“In a busy setting, do animation and sound in particular distract viewers from absorbing your messages, or do they help to draw attention? How much is too much?”
This month’s question is very timely as I continue to watch the evolving digital installations at the Yonge and Dundas Square area in Toronto. www.ydsquare.ca
Although this area does have vehicular traffic, the majority of traffic is pedestrian. Hundreds of pedestrians can be in this area at any time during the day or evening. Digital signage is everywhere with various formats of oversized displays running brand and promotional advertisements. Content ranges from video animation to static. In this space, motion and animation become part of the attraction, so it naturally supports the experience and environment rather than becoming too much. Think Times Square or Piccadilly Circus, and you get the idea.
While each of these three areas have a full digital signage assault, the messages, animation and sounds create an immersive experience for the viewer. In this atmosphere, it’s the quality and creativity of the content that will reach through the clutter to connect with the viewer.
On a busy street with traffic, animation can definitely distract viewers, which in that scenario would be dangerous, and rules around distracting digital signage near heavily travelled areas makes sense.