Blog: Christopher Hall 

Christopher Hall

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

It's the screen so bad it has its own name, and you never want to see it on your computer screen or even worse on your digital signage displays: The Blue Screen of Death.

There's a grocery store that will remain nameless near me that had a BSOD not once but twice recently. (And grocery store BSODfor all I know, it could've had the dreaded BSOD up and running the entire week and a half between my visits. But let's hope they're not that incompetent there.)

But here's the thing: Even if the screen is running properly, it's pretty much useless anyway just because of its poorly thought out placement.

1) It's placed on the wall at the very front of the store; y'know, the wall customers never look at until they're already at the checkout counter and not very likely to leave the line and go pick up something else, no matter how cleverly promoted on the sign.

2) The sign is too darn high. Really, people are looking ahead, not up; place signs in your customers' lines of sight. (And yes, I understand sometimes that line of sight is or has to be raised up a bit. Not that high.) And the other screen, the one with the lotto numbers, that might be even higher.

Speaking of raised digital signage that's still in your sight line, and in a place where it might encourage shoppers to buy something, let's take a trip to the neighborhood Walmart.

Now, while it pains me to admit I was at the local Walmart the other day, I was — and boy, have they digital signage'd the heck out of that place.

The minute you walk in the door, there's a passle of digital signage screens trying to sell you something. It's reassuring, like I'm actually in a place that actually wants me to buy something from it.

Of course, there's an argument that could be made that Walmart has maybe gone a little *too far* with its digital signage, in part because so many of their signs include audio and are a touch on the annoying side if it's quiet in the store. But seriously, how often is it quiet in a Walmart? Late at night when journalists and other scary people are out, so, really, who cares?

And annoying as it might have been, I still remember Sharon Osbourne squawking at me from an endcap digital sign, so it must be working.

walmart digital signage

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