Digital Signage: Sign Location Considerations

Your sign will need to be approved by the Fire Marshall and ADA, and you want it to be seen. Here are some tips:

  • Choose a location that provides high visibility for the traffic pattern.
  • If interactive, be sure all people (even those in wheelchairs) can reach the screen.
    • Accessible elements (e.g., buttons) must be placed between 36 and 42 inches when measured from the floor.
    • Consider accessibility when designing your wayfinding content (such as stairs and accessible entrances).
  • Ensure wall mount positioning falls within ADA protrusion limits.
    • Users should strive to keep static and interactive signs from protruding more than four inches from the wall.
    • Wall-mounted signs which protrude more than 4 inches from the wall must be installed with their lower edge 27 inches or less when measured from the floor.
  • Avoid direct sunlight to minimize glare and light damage to screen.
  • Be sure positioning doesn't interfere with emergency egress.
  • Try not to locate a sign in a spot where distraction could cause accidents (such as at a stairwell).

Viewing Patterns

Consider the three distinct viewing patterns for Digital Signage when choosing a location for your sign.

Point of Transit

When a sign is located in a busy hallway, viewers are likely to see the sign momentarily as they pass by. Their attention is fleeting and you cannot guarantee at what point in a rotation you may catch their attention. This viewing pattern is best for single, simple messages that rotate in order to attract attention.

Examples include:

  • Reminders of imminent deadlines ("Students: drop/add deadline is Thursday")
  • Campaigns to change behavior ("Remember to check Dental Google+")
  • Announcements of an important event happening any moment ("James Earl Jones speaks in Room 210 at noon")

Signs in this viewing pattern tend to be static in nature; that is, users cannot interact with these signs (via touch or other means) in order to accomplish functionality. These are simply signs to be looked at.

Point of Wait

When a sign is located in a lobby, by an elevator, near a service desk—anyplace where people are expected to wait for a bit of time—you have more freedom with content. This viewing pattern lends itself to longer messages, and is best for:

  • Informative content (upcoming events, directory/wayfinding information, news)
  • Brand-building content
  • Feel-good content (fun local trivia, positive news, very brief spotlight on a staff member, etc.) that shortens the perceived wait time
  • Design can also be more rich and detailed if desired, as people will have more time to study it

Signs in this viewing pattern tend mostly to be interactive in nature, allowing touch input to facilitate user navigation through menus, wayfinding via maps, scrolling through content, and use of other functionality.

Point of Sale

When a sign is located in a retail space, either near products or by the register, the expectation is that the viewer has a bit more time to read and that the content on the sign may be helpful to him/her in making purchasing decisions. Uses for this viewing pattern include:

  • General information, such as menus of products/services and store hours
  • Calls to action, such as announcing a sale, touting a specific product, or making an appeal for donations to a cause
  • Strong design may be most important here, where sales rely on brand and visual appeal

Signs in this viewing pattern tend mostly to be static in nature.

Last Updated: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2017