Viewing Distance of Outdoor Digital Signage

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

After digital signage infiltrated nearly every indoor location from shopping malls and airports, to pharmacies and fast food restaurants, advertisers, information providers and businesses saw the opportunities that outdoor environments offered for this new, dynamic and eye-catching form of media.

Armagard outdoor digital signage

Armagard outdoor digital signage

Outdoor digital signage has grown from strength to strength in recent years, with LCD and plasma displays now accounting for an eighth of all outdoor media in some locations. But all too often, outdoor digital signage has the same content displayed on it as screens placed in indoor areas. However, outdoor environments are completely different to indoor areas when it comes to how and audience vies and perceives a screen, so any outdoor content should ultimately be tailored to suit these attributes.

Viewing Distance of Outdoor Digital Signage

One of the major differences to how an audience views an outdoor screen in comparison to those indoors is the viewing distance. Typically, in a pharmacy, fast food restaurant or shopping mall, an audience is only a few feet away from the displayed content. This means many screens are only around 36” and work adequately well in such close proximity to the audience. However, in outdoor locations, things are a lot difference. Passersby and visitors can be a good distance from a screen, may be viewing it from the other side of the road, or viewing it while passing in a vehicle. For this reason, an outdoor screen needs to be larger to ensure maximum noticeability and to make sure the content is easily read. Depending on the outdoor location a screen should be anything from 46” to 70”+.

Dwell Times for Outdoor Digital Signage

Another big difference for outdoor screens compared to those in indoor locations is the dwell time. An audience may interact with an indoor screen for many seconds. Even screens flashing adverts in shopping malls and retail stores will receive a good 5 to 8 seconds of viewing from an audience, while those screens located in doctor’s surgeries and pharmacies will attract considerably longer attention. Outdoor screens don’t enjoy such lengthy dwell times. Typically, an outdoor screen may receive only a few seconds of somebody’s attention, less if the weather’s bad or at busy commuting times when people are rushing to get home or to work. For this reason, content needs to be more immediate, to the point and consist of fewer transitions with the main message or call to action displayed continuously on the screen.

Passing Audience

Another advantage that some screens in indoor locations enjoy is having a captive audience. Screens placed on trains, in pharmacies and surgeries often have a captive audience where the viewers have little else to do other than view the content. This enables the screen to display long and more detailed messages. Few outdoor locations enjoy such a captive audience, so this time of long-winded, detailed content is rarely effective for effective outdoor digital signage.

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