Interactive Digital Signage: Designing for Engagement

April 7, 2024


This article will guide businesses and designers in effectively creating interactive digital signage that maximizes user engagement through smart design, strategic content placement, and seamless integration with technology.


Interactive digital signage has quickly taken the world by storm. “Interactive” in this context refers to ways in which consumers or viewers can interact or engage with the content, such as voice commands. Digital signage interactive displays do more than provide information; they engage your audience in a way that leads to better:

  • Retention for employees
  • Purchases for customers
  • Loyalty for audience members

Understanding User Interaction with Digital Signage

Users interact differently with digital signage, depending upon the location. Before you design your interactive digital signage solution, you'll need to understand the ways in which your users want to interact.

digital signage for customers

User Behavior Analysis

You'll need to consider your user behavior analysis when determining how your audience is most likely to interact with digital signage. For example:

  • Patients and visitors in a hospital setting are more likely to interact with things like directories and maps so that they can navigate the facility.
  • Restaurants are more likely to see users rely on interactive digital signage solution options for viewing menus and making purchases.

Types of Interaction

There are several types of interactive elements you can incorporate.

Voice activation

Voice activation functions make it simple for people to request information and navigate different menus. This type of flexibility enables customers and employees to customize their content. For example:

  1. Patrons at a museum can utilize voice activation to access virtual reality experiences. 
  2. Patrons at a retail store can use the same type of activation to ask about different deals or categories. 
  3. Customer service kiosks located at shopping centers or airports can provide specific information on services or locations.

Motion sensors

Motion sensors can showcase new products or list changes in policies as soon as somebody walks by, capturing their attention much quicker because it looks as though the sign actually turned on for them rather than a sign that remained on in the background the entire time.

Design Principles for Interactive Signage

The principles you utilize for interactive signage are much the same as other signs and displays.

Clarity and Simplicity

Make sure that your display is clear. You want the eye to be drawn to the most important text with a hierarchical structure. But you also want your design to be simple. It shouldn't have too many colors, and it should utilize things like white space correctly.

Content Strategies for Maximum Engagement

In order to maximize engagement, you'll need two key things: personalization and updates.

Content Personalization

Consider ways you can personalize content based on information gathered through the user experience as well as through interaction with things like smartphones and Wi-Fi connections. For example:

  • Offer discounts at a retail shop for items a user has put in their cart but not purchased.
  • Provide pop-ups for new products that a customer might want to try.
  • Personalize the survey questions to reflect where the user interacted with the display. 

Dynamic Content Updates

No matter how great your interactive content is, it can't remain static. An interactive digital sign needs to have dynamic content updates with new information, new campaigns, new quizzes, and new metrics.

Interactive Digital Signage: Technological Considerations

Some technological considerations have to be made. 

Hardware and Software Requirements

Interactive displays of digital signage require more hardware components, such as motion sensors or audiovisual equipment. This means that the upfront cost is going to be higher compared to a passive installation, but it offers more value.

Software Solutions

There are several software solutions you can consider contingent on your needs. Software solutions make interactive digital signage easier to maintain and guarantee better performance.

Measuring Engagement and ROI

Much the same as any other campaign, you'll also have to measure your engagement. This information can help you determine what changes need to be made to the layout, structure, or design of your interactive digital display. 

people walk through the station against the backdrop of interactive digital signage

Analytics and Feedback

A lot of the interaction you create could involve direct feedback such as quick surveys or quizzes. Moreover, the analytics can measure customer data, employee preferences, and what type of engagement has proven most effective.

For this, you will need to do the following:

  1. Identify the key performance metrics that are related to your objectives, such as how frequently people engaged with certain aspects of your digital sign or how much time they spent doing so, as well as conversion rates.
  2. Review any other metrics for assessment, like sales figures, social media interactions, and customer service or feedback.
  3. Utilize data collection methods incorporated into your digital signage infrastructure, like cameras or sensors, as well as other analytics tools.
  4. Review pain points, preferences, and satisfaction information from feedback and surveys to change your signage strategies regularly
  5. Experiment with A/B tests to determine certain formats, messages, variations, or placement for your signage. 

ROI Assessment

With an ROI assessment, you can ensure that your digital signage interactive displays are helping your company make more money or retain more employees. 

For this, you'll need to review the total investment you incur when installing and maintaining your digital signage network and then calculate the cost of investment based on your net profit so that you can review engagement and create changes where necessary.

Consider for example that hospitals spend an average of $200,000 every year trying to alleviate issues of visitors and patients getting lost and showing up late for appointments as a result. With an assessment of your interactive displays, you are in a better position to determine how well that has reduced things like late appointments. 


Interactive digital signage is becoming an increasingly popular way to communicate with the public, your employees, or customers. With the right interactive digital signage solution, you can engage your viewers more directly, improve communication, and track usage data to adjust your strategies over time.

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