How To: Inclusive Digital Signage Design

Sign professionals are no strangers to accessible signage and ADA guidelines when designing for static, wayfinding, and identity signs. But what about digital signage?

Given the rate at which digital signage is growing, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes an integral and regular part of wayfinding and other signage campaigns. Therefore accessibility, as it pertains to the design of products and content for people who experience disabilities, is extremely important when creating digital signage applications. Additionally, designing digital signage with accessibility in mind not only benefits people with disabilities, but it also provides benefits for other people as well.

accessible digital signage
Photo courtesy of FWI’s Universal Design for Digital Signage Guide.

Four Winds Interactive (FWI) recently released a Universal Design Guide for Digital Signage to help with designing accessible digital signage.

The guide is broken down into quick tips and best practices, and it begins by laying out a series of questions digital sign installers/integrators should ask, including:

  • What is the lighting in the area?
  • Are the screens mounted or free-standing?
  • Are the screens interactive or non-interactive?
  • What are the demographics of your audience?

From there, the guide goes into four principles to keep in mind. The first pertains to the Perceivable, and it includes considerations that should be familiar to sign makers, such as color and contrast.

The guide advises, “The sign should contrast with the surroundings to be noticed. Text and graphics should contrast with the background color of the sign to be more easily read.”

Legibility should also be considered, and the guide recommends, “Use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3) instead of Roman numerals (i, ii, iii) as they are more recognizable. Align text to the left and keep a consistent layout. Simple typefaces are easier to read.”

Principle 1 goes on to cover closed captioning, clear communication, and recommended typographies based on viewing distance.

Interested in learning more? You can view all 4 principles and FWI’s entire guide here.

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