Digital SignageDigital Signage

Digital signage is a way of electronically displaying information on a screen. They can be found in public spaces, transportation systems, museums, stadiums, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and corporate buildings etc., to provide wayfinding, exhibitions, marketing, and outdoor advertising.

How To Guide

Updating Digital Sign Content via Playlist Spreadsheet on Box

Focus on Content

What sort of information do you want to communicate? Who is the target audience? These two fundamental questions should drive every other decision in this guide. For example, if you'd like to help visitors find their way around your building, you might think about implementing an interactive directory and building map kiosk located at the primary entrances of the building. If you would like to inform current students about events and organizations, you might use a non-interactive display mounted on the wall in an area that students frequent, such as a lounge or cafe.

The content should attract the attention of the viewer so that the information is delivered. Well-polished and dynamic videos and pictures help to communicate image. Content source is also a crucial consideration. To avoid spending too much time managing different sources of content for different channels (such as web, print, and other publications), try to leverage data feeds as the central source that delivers the same content to multiple outlets. For example, placing an event on your calendar at http://events.unl.edu enables that event to automatically appear on your website and all of your digital signs, if you use the UNL Events data feeds.

Pick a Location

Once you've determined what to communicate and to whom, you can decide on which location would be best suited to those goals. Building maps and directories are best located near building entrances. News and event displays are best located in areas where the audience will spend enough time to see the different flyers and videos rotating through the playlist. Room schedule displays can be placed near the doors of conference rooms or classrooms so that people know when the room is being used. Try to avoid areas like narrow hallways where people pass straight through without stopping to look at bulletin boards or other information on the walls.

One of the most critical considerations is access to infrastructure. The displays need a surface to be mounted on, or an enclosure to be installed inside. The displays need a power outlet, and potentially a network port. The player computer will also need a power outlet and network port. If the location where you're planning to install digital signage does not already have power and network access available, then it needs to be feasible for those infrastructure items to be installed. UNL Facilities can assist you with determining if an area is suited for such needs, and provide a quote for the installation cost. Typically, it is best to install power outlets and network ports where they will be hidden or obscured by the display or kiosk itself.

Choose a Display

UNL currently uses the Samsung Business Digital Signage lines of large format displays for all new digital signage implementations. These displays have been tested and approved for use with our player computers. Choosing the right display size is important. For interactive content, like a building directory and map, the display can be smaller because the user will be standing directly in front of it. Most interactive displays currently on campus are 40 or 46 inches. Larger displays work better for commons areas where people will be farther away from the display.

To make a sign interactive, in addition to the display, you'll also need to purchase the corresponding touch overlay. For full details on the display and touch overlay models, and price estimates, please see the Display Equipment Standards page.

Choose a Player Computer

The type of content you wish to display, and the location, will determine the type of player that should be used. For content that is mostly text and images, such as a menu board or simple news/events board, the ultra small form factor player is a good choice. For richer content, like videos or touch interactive layouts, an ultra small, small, or standard form factor player can be used. Where to locate the player in relation to the sign is also a consideration. Free standing kiosks have room inside for an extra durable player. Wall mounted signs may not have room for a player behind the display, and it may need to be located elsewhere.

For more details on the different types of players, and when each type should be used, please visit the Player Computer Standards page.

Choose an Enclosure

The UNL Sign Committee has approved a group of enclosures that compliment the system of interior signage on campus. For more information, please visit the Enclosure Standards page.

Agree to the MOU

The first step in officially joining the partnership is filling out and submitting the Memorandum of Understanding. The terms of agreement and costs of participating in the partnership are defined in the MOU.