Over the coming weeks we will be providing a series of Screen placement tips. These tips will be based upon Retail best practices for signage, as well as looking at how the big advertising companies quantify the advertising value of their estate of outdoor bus shelters and billboards.
Although this information is derived from Retail and advertising best practises it is absolutely just as valid for any digital signage installations – If no one is going to look at the screen it still fails in its purpose regardless of the use it is there for.
Tip #1 – The Landing Zone
The landing zone (or ‘decompression zone’) is that area immediately inside the entrance to an environment. Its size may vary from several square meters in say a large department store, to something much smaller (almost non-existent) for some smaller spaces/stores.
Once your visitors decide to enter the building / store etc, they must undergo a physical and psychological transformation.
Watch carefully and you will see how they slow down, fold away their umbrella, pat their pockets, settle the child, let their eyes adapt to the lighting etc. They also may be in effect pushed through the Landing Zone as further visitors arrive behind them.
People need physical room to ‘decompress’ and this area should not be cluttered.
It feels counter-intuitive to leave some of your (potentially) most productive space empty but one should view it as an investment in space required for visitors to mentally and psychologically transition from passerby to engaged visitor. This transition is necessary in most locations before you can start to engage people.
The above does not mean you should never place any signage or screens inside this zone, but if you are to break the Landing Zone Rule, then break it properly. In other words create something with ‘punch’ or a WOW factor. Sainsbury’s trialled with some good success quite large (and bright) video walls in their Landing Zones, which they called ‘Hello Walls’.
So in summary if you wish to place screens in this decompression zone, then think long and hard about what the return on objectives/investment will be as there is a danger that the signage or screens will not get the notice that they deserve.