to be successful, digital signage must adhere to some fundamental requirements, whether it is installed in a store, in open public spaces, or inside enclosed spaces ( hospitals, schools, stations, airports, shopping malls, offices or business centres). One of the most frequent errors, in fact, is thinking that it is sufficient to decide the budget, buy the preferred digital signage solution, and install it. However, as with all types of technology, it is important to analyse the situation in order to:
- Find the best place where to position one or more screens
- Select the type of installation
- Choose the orientation of the display
How to choose the best position
When analysing the type of environment, and the relative lighting conditions, two factors must be taken into consideration:
- the most strategic position, in relation to the pedestrian area in the environment, and to the type of message to be conveyed.
- the evaluation of the type of lighting that can affect the viewability of the screen.
The main function of digital signage is to attract the eye, and to guarantee the widest possible field of attraction. One thing is wanting to communicate something while the customer is near the cashier or the reception desk, another is communicating something to a user walking past.
When choosing the display (LCD, LED, OLED or QLED) it is also fundamental to evaluate the light in the environment, taking into account its changes throughout the day. Some types of monitors, in fact, are better positioned away from windows or places where there is natural light, since it could prevent the optimal viewing of the contents.
How to select the right type of installation
Displays can be mounted on walls, ceilings, or set inside totems and/or interactive positions. Depending on the type of communication to be conveyed it is possible to embed the screen in a totem that can be moved around according to need, like a panel. Another option are screens attached to sliding arms or, in a more advanced solution, attached to a system of adjustable steel cables. Thus the screens can remain fixed or slide along rails fixed to the floor and/or ceiling.
In this way displays can use all the various modules as a single big screen, or they can be used separately as single units for different communication depending on need.
The wall mounted videowall becomes an integral part of the environment. It guarantees a strong visual impact, and can be used to span an image across the multiple single screens, or show different images, videos, and wordings on each separate screen. Another option is setting the screens into tables and shelves. As a general rule, touchscreen positions require a stronger and safer type of installation due to the stresses they are subjected to.
How to choose the orientation of the display
The screen is not only the most visible part of an installation, but also the tool that supports communication.
Besides the functional aspects, good designing must also take into account the aesthetic ones. The vertical or horizontal orientation of rectangular surfaces is not the only important element of the analysis. Nowadays there are many different shapes and sizes of displays, that can stand on their own or be used in combined solutions. With composites, for example, the Digital Content Management platforms can show contents in different modes, distributing on the full set of monitors a series of different contents and programs, with striking and dynamic results. The choice of display orientation must see also the involvement of the Interaction Design experts. They will help to formalize the type of contents and their layout in order to understand which is the ideal format of communication (videos, presentation of products with images and text on the side, mirror function alternated with simple messages or with more complex navigation menus).
Laura Zanotti, Technical writer and Journalist