The “10-Foot Rule” and Other Viewing Distance Considerations

I was recently asked my opinion on guiding principles for content prepared for close-up viewing versus long distance.  My immediate response was that there was a category missing there.  The Almo Content Design team looks at viewing distance as three different categories, not two.  We design for 3 feet/1 meter for close up viewing screens, such as wayfinders, 10 feet/3 meters on informational screens and greater than that for retail/outdoor.

The “10-Foot Rule” demands legibility and clarity to ensure content at a distance is delivered accurately within the moments it takes for a simple glance.  When my team works on informational screens such as menu boards or employee communication screens this is an important consideration that will drive font and icon sizing, color contrast and animation principles.  We are careful to use timelines instead of cramming the screen with too much at once.  In fact, our mantra is “less is always more when it comes to design on informational screens.”

When you’re working on content for touchscreens, design principles follow mobile app design guidelines.  Consistency within the overall user interface (UI) becomes extremely important.  Every day we all interact with a touch screen UI that breaks consistency rules.  For example, an ATM where the “OK” button changes location from prompt to prompt not only confuses the viewer, it slows the interaction.

For larger screens, especially outdoor, the rule tightens.  The message must be legible, of course, but more importantly it must be concise.  The “5-Second Rule” isn’t really five seconds anymore – it’s less.  Color, contrast and concise messaging become key.

Do you have any “rules” you follow when determining your digital signage designs?  

Leave me a comment and let’s start a conversation.  And stay tuned for more of my expert advice as I come back each month with a brief thought on a single aspect of digital signage.

8K Displays… So What’s the Buzz?

You’ve heard the buzz about 8K display technology. But what is it about these displays that make them ideal for commercial settings?

According to research firm, IHS Markit, as the demand for super-large TV displays grow, the need for higher resolution is set to increase, with 8K displays expected to make up about nine percent of the 60-inch and larger display market by 2020.

So what’s the hype about 8K Ultra HD technology? If you stand close to a Full HD monitor, you can distinguish individual pixels. By comparison, the pixels on an 8K Ultra HD screen are not visible to the naked eye. 8K technology results in images that are so realistic and with such a sense of depth that it feels as if objects aren’t just on the screen but are actually real!

8K technology vividly reproduces every last detail beyond the perception of the human eye. In academic fields, it allows for the enlargement of fine art images, artifacts or architectural structures. In other words, viewers are able to see details that would normally be invisible.

Here are the top three benefits of 8K Ultra HD Technology in commercial environments:

  • Higher resolution. The 33 million pixels packed into the 7,680 x 4,320-resolution panel result in screen resolution that is 16 times higher than full HD. This allows you to actually feel the presence of stunningly realistic on-screen images.
  • Images come to life in vivid color. The color-processing technologies support a wide range of color expression along with faithful color mapping on the display. The rich color palette of an 8K monitor adds depth to the content and brings the entire screen to life.
  • Superb image quality via 8K upscaling. Using on-board processing technology allows both 4K Ultra HD and Full HD content to be upscaled to 8K resolution. This means slideshows, videos, images and text can now be rendered with a new level of detail and realism.

Professional AV uses for 8K displays are broad, however, here are some of the most ideal applications:

  • Government: Homeland security and other surveillance videos can be viewed in much greater detail due to the amount of color and pixels in an 8K image.
  • Retail: The amount of detail that can be shown on a particular item – be it the finest details of a diamond ring or the threading on that beautiful sweater – makes it easier for the consumer to get a clear view of their potential purchase. It also allows the retailer to promote the quality of a particular item.
  • Broadcast: Because 8K has such a high resolution, a football game or other sporting event can be shot with a wide-angle view in 8K, then the broadcaster can zoom into quadrants with each one in 4K.
  • Healthcare: Medical diagnostic imaging and endoscopic surgical procedures, for example, can now be viewed more clearly and in greater detail, which helps advance medical care and improve patient outcome.

The newest 8K display to hit the market is the Sharp 8K Ultra HD 70-inch LCD monitor, the 8M-B70AU, which is NOW AVAILABLE through Almo Professional A/V! Ask your Almo rep about a $200 reseller spiff on this display and visit for more information on Sharp solutions.

Connected Pop-Up Retail Initiative Targets Smarter Customer Experience

Evidence of the disruptive power of pop-up retail is rapidly emerging. Take for instance, the recent announcement by WPP agencies Barrows and VML, who have teamed up with Samsung, to develop what is being described as the next generation of Connected Pop-Up stores.

The Connected Pop-Up initiative aims to simultaneously re-invigorate retail while leveraging a shopping trend consumers have shown themselves ready to embrace. The concept give brands and retailers a way to quickly and affordably activate short-term, temporary retail through a turn-key solution that incorporates digital to deliver personalized brand experiences informed by retail IoT sensing technologies and analytics.

“This is all about the intersection of physical and digital retail,” said Jon Bird, executive director, Global Retail and Shopper Marketing at VML. “That’s where retail is going, and our ability to bring our digital expertise to clients in the retail space excites us. This is a re-invention of how technology can work in a temporary space and our role has been to contribute thinking on the Connected Pop-Up consumer experience.”

Addressing Retail Disruption Head-on

Pop-up retail already is proving a disruptive force, with short-term, spontaneous retail events driving a $50 billion industry in the U.S., according to industry database PopUp Republic.

It comes at a tumultuous time in retail, with long-established brands recently closing hundreds of brick-and-mortar outlets.

At a time when consumers are scurrying from traditional retail while embracing alternative shopping experiences, Connected Pop-Up brings a technological solution to address the disruption. It offers a remedy through connectivity, with ideation, location scouting, logistics, staffing, point-of-sale (POS) fulfillment, real-time customer engagement and content creation all interwoven and interconnected.

An Internet of Things (IoT) dashboard pulls it all together, providing store data, retail analytics and insight into store activity, including visitor demographics and even sentiment, through advanced audience measurement technologies.

While a number of factors are driving the consumer exodus from retail, it’s clear that certain changes could be made in a pop-up context that would address shoppers’ most prevalent concerns. Ultimately, Connected Pop-Ups could help to bring:

  1. Intelligence by generating new IoT retail analytics and insights, targeted smart signage, POS transactions, and virtual and augmented reality.
  2. Affordability through disrupting the status quo with a tiered rental model and multiple levels that differ on size of footprint, technology inclusions and extent of the activation.
  3. On-demand capacity with a modular construction that can be assembled in a variety of ways to suit an individual brand’s requirements.

In the midst of the present retail upheaval underway, a new, tech-driven approach to the sector addresses the increasing intersection of physical and digital retail. Even as brick-and-mortar stores struggle, the sector is moving steadily in the direction of more digitally driven solutions to address the enigma of customer interaction.

The Connected Pop-Up initiative addresses this trend head on, with a tech-driven alternative that is at once smarter and more cost-effective.

Technology is helping retailers change how consumers interact with businesses on a daily basis. Get a deeper look at innovations influencing this change.

Pin It on Pinterest