5 Most common mistakes in digital signage (and how to avoid them)

Are you thinking about using digital signage for your company or organization? Then you have probably been exploring for a while how to use digital signage as smartly as possible.

Or have you been busy for a while but feel you are not getting everything out of it? In both cases, it makes sense to know the best practices in digital signage. Good news: as a digital signage provider, we encounter these kinds of situations every day. We will explain some best practices, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

To make your digital signage more efficient, we have listed 5 common mistakes.

1. Your screen is too small (or too big!)

One of the most common mistakes has to do with the dimensions of the screens. The danger when using a screen that is too small speaks for itself: chances are that the content is shown too small and, therefore, not readable. But the opposite may also be the case. A large screen can become too big with a small viewing distance, making the content visible but no longer legible.

Two factors are important:

  1. the viewing distance (the average distance between the screen and your audience) and
  2. information density (the amount of information displayed on one screen at a time).

Tip: we have developed a handy tool with which you can immediately calculate the correct format for your situation. This tool can be found on this page: How to choose the size for your digital signage screen?

2. Incorrect choice in hardware

The first pitfall is an incorrect choice of screens. It differs per situation whether it is better to choose a "normal" TV screen or whether you would benefit more from a professional digital signage screen.

Some advantages of professional screens compared to consumer screens:

  • A professional screen has a higher brightness, which is handy in situations with direct sunlight.
  • If desired, you can choose specialized options such as waterproof or resistant to vandalism, for example.
  • Professional screens are often longer available, making it much easier to replace a screen in a series even in the longer term.
  • Professional screens often have very thin edges and are equipped with more mounting options.

Professional screens have one major drawback: they are usually costly. Therefore, we advise using consumer TV screens in many cases; they offer great value for their price for indoor use.

The second point of attention is an incorrect choice of players. Many of our customers initially choose a smart TV or a cheap Android set-top box.

  • smart TVs often have too little processing power to show video and animations. Unfortunately, that is quite a loss since these features attract attention to the screens.
  • Android set-top boxes are very variable in quality and performance. In many cases, video and animation are not smooth, which makes the content look suboptimal. In addition, most models are only available for a few months. If something goes wrong with the player, replacement is often impossible, and another replacement model may behave very differently than the original.

What is a good choice in terms of players? We often recommend using a Chromebox or Intel NUC. The right choice differs per application.

Our help pages contain an overview of player types (with advantages and disadvantages per player).

3. Too much information on a screen

Digital signage is ideal for displaying a lot of information. After all, multiple slides can contain a lot of information. However, ensure you don't put too much information on a page or have too many pages.

Please observe the following rules of thumb:

  • Choose one main subject per slide where all attention can go. Any other information on this slide should be supportive.
  • Keep things readable take the size of the screen and the viewing distance into account. Use this tool to calculate the correct proportions.
  • Do not use too many slides in a digital signage slideshow, keeping the location and content into account. For example, if you use a screen to display a digital menu or route indication, it is recommended to use only 1 or 2 pages. A screen showing general information, i.e., the latest news or the weather forecast, should display many more slides in sequence to keep the audience engaged.

4. Not enough automated content

Automating the content is one of the essential tips for almost every kind of digital signage. By retrieving the displayed data from an (internal or external) source, you show topical information without spending much time updating the page content by hand.

Some examples of content that can easily be automated:

In Bizplay you can automate all this content quickly using the Bizplay Apps.

5. Having no content strategy

A content strategy is the backbone of targeted communication and digital signage. After all, you have a goal you want to achieve per situation or environment, and you don't accomplish a goal without purpose. The following tips can help you with that.

  • Think carefully about what message you want to send and what goals you have for it.
  • Prioritize your goals and make an overview of where, when, and how you want to achieve each goal.
  • Per situation (time and place), carefully choose which type of information fits best. Avoid displaying relevant information in irrelevant areas or vice versa.

With these tips, you ensure that every screen in your organization shows valuable content in the appropriate environment.

Curious about Bizplay digital signage?

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