“Include a ‘call to action,’ says Lyle Bunn. “Ask the viewer to do something as a result of seeing the message, like try, visit, buy, download, register, etc.”
“You need to have your content align with your target audience — whether it consists of consumers, businesses, potential customers or any combination — and appeal directly to their interests,” says Prewett. “Depending on your message intent, there will be different approaches to take with the content. You also need to decide whether you want to provide information, advertisements or both.”
Sean Matthews, president of digital signage software vendor Visix, advises, “Auto-updating content is an important element on digital signs. Look for support for database integration. Maintaining fresh content can be time consuming, being able to integrate with databases like event schedules can make a big difference. Effective signs often use video hooks like weather or news elements.”
WVU’s Graham says, “I strongly suggest that any software used for content design for digital signage have the capability to work in ‘layers,’ such as Adobe Photoshop or other such software products. Layers gives the designer the ability to work with smaller components in the design — logos, graphics, titles, images, branding, etc. — so that they can be animated, highlighted or improved in the final version for publication.
Look for existing content resources you can leverage, adds Graham. “Your organization probably already has departments creating content for their own projects. For example, a university has Web services, news and information services, photography services, television/video and print services. Look into re-purposing current designs and content for your digital signage.”
Also, stresses Graham, “Digital signage in higher education must consider the ability of displaying an emergency message at a moment’s notice. This isn’t difficult to do if the system is well-designed from the beginning.