Do Website Usability Rules Translate to Digital Signage?

By Laura Miller
Director of Marketing, KioWare

Digital signage tips for targeting teens

ICT-teens-0314As hardware providers, software providers and application developers for digital signage, we sometimes leave the “content” portion of digital signage to our clients.  We assume that advertising agencies and in house marketers have the content piece of their message under well in hand. While that is often the case, it is particularly important to make sure that the digital signage applications and content are both developed with the end user and usability in mind.

Digital signage user interface testing and standards seem to be less well researched and defined than those in the website usability/UI/UX industry. Utilizing some of the learnings from web design, we can extrapolate some digital signage best practices. Specifically what differences should be considered when designing digital signage for a teenage audience?

According to a study by the Nielsen Norman Group, there are many incorrect stereotypes about teenagers. Unlike the stereotypes, teens are not “supremely tech savvy,” they don’t “use smartphones for everything” and they don’t “want everything to be social.”  They also don’t “just want to be entertained online with graphics and multimedia.”

Some website usability findings to consider when creating digital signage:

  • Teens perform worse than adults because of insufficient reading skills.
  • Teens have dramatically lower levels of patience.
  • Teens do not like small typeface.

A few web usability tips that translate well to digital signage or are already a part of the digital signage lexicon:

  • Don’t talk down to teens.
  • Teens don’t like the heavy, glitzy, blinking graphics that designers think they like. They prefer clean, modest, but still cool designs.
  • Minimize the amount of text.
  • Interactivity is appealing, where possible.

For more on website usability for teens, and to see if additional findings also translate for digital signage, visit NN/g here.

This column was reprinted with permission from the Digital Screenmedia Association and originally appeared here.