Ask the Board – May 6, 2019 | DAVE DOLEJSI


“What advice do you have for store designers when they are asked to plan digital signage in a retail space?”

In 13 years or so, I’ve seen a lot. My company focuses on content, but it wasn’t always that way. We initially started as a turnkey provider, and as a result, we learned a great deal about where the shortfalls could materialize when store design incorporated digital experiences. 

If there is one critical, golden, break-it-and-you-will-fail rule, it would be this: Talk to each other.

I have seen store builds where touchscreens won’t fit the designed enclosures, where LEDs are the wrong pixel pitch for the viewing distance, where LEDs sit unprotected in high-traffic areas – even where static store signage wasn’t accounted for, resulting in dedicated employees blindly following a planogram and literally hanging a static sign 8 inches in front of a 60-inch screen.

This is a direct result of designing in a vacuum. It is completely understandable due to the structure of most companies. For instance, when a design firm is brought in, briefed, and works directly with say, the real estate team, or perhaps there is a store design team, but doesn’t include marketing, or fails to discuss the kind of content and path-to-purchase the customer will be experiencing in-store, let alone the kind of information they will be needing and the method in which they expect to receive it, it is setting the project up for failure.

It’s a lot to consider, but I have been on builds where these things have not been discussed or even considered by the whole group who are responsible for the project. I have seen assumptions made or decisions made without consultation that have resulted in costly re-dos at the last minute or worse, a bad customer experience that was replicated en masse.

A lot of these pitfalls can be avoided if one leader is named at the beginning of the process and that leader immediately asks, “Who are all of the teams that have a stake in this, and do we have all of the information we need to begin?” It is a must to establish checks in the work back with the broader team and to utilize a project management platform across all teams. 

I’m sure a lot of this is pretty basic, but I’m always surprised how often these basic steps are not followed. All parties responsible for bringing this experience to life need to ask themselves, “What is the consumer expecting? How can we exceed those expectations? Who needs to contribute to make that happen?” and engineer from there. 

Technology is technology and content is content, but without communication at the core, the idea will never properly come to fruition.

About Author

Associate Vice President – Content Strategy
St. Joseph Communications

Content Council

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