3 keys to interactive digital signage solutions
The line between self-service kiosks and digital signage is continuing to blur, as many companies continue to deploy interactive signage solutions. For kiosks, however, interactivity is usually a necessity whereas with digital signage, it is useful but not always necessary.
When examining the keys to interactive digital signage, you first need to consider if you even need interactive elements in the first place. In a webinar hosted by Omnivex, Suzana Spratley, CEO and founder of Techtap and Chris Devlin, director of sales, Omnivex emphasized that interactivity can be costly. If you do decide to integrate it, make sure it fits your objective or what your customers expect from it. Otherwise, it's just expensive bells and whistles.
Richard Ventura, vice president of business development and solutions at NEC Display Solutions, recommends businesses carefully determine their objectives and research their target audience.
"What are the actions/activities that you are expecting?" Ventura said in an email interview. Ventura also recommends that for an interactive solution to be successful, it needs to solve a certain problem or need.
"For example, this could be interactive wayfinding kiosks or even interactive video walls in a museum. Other examples include augmented reality interactive video walls where customers interact from a mobile device," Ventura said. "Finally, interactive floor projection is a successful way of engaging consumers. Each of these solutions when properly deployed can be very successful."
Content is obviously one of the most important factors to consider with interactive digital signage. Ventura recommends having content "that is fluid and easy to interact with." It is also important to keep the digital signage in the right location so people can easily see the content.
Spratley also advised in the webinar to not push content that was designed for another medium into digital signage. TV advertisements are not going to cut it on a videowall, nor is web content going to look good on a display. Ventura said it is important to make sure the content is the right size to enable easy reading.
Lastly, you should consider multi-touch interactivity, according to Ventura.
One pitfall to avoid, according to Spratley, is putting too much text on a small display, making it difficult for customers to understand it. It is also important to focus on key interactive content, rather than having too much going on.
"One common pitfall is making the signage too busy – there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing in this case," Ventura said. "So avoid having too much to interact with on the screen. When designing an interactive screen, focus on just one, very effective interaction."
Introducing any additional element to a signage solution is going to cost more money. Once you determine if interactivity fits into your objective, you might want to consider pulling your existing content rather than creating new content.
"One popular way to reduce the cost of an interactive deployment is using content from their website," Ventura said. "This makes it a true omnichannel experience. In addition, using commercial grade equipment will decrease the TCO and will decrease the costs of maintenance, saving money in the long run."
It is important to examine if that web content works well with your digital signage before you implement it. You don't want to end up with clunky content, as Spratley warned.
Image via Istock.com.
Bradley Cooper / Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for DigitalSignageToday.com. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.