When working with technology we encounter many struggles, and in some cases are faced with the unknown factors that come along with a constantly evolving work front. Over the last few years, I’ve learned the ins and outs of digital signage, from installation to content creation. I can say with confidence that I’ve made many mistakes along the way. But with each stumble, I’ve learned valuable lessons that I can now share.

In early 2015, I was given the task of upgrading our outdoor electronic sign. An old dinosaur, the giant pixelated LED display had come to the end of its cycle. While fluent in indoor digital signage, I was completely lost when it came to hardware of this scale. I did my research around town looking for any and all LED signs. Meeting with several vendors, I created a plan of action that was discussed with my team. When I received the OK to move forward, it seemed as if everything was going to go smoothly.

Boy, was I mistaken!

We started in the spring and so did the rain, delaying the project again and again. When we were able to move forward the heat was on literally, sending trickles of anxiety and stress down from upper management.

1. Can we trust the vendor down the line?

The main setback in the project ended up being the vendor, that overnight transformed from kind and caring into a nightmare; always moving our needs to the back burner, not communicating problems or setbacks, and making it so we could only communicate with the sales representative off-site, not the technicians on-site.

2. Will the signage need to be moved anytime soon?

I was relieved when the upgrades came to completion, but as many may not know, the University of Texas at Dallas is a quickly expanding university and with that growth comes heavy construction. Before starting the assignment I had worked with individuals from our facilities team to ensure the sign was out of any possible areas of expansion. Still, a mere six months later we were instructed to move the sign. Because the display was under new warranty due to upgrades, it meant working again with my vendor from the infernal regions.

(Next page: More questions on digital signage implementation)

About the Author:

Jessie Budd is a Digital Media Specialist at the University of Texas at Dallas, acting as a content and technology guru. Early this year, she was published in College Planning & Management on Reaching and Engaging Students with Digital Signage. Her passion is design and how it can be used to better communicate our ideas. Budd is pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts and will be continuing to explore the interaction between arts and technology, and how it applies to digital media.


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