December 17, 2018

Concepting Content

What are best practices for concepting digital signage content?

One of the most important aspects of digital signage isn’t just about the screen, but
what goes on it. It is said that “Content is King,” so, when it comes to digital signage,
how do you come up with that content?
How to Start
First, you have to have an understanding of where it will be displayed and how people
are going to experience it. For example, a menu board for a local restaurant will have a
far different approach and thought process than a large display for a booth at an
international convention. Since digital signage today can be approached in a variety of
ways, some of which you can directly interact with, this is an important first step for
concepting. What is the purpose of the signage? Where is it / will it be installed? Is there
sound? Is it interactive? If so, how do people interact with it?

The next major step is to consider your parameters. Is this a concept you have to come
up with from scratch, or is there a clear direction? What is the essential information that
needs to be conveyed, and does it need to be conveyed in a particular order? Is the
content static, dynamic, or some combination of both? Are there any branding
considerations that need to be taken into account? Is there a certain style/feel that is
preferred? Are there elements (such as colors, photos, etc) being provided/required?
You can concept a great deal of beautiful content that will have nothing to do with the
final product without knowing the answers to these questions.

Creative Kickoff
Many times, when you start a new project, everyone will get together for a creative
kickoff. That way whoever is doing the creating can get all the information they need
straight from the source. If the client isn’t entirely sure about a direction (or has entirely
no idea where to begin), it’s a great time to talk through the project and get a better idea
of how to approach it.
Once you have a good understanding of these first two steps, a vague concept will
already start to emerge. All that is left is to figure out how all the pieces fit together and
relate to one another. For something like a menu board, that will mean the visual
balance of all the menu items and how legible they are. It also means thinking about the
sections that will have moving parts and how that will look compared to the rest of the
board. For videos / attract loops, what is the narrative? How does the information flow
smoothly from one piece of information to another? For attract loops, how does it all
come back together in a way that isn’t jarring?

Concepting, by it’s very nature, doesn’t necessarily have a “one-size-fits-all” approach,
so having best practices can be hard to define. However, these are some of the
important, fundamental steps on how to focus a concept into something that can be
used to create content. It is a similar process for concepting content through many
different mediums, and we hope it will help you as well.

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