How Much Instruction Should You Need for Digital Signage?

We often get new customers that switch to us because their previous vendor’s digital signage (DS) was difficult to use. You may ask, “Compared to what?” Well, eventually they compare their old DS to ours, but before they find us, I think they compare the ease of use to other products they use every day. People expect the products they use at work to be as easy as ones they run into in their day-to-day lives.  For example:

A rental car. When you rent a car at the airport, you don’t need an instruction manual to use it. While it might take a minute to get familiar with the rear-view mirrors and radio controls, for the most part it’s intuitive.

A new phone or tablet. The last time you got one of these, I bet it didn’t come with instructions. You just turned it on and started using it, right?

Apps for the devices above. The learning curve with most apps is: download and start using. Some may have a quick-tips screen or overlay highlighting where the controls are, but it takes less than a minute to read and understand them.

Home appliances. At my house we have purchased a new dishwasher, toaster oven and refrigerator in the last year. The users’ manuals to all three are in the kitchen drawer, unread… didn’t need ‘em.

The list goes on with my point being, if these somewhat complex products can be understood and used out of the box, why are so many digital signage products so hard to use? My answer is that it’s complicated to make an uncomplicated product. In fact, I’d say that there’s an inverse relationship between product design effort and ease of use, with much more effort needed to produce a simpler-to-use product.

So my answer to the headline of this blog is, ‘None.’ That’s right, I think you should be able to start creating content for your digital signage within a couple of minutes of turning it on for the first time. I know, because you can with ours. We don’t even have a users’ manual.

Your time is worth too much to spend it struggling with your digital signage system. It should be fun, not something you dread doing. If your experience has been difficult and you’re curious about how really easy digital signage can be, contact us to find out how.

Frank Kenna III
March 29, 2016

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