Reflections on the Long-term Use of an Experimental Digital Signage System


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Talk slides from Ubicomp 2011, Beijing, 20th September 2011 (Session 4 - Near and Far). Based on the paper: Reflections on the Long-term Use of an Experimental Digital Signage System by Sarah Clinch, Nigel Davies, Adrian Friday, Christos Efstratiou.

Paper abstract:
In this paper we reflect on our long-term experiences of developing, deploying and supporting an experimental digital signage system. Existing public display systems almost always feature a single point of control that is responsible for scheduling content for presentation on the network and provide sophisticated mechanisms for controlling play-out timing and relative ordering. Our experiences suggest that such complex feature-sets are unnecessary in many cases and may be counter productive in signage systems. We describe an alternative, simpler paradigm for encouraging widespread use of signage systems based on shared ‘content channels’ between content providers and display owners. Our system has been in continuous use for approximately 3 years. We reflect and draw lessons from how our user community has adopted and used the resulting public display network. We believe that these reflections will be of benefit to future developers of ubiquitous display networks.

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Reflections on the Long-term Use of an Experimental Digital Signage System

  1. 1. Reflections on the Long- term Use of an Experimental Public Display System Sarah Clinch1, Nigel Davies1, Adrian Friday1 and Christos Efstratiou2 1Lancaster University, 2Cambridge University, UK.Tuesday, 20 September 11
  2. 2. We reflect on use of e-Channels: a system for enabling the shared use of networked situated displays by trusted user groups e-Campus begins [1] e-Channels in everyday use 30 displays, 81 users, 2005 2008 2011 33 groups, 3,700 pieces [1] Public ubiquitous computing systems: Lessons from the e-campus display deployments. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 5 (3). pp. 40-47. ISSN 1536-1268 of contentTuesday, 20 September 11
  3. 3. should this really be our decision? Woah! we need to design something that scales better... Problem: our approval of content was a bottleneck Need to give users ownership of displays Design goals: simplicity & stimulate ‘a network effect’Tuesday, 20 September 11
  4. 4. content is arranged into ‘channels’ Display Owner e-Channels by users (in known groups)Role 2 channel channel subscriptions properties, Channels Web UI subscriptions Scheduler channel properties schedule [2] content Role 1 file system changes Displays Content Provider media files file system dropbox [2] Storz, Oliver and Friday, Adrian and Davies, Nigel (2006) Supporting content scheduling on situated public displays. Computers & Graphics, 30 (5). pp. 681-691Tuesday, 20 September 11
  5. 5. User experience video The content provider sees this...Tuesday, 20 September 11
  6. 6. User experience video The display owner sees this...Tuesday, 20 September 11
  7. 7. Questions we answer 1. How did the e-Channels system get used - are channels a useful abstraction? 2. Do users generate content to share or are they selfish? i.e. is there a network effect? 3. What content do they put into the system, how is it characterised? 4. Does the system get abused, or do we retain control?Tuesday, 20 September 11
  8. 8. Q1: Channels are used, flexibly CHANNEL_ACTIVATE CHANNEL_ADD CHANNEL_DELETE CHANNEL_SUSPEND 90 A range of channel related 60 practices # channel events Group content and ‘suspend’ 30 used during updates Rarely deleted just 0 suspended Arts Business Careers Chap Dep E Dep P Faculty 1 Faculty 2 L. Tech. PR Res 1 Res 2 Res 3 Res 7 St. Exp. St. Recruit. St. Services St. Union Theatre Volunt.Tuesday, 20 September 11
  9. 9. 1 channel, frequent content little content, lots of subscriptions engagement stops, with staff changeTuesday, 20 September 11
  10. 10. Q2: Sharing We do our Theyll never share ade 20 own thing 15 To our surprise, 53% We do both! # channels 10 of channels are ‘shared channels’ 5 0 available to the network Res 1 Chap Dep E Estates Faculty 1 Business Volunt. PR Arts St. Services St. Union St. Recruit Shared Just our Private public channelTuesday, 20 September 11
  11. 11. Q3: Content life Is short (7-10 days) - 23% news, 16% forthcoming events Or long (~120 days) 11% building projects, 9% services More content is added than removed!Tuesday, 20 September 11
  12. 12. Q3: Context & Validity Unsupported 5.3% Web pages 4.1% Content rarely tightly bound to Stream location, but often audience Video 0.3% 7.1% 24% had no obvious time constraints 8% had a validity of one day; 8% < 1 week; 12% a month; 21% 2-3 Images 83.2% months, and 12% a validity of 1 year+Tuesday, 20 September 11
  13. 13. Q4: Trust, Moderation & Abuse • e-Channels took per-item moderation from us to trusted user groups, devolving control • Only 2 abuses reported: • decontextualisation (video with sound during an exam) • situated-ness (a particular message a college dean worried would be interpreted as theirs)Tuesday, 20 September 11
  14. 14. Gaming the System • We found duplicate content across channels - but also within a channel! • Also sneaky ‘static- video-slides’ • Deliberate practice to gain air time - shows understandingTuesday, 20 September 11
  15. 15. Take home • Reflected on how e-Channels has been adopted & found it is effective in sharing networked displays with many stakeholders • Trusted content providers devolve moderation and keep control & do generate content for sharing • Display owners find a balance between monopoly and shared content • Users continue to underestimate the cost & effort of producing contentTuesday, 20 September 11
  16. 16. Please see the paper for fuller explanations of the data and the unexpurgated design lessons Questions ? Adrian Friday http://pd-net.orgPartially funded by the PD-NET project: http://pd-net.orgPD-NET is a FET-Open project funded from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 244011Tuesday, 20 September 11