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

To make your use of 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. With a small viewing distance, a large screen can become too big, with the consequence that the content is clearly 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 the 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 profesisonal screen has a higher brightness, which comes in handy in situations with direct sunlight.
  • If desired, you can choose specialised 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 a very thin edges and are equipped with more mounting options.

Professional screens have one major drawback: they are usually very expensive. In many cases, we therefore advise to use consumer TV screens, they offer great value for their price for indoor use.

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

  • Smart TVs in many cases have too little processing power to show video and animations. 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 not possible 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.

An overview of players (with advantages and disadvantages per player) can be found in our help pages: https://help.bizplay.com/en/player-configurations/hardware-options

3. Too much information on a screen

Digital signage is ideal for displaying a lot of information. After all, by using multiple slides you can show a lot of information. However, make sure you don't show too much information. This applies to both the amount of information on one screen and the amount of slides.

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.
  • Don't place too many lines of text on a screen. This also depends on the size of the screen and the viewing distance. Use this tool to calculate the proportions.
  • Do not use too many slides in a digital signage slideshow. This also depends mainly on the situation. For example, if you use a screen to display a digital menu or route indication, it is recommended to use only 1 or 2 slides. A screen for showing general information, ie the latest news or the weather forecast, should display a lot more slides in sequence.

4. Not enough automated content

With almost every kind of digital signage, automating the content is one of the most important tips. By retrieving the displayed data from an (internal or external) source, you show topical information without spending a lot of time manually updating the content.

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 any kind of targeted communication so also for digital signage. After all, you have a goal that you want to achieve per situation or environment, and you don't achieve 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 places or vice versa.

With these tips you ensure that every screen in your organization shows exactly the content that is useful in the relevant environment.