Interactive Digital Signage is popular, is continuously growing and is being used everywhere. Technology now offers interactive kiosk and digital displays that are affordable, available in many sizes and can fit almost any industry needs. Plus signage software has now made it easy to be integrated and have responsive content with an app like experience. From product kiosks, way-finding maps, to employee communications, know that it’s possible. In today’s digital world content rules but if a viewer’s experience is frustrating to navigate or he/she can’t find what they want they will walk away. Knowing how to make your experience easy and friendly with a touchscreen that is obvious and simple is the key. The following interactive digital signage design tips and layouts will help you plan your content.
This is the where you will need to sort out the path a viewer can travel to find your content. It is important to visualize this into a word document or a chart. The trick here is to balance content and create a matrix of menus that leads from the home page down. If some areas of content have much more than others think about how to divide those up. If an area is very light you think about combining some things together. What you will need to accomplish is the an organized flow of content that feels like an easy maze any viewer can quickly solve and is comfortable using. Remember your content and matrix will change over time so your digital signage software needs to be flexible and allow adjustments to navigation.
Navigation in 3 Touches
When outlining your content it is important to target a 3 touch rule. You want to create an experience with quick results because you don’t want viewers to feel like they are wasting time. Ideally content needs to be reached within 3 touches from the main menu. Making someone select too many times feels unproductive, gets confusing where they have been and most of the time they do not get there. Confidence in a kiosk is created by delivering content efficiently which a viewer will likely return to and use again. Being able to track this interaction on your display is also possible through analytics so make sure your digital signage software offers this feature. You might discover some content is never being found yet it is important, now you have the insight that you need to change and make your navigation better.
The menu for navigation on any interactive kiosk needs to be easy to follow and friendly for touch. Remember this is not a website, so the interactive menus need to be designed differently. Your digital signage software should allow you to customize locations and style, easily edit the wording and be flexible so youcan make any future changes to your menus.
What NOT to do
- Don’t put menus or touch points at the top of the page. If a display is on a wall the viewer will keep reaching his hand up… don’t make it an arm workout.
- Avoid drop down menus. Hiding navigation prevents a viewer from knowing all the options at a glance – harder to learn the navigation
- Don’t make it a search and find for buttons
What TO do
- Place buttons and menus in the bottom half of the page. Less reaching is best
- All touchpoints should be seen – easier to remember where you have been
- Keep the main menu consistent – in the same position, same size
- Use colors for navigation – Easy to remember where you have been
- Always have home or back button – bottom right or left corner is common
The most common element on any interactive display is the button. The point of action where the viewer advances to more content. Buttons need to be obvious and simple so that the users experience isn’t a guessing game of what they can or can’t touch on a display.
- Make Buttons Obvious – use color or borders to stand out.
- Show Response – Add animation like a bounce or change color when touched
- Use Common Elements – a button needs to look like a button
- Button Naming – Simple and short so it fits on one line
- Button Size – Easy to read from 3 feet away and an easy target to touch
- Spaced Apart – Avoid frustration from buttons too close being miss touched
Attract Attention to Get Interaction
Your digital display will need to visually look dynamic and speak to your audience. A good home screen should have motion and messaging that is current. Adding videos, slideshow messaging or news feeds are some of the ways to show that your display is alive. Inviting your viewer to touch or enter can increase interaction. Have a large call to action button or a simple front page menu to obviously show it is a touchscreen. Keep it current, change it up and make it fresh to attract viewers.
As a designer I have created many different kiosks and interactive signage and the good news is today’s digital signage software has made it so much easier to design without the coding and programming limitations of the past. By planning what you want it to do and then creating great navigation there is no reason you can have a successful interactive digital display.