Approaching Outdoor Digital Signage Content

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 0 Comments

A common mistake made by users of outdoor digital signage is that they assume content used on indoor screens will work as effectively outdoors. Outdoor digital signage, however, requires a different approach to content than screens placed in shopping malls, airports and retail stores.

Compared to indoor screens, outdoor digital signage is viewed differently, and has different advantages and drawbacks, so content should be tailored to suit.

Dwell Time

Perhaps one of the biggest differences with outdoor digital signage, and disadvantages, is the dwell time. For a screen placed in a shopping mall or store, were people are meandering around, browsing or queuing, a typical screen can enjoy up to eight seconds of exposure. While this is fairly brief compared to a TV advert, it is long enough to provide branding or an advertising message. For outdoors, especially in cold or wet weather, a screen will be lucky to get a fraction of this, which means any message needs to be direct and to the point.

Long transitions and fancy graphics may work indoors but out, will only lead people missing the crux of what the screen has to say. Outdoor digital content, therefore, needs to get to the point straight away, with the main body of the message always on screen, or the very least, keeping any movement and transitions as brief as possible.


Here, outdoor digital signage has an advantage over an indoor screen. Not only viewed by those passing by, an outdoor display can attract the attention of people on buses, in cabs and on the opposite side of the street. For outdoor screens, size matters. Not only should the screen be as large as possible, but also the text of any message should be big, bold and bright.

Outdoor content should avoid cluttering the screen with too much text, and be kept simple and prominent. Branding logos work effectively outdoors, while slogans are best omitted unless simple and part of the message the screen is meant to convey.

Attracting Attention

Unlike many indoor screens, such as at point of sale queues, in pharmacies, in airports or waiting rooms, where people are forced to wait in line, outdoors offers few opportunities for a captive audience. Instead, outdoor digital signage needs to be more engaging and one method of doing this is by offering interactivity.

All sorts of interactive ideas have begun disseminating in outdoor locations such branded bus stop games and branded outdoor displays that offer interactive services such as wayfinding.


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