Thinking Ahead: What comes first, content or hardware?
It's a scenario I've run into all too often: A new building is designed, plans laid out, and furniture floor plans created. During this process, someone inquires about including signage for the lobby, or screens for employees. The decision is made to include screens at specific locations that will look good in the overall aesthetic of the space. What could go wrong in this scenario? Sounds like everything is coming together quite nicely, right?
Wrong! Let's fast-forward in this scenario to a few months after the building opens. The lighting is warm, inviting, and built for productivity. The furniture takes full advantage of natural light and built-in work lighting. The surfaces are soft, feel luxe, and every color in the space's palette has been carefully curated. Everything seems to be working together beautifully - until your eye falls on a black screen partially hidden by some greenery. Suddenly the call comes to quickly find "something" to place on the screen so it's not a dead space. Something is quickly thrown together and just as quickly, the signage space is then a forgotten relic.
Everything in this scenario is not only easy to avoid, but easy to plan for in order to maximize your comms strategy in regards to digital signage. The key is really quite simple:
Bring in conversations about audience and content at the space designing and planning phase. Planning your signage should be on par with how you plan your space's layout and design…. In advance!
By thinking about who you are communicating with (your audience) as well as what you want to communicate to them (the content messaging), you can come up with a strategic and targeted plan for your signage placement and screens.
For example, let's say that a lobby is being redesigned. During the planning process, knowing that you are looking to do something experiential (art-based signage) or information-based (Client-targeted messaging and branding) will help you decide not only where screens should go, but what the screen should look like and what content should go on those screens. An experiential installation would most probably need something large and LED-based.
Client-targeted messaging and branding may require smaller screens installed strategically at eye-level of people sitting in a waiting area or standing at a reception or security desk. In all cases, knowing this information will help the architects and designers plan for this natively, as well as give the folks responsible for hardware a clear plan on what is needed for that space. It also helps start the content creation process.
I will talk about this planning phase in the upcoming articles entitled "How to optimize and future-proof your corporate and client communications". Both articles address how to plan ahead as I've talked about above.
If you're interested or would like more information on how Telecine can help, visit us here.