Digital signage is a communication and marketing tool that helps you share multimedia content on any device with a screen. This tool offers many different features, but it’s always better to be familiar with best practices in order to use it as efficiently as possible.
First of all, you need to identify your public audience(s) as well as the time during which they are exposed to your content: all other display settings depend on this. For example, people on foot will have a longer exposition time than cyclists. Cyclists will also have a more fragmented exposition time: they need to look ahead more often because they are going faster. As is the case when there are different audiences, the content needs to be adapted to the group with the shorter exposition time – in this case, cyclists.
Optimal message duration (Length per clip)
The ideal message display duration is 8 seconds. As such, we recommend sharing content for periods of 8-10 seconds. If the message duration is too short, people won’t understand it; if it’s too long, time that could be used to share other information is wasted. A good way to ensure the optimal display time of your messages is to look at them from your audience’s point of view. If you are targeting cyclists, ride a bike and go by your displays: you’ll be able to see if you have enough time to properly read and understand your messages.
Number of messages in a message list
It is important to consider the exposition time of your target audience and decide if all messages need to be seen at one point or another by all audiences. In other words: does my message absolutely need to be seen? If the answer is yes, and considering the exposition time of cyclists, there will probably be enough time to see one message (or two or three if there is more than one display on their way). Therefore, content loops should stay between the 8-24 second limit. It is also possible to use longer loops where THE most important message is displayed alternately with other content. This principle also applies if your target audience is on foot; however, you will generally be able to show more messages on the displays since pedestrians are slower than bikes and have more time to look at them. In any case, it’s usually best to have shorter loops and to update content more frequently.
Words per message
The rule of thumb here is “Keep it short”. People won’t read your messages if too much information is conveyed. We recommend following the “3x5” rule, i.e., a maximum of 3 lines, and no more than 5 words per line. This principle is recommended for landscape views. For portrait modes, we recommend the opposite – 5x3, which is 5 lines and 3 words per line. Furthermore, messages should have at most 22 characters (always following the “5x3” rule). Of course, we can bend this rule somewhat: for example, if the message has a lot of small words, some extra words can be added. This guideline is shown only to give you an idea of the size; ultimately, the essence of the message you wish to share has priority over all other principles.
Lettering – Font size
It is important to use the same font or fonts the company uses in its communications. We recommend using two different fonts at most; one for titles and another one for the body type. Font size plays an essential role as it ensures everyone can read the messages. However, it can vary depending on the distance between the audience and the display. The below image illustrates the ideal font size based on the distance between your audience and the display.
You now know the four best practices for digital signage. The main takeaway is that all these guidelines depend mostly on your target audience. You can now take advantage of a free trial of ITESLIVE, our digital signage software, which includes templates that were designed according to these best practices.
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