Four common mistakes in interactive screen deployment
Recently, I was asked to offer up some insight about digital media and interactive digital signage. One of the questions was, "What are some of the common mistakes you see with digital signage deployments?" I think my answers below have universal appeal with any screen anywhere.
Here are four common mistakes:
Learning Your Audience. I have yet to see a single project where anyone says, "We have too much information!" The entire reason you put something on a screen is so someone will react to it. If you don't know who is watching and why, what is the point to begin with? You need to know that audience. And, "We don't have any research" is not an excuse any longer. You need to have research. Even if it's putting an intern on a stool in the store to people-watch, you gotta have research.
Content. Content. Content. It's the most important feature of any experience. If your content is lousy, people will not interact. Out of everything a deployer wishes to put into the project, content must be taken very seriously and planned at the beginning. The content is what will drive things like software and technology choices. Content is ultimately the execution of the strategy. Remember, software and hardware are only vehicles; they carry the content to the audience, and the data back to the venue. The content is the true connection point between the venue and the user.
Doing what the venue wants instead of the audience. This one happens a lot. In my Best Buy days, I had a VP go to CES only to come back and say (and I'm not exaggerating), "I want this [points to a picture on his cell phone] in our store in three weeks." No research, no information, just do it. VPs and Directors of companies see bright shiny objects and think it will make their place better, but the audience could not care less because it may add zero value to their time in the space. (The experience we put in the store? It didn't work very well.)
A rush to get it out the door.These things take time, a lot of time, including programming, testing, rollout, and course correction. Digital signage, and in particular interactive digital signage, is not a "viral" technology. Like my VP above learned the hard way, speed can indeed kill.
I know that my 10's of readers use screens. So tell me, what mistakes have you seen on screens in environments? You have seen them, like blue screens of death, misspelled words, and the like. What else? Share them with us.
Paul will be leading a session on mobile technology at this year's Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit. Have you made your plans to attend yet?
Paul Flanigan Flanigan is the former executive director of the Digital Screenmedia Association. You can also find him writing regularly at his own blog, Experiate.net. www