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The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Signage Design

Digital signage empowers businesses to captivate customers and improve their in-venue experience. But to maximize the impact of your screens, you need to create powerful displays that pull your audience in and speak to them directly.

Achieving that can be harder than you think. That’s why we’ve put together the following article. Read it to learn:

  • Why digital signage design matters
  • The do’s and don’ts of display design
  • How UPshow will help you unlock the full power of your screens

Digital signage design is worth your time, here’s why

Maybe you haven’t paid much attention to the digital signage design process in the past. However, that’s a mistake. Each screen that you display to your customers says something about your business. If you want to make a positive impression, you need to say something worth saying and you need to say it in a way that your customers will vibe with.

Additionally, you only have a certain amount of time to connect with a guest while they’re at your venue. If you optimize each screen that you show on your digital signs, you have a much better chance of getting the most out of the limited time that you have with each customer.

Digital signs are also a fantastic way to boost your business. You can use them to advertise new products and services that you want your customers to purchase from you. But if you don’t take your time with the design process for your ads, they’re likely to be much less effective.

For all of these reasons (and a few more), digital signage design is something you need to pay attention to. Check the previous section for instructions on how to do this.

The do’s of digital signage design

Keep it short and sweet

There’s so much that you can do with digital signage. But that doesn’t mean each ad you make should take advantage of every tool in your kit. Rather, it’s usually best to keep things short and to the point. 

Your goal is to catch a customer’s attention, inform them about something, and inspire them to take action. That’s it. Here are some tips for accomplishing this:

  • Use short, declarative sentences
  • Be engaging but not overly-stimulating
  • Make your call-to-action clear and compelling
Understand your target audience

Your target audience can have a big impact on your digital signage design strategy. You want to make sure that your displays speak to your audience as directly as possible.

Take some time to think about what your audience needs. Are they busy people? If so, you’ll want to make your designs clean and simple so that your audience can get the information they need quickly.

You might also consider what’s important to your audience based on what you know about their demographic information. For example, a younger audience might call for a bolder, more playful design, but you might want to be a bit more formal with an older audience. 

Include strong calls to action (CTA)

You only run digital signage ads because you want your customers to take action. You might want them to join your email list or buy a specific product from you. Either way, you need to sell them on that action with a strong call to action.

Creating a powerful call to action is all about provoking emotion or enthusiasm in your audience. Your CTA also needs to be clear and concise so that it’s easily understood by anyone who glances at your displays.

Be creative elsewhere, but not with your text style

There’s lots of room to get creative with your digital display designs. But your text doesn’t need to be avant-garde. Instead, pick a simple font that’s clear enough for your guests to see from a distance. 

If you go with a font that’s too ornate or strange, you reduce readability. That’s an automatic reduction in the efficacy of your ads, regardless of how good they might otherwise be.

Remember the 3 x 5 rule

The 3 x 5 rule is a guideline for understanding how much text you need in an ad. The rule says that you should either use three lines of text with five words each or five lines of text with three words each.

Of course, rules are made to be broken. But use this rule as a framework to help you figure out when enough is enough with your text.

Preview every design you make

Even if you use the best design practices, not all of your digital signage displays will work out. That’s why you must preview your designs before adding them to your full-time rotation.

The best way to do this is by looking at your sign as though you were a customer. Pay attention to where your eyes go. Take a few steps back. Can you read everything? How about from different angles?

You can ask a few different people for their opinions as well to get a broader consensus on the quality of your new designs.

The don’ts of digital signage design

Trying to do too much with a single display

Your goal with a digital signage design is to deliver a specific piece of information to your audience. Attempting to do too much with a design screen can detract from this goal tremendously.

There’s no problem with taking advantage of every feature that your digital signage software has to offer. Just be sure to spread those features out across multiple displays to avoid confusing your customers and losing their interest.

Allowing your content to get stale

Once you have a series of displays that work, you may consider just letting them run in perpetuity. But you need to update your content at least semi-regularly to keep it from growing stale.

Adding new displays to your rotation will help to keep your audience interested in what you have to say. If your audience has already seen all of your displays dozens of times, they’re much less likely to pay attention to your digital signage at all.

Going overboard with audio

Audio can be a good way to grab your audience’s attention and pull them into your display. But it’s not a good fit for every setting.

For example, audio can be great in a crowded public area, such as a lobby or a lounge. But you wouldn’t want to use it in quiet spaces — especially if it’s repetitive. Just make sure that you think carefully about whether or not audio is a good fit for your current purpose before adding it to your digital signage display.

Omitting a call to action

Your digital displays are only effective if they prompt your audience to take the action you want them to take. You need to make sure that you include a call-to-action on each screen to make that happen. So make sure that you don’t forget this while designing your next digital signage ad.

Additionally, a weak or unclear call to action can be just as damaging as omitting one altogether. Review the section above for guidelines on how to create a call to action that will resonate with your guests.

Getting your screen placement wrong

You could create the most compelling ads in the world. But if you put your screens in the wrong locations, your audience won’t be able to see them. 

That’s why it’s important to think carefully about your screen placement. Avoid placing your screens too high or at odd angles. Focus on putting them where the maximum number of customers will see them. And make sure that you hang them at angles that won’t crane your customers’ necks.

Failing to engage your audience

Don’t play it too safe with your ads. You need to be at least a little bit creative to engage your audience and capture its attention so that you can market your products or services with your digital displays.

There are lots of ways to grab hold of your audience’s attention. You can use interesting color schemes or fun pictures. You can also use intriguing text that makes your audience want to read further.

No matter how you do it, your digital signs need to be engaging above all else. Once you’ve satisfied that requirement, then you can begin fine-tuning the screens so that they address your other goals as well.

Proper digital signage design is easier with UPshow

Designing engaging, informative, and compelling digital signage displays can be hard. But choosing the right software platform can make it easier. That’s why you should use UPshow.

UPshow makes it easy to capture your audience’s attention and engage customers with a wide variety of compelling digital content. With our help, you can maximize your design process to boost your in-venue marketing impact.
But don’t take our word for it. You can experience the UPshow difference for yourself by reaching out to schedule a custom demo. We’ll tell you exactly what UPshow can do to improve your digital signage content.