Live Data Is Great, But Clutter, Not So Much

November 11, 2015 by Dave Haynes


I really like the automated content approach and utility that start-up TransitScreen is bringing to digital signage, however I can’t help but think the cluttered layout rule that applies to every other kind of digital signage should apply with this stuff, as well.

In short, there’s way too much going on at once on those screens.

Yes, it’s meant as reference points for people who need to get from A to B, and this fills them in. But does the screen need ALL that stuff in one layout, including extraneous stuff like the weather and tweets?

This is the first iteration of what the company is doing in the New York area for property owners:

Bijou Properties has partnered with TransitScreen in Hoboken, NJ, says a press release, to provide real-time, location-based transportation availability to residents 24 hours a day. Updates from NJ Transit bus & rail, PATH, and NY Waterway ferry are showcased on two large HD TVs in the lobby of Bijou’s Park + Garden, a luxury apartment building designed for LEED Gold certification. Bijou’s TransitScreen displays are the first installations in New Jersey and second in the Metro NY region.

“We utilized innovative green building practices and modern technology at Park + Garden to create a sustainable urban apartment building for residents,” says Larry Bijou, managing partner of Bijou Properties. “TransitScreen plays an important role in this by providing real-time, detailed information on NY Waterway, PATH, and NJ Transit to encourage use of mass transportation options, as well as local bike and car share services. This pioneering system will enhance our residents’ daily lives and support our goal of promoting a healthier, cleaner lifestyle for residents at Park + Garden and throughout the City of Hoboken.”

TransitScreen is a Washington-DC & San Francisco-based transportation technology company promoting sustainable urban mobility through access to real time information. TransitScreen displays are time- and cost-savings amenities which invigorate buildings and in public spaces while also offering a sustainable transportation demand management (TDM) tool for transit-oriented developments and large employers. Today, there are live displays in 20 metro areas across North America. Clients span various industries and geographies including commercial real estate, transit agencies, universities, hospitals, tech companies, smart cities, and nonprofits.

Screens, and likely in this case TVs, are so inexpensive that the nominal cost of adding a second screen to open up the layouts and improve viewability would be a great thing. This isn’t advertising where you have seconds to make an impression. The eyes here will go to the information they need. But those eyes will get there a lot easier if there’s less clutter.

Having done time working with real estate developers, I’m fairly certain this is positioned as a nice amenity for tenants. So I’d be doing everything possible to make it work and look as good as possible.

I shudder to think what would be rammed into one layout for a screen in midtown Manhattan, given all the subway and rail options.

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