News as it should look on digital signage screens

June 17, 2010 by Dave Haynes

There have been encouraging signs lately that we’re seeing the industry slowly but surely move away from over-zoned screen layouts and crawling news tickers to cleaner, much more logical looks.

I will continue to argue that in many cases, news headlines are the wrong things to focus on – because news is now everywhere. But if that’s what the client or viewing audience wants, at least now there are good examples of how to do it better.

First, a look – perhaps extreme – at what some clients and network operators see as the way to present information on a screen. This is an unnamed US network …

Just a touch busy … We’re not wired to absorb that much information at one time, and the only area where there might be enough dwell time to make this effective is medium to maximum security prisons.

Lately, though, we’ve seen some companies use Media RSS feeds, the rich version of regular text RSS feeds, to distribute far more compelling visuals that fill a screen and focus on just one piece of news or information.

The first in the sector, I think, to do this was Minneapolis-based ScreenFeed. The company works with the wire services and produces its own pieces that include a strong photo and a headline beneath it. ScreenFeed now “feeds” a number of networks.

Then, just in the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen announcements from LG for its new LG for its new signNET turnkey digital signage offer, which includes Media RSS feeds from CNN (seen at top of this post). They are really nicely laid out to present the story, and reinforce the CNN brand.

And the UK’s Sky News is working with Signage Live, arguably the most Web savvy company in this sector, on new Media RSS feeds that again fill a screen and present the news in a way that is compelling and easily digested.

It’s encouraging to see. The only real rationale behind news tickers is that “everybody else” does them. As these sorts of presentations start to be more prevalent, maybe we’ll start to see a shift to a point of view that full screen is the norm, and tickers should get turned off.

  1. Lyle Bunn says:

    An excellent blog post on a key and timely subject. In the marriage of facts – that images comunicate better than text, and 1″ of font size is required for every 10 feet of viewing, these are excellent illustrations. Well done !

  2. Thanks for the mention in the article, Media RSS is a very powerful way of turning ‘Screens into Subscribers’ and keeping content fresh and relevant for viewers. This is particularly important to ad based networks where dynamically updated news content interwoven with ads significantly increases the reason for viewers to want to look at the screen and not ignore it.

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