Simple is excellent. Think Macintosh computers (which were friendly by comparison to other computers of the day), Macintosh kept the "keep it simple" mentality. When they strayed, they payed in lost sales. When they stayed with "simplicity" they succeeded immensely.
Simple is difficult. If you take a peek behind the electrical components on an iPhone or even a "simple" MP3 player, you'll see it's loaded (jenga-style) with tons of circuitry and systems in an incredibly tight space. The planning and execution of simple takes a lot of smart people coming together to make simple work well.
Few people like complex systems and products. Our lives are complex enough, why make them harder (ok, there are the geeks like me out there who love to breakdown complex systems, but at the end of the day - I prefer simple and straightforward). Digital Signage needs to be simplified, not just in execution but in the way we discuss it with clients and especially in the way the end-user accesses, updates, and utilizes the system.
Think about this - if you were a manager of a few franchise restaurants you've got a lot on your plate (payroll, purchasing, payouts, personnel and a bunch of other things). If you were the manager of said franchise restaurant, what's on the LED Sign outside and the menu board inside is the last of your worries (spend a few hours at lunch or dinner with a restaurant manager and you'll see what I mean). If the Digital Signage solution isn't simple, it won't work. DS needs to be something anyone can update, create quick content, schedule, and setup "triggers" for the system to run content automatically depending on weather or other conditions.
A lot of people ask me what the best companies out there are. I'm somewhat biased as the director of a software company for Digital Signage and working with partners in the business, so I give them a simple solution. Ask the company you're looking to work with a few questions - the answers (or sometimes lack of answers) will tell you a lot about that company:
1. Who is their competition and what does the competition do well and what do they (the company) do better than the others?
2. Who are the people in the company and how do they stay ahead of things in the market? (A lot of companies just maintain status quo - if you're sitting still in a technical field like DS, you're not leading... you're falling behind...)
3. What is their USP (unique selling point)? A lot of companies surprisingly do not have a USP. If you can't immediately think of your own companies USP (special services, product, attention to detail and the client, etc.) you seriously need to figure how you stand out in the market. You definitely want to make sure your partners and vendors have USPs as their USP will add to your own when you promote their products and/or services.
Above all, work to keep things as simple as possible. Simple doesn't mean "dumbed down" but rather a direct approach to things with all the BS removed. This is what we have, this is how it works, and this is how it will help your organization. Keep it simple. In today's complex and fast-moving world where we check email while on a phone call and update our social status (multi-tasking is almost mandatory these days) it's easy to forget the simplest things are the most powerful.
Please comment here or send questions or requests for information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (http://www.vantageled.com), please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.