How to Design a Digital Menu Board

A Kuusoft digital menu board specialist performs consultation with wireframes for a client

Your digital menu board says a lot about your place of business. Sub-consciously, it’s very important to your customers. The visual identity you create for your brand is vitally important for repeat business. In this article, let’s go over important facts on how to design a digital menu board.

Tips for designing an effective digital menu board

1. Rows and columns
As much as you may want to be creative and spread your text in an unconventional way, it’s not going to do you any favors. The reader’s brain has been trained to look for rows and columns. Anything else seems confusing and off-putting.

2. Categorize
Put items from the same categories together. Don’t dot your milkshake prices all over the digital menu board. Put them all together. This allows the customer to grasp what your range of milkshakes is and how much they cost.

3. Text size
Your headings should be in a large-sized font. Categories should be in a medium-sized font. Individual menu items should be in a smaller font. Be careful not to go too small. Many people who should be wearing glasses don’t. Sometimes it’s a matter of vanity, but for many, it’s a case of unaffordability. If your font is too small and they can’t see it, they’ll give up. It is recommended that you do not ever use a font smaller than 20 pt.

4. Balance
The human eye seeks out the balance in a visual composition. When an image is unbalanced, it distracts the viewer. Their attention is drawn to the lack of balance and what causes it instead of what the image is of. If the digital menu board is balanced, it allows the customer to read all of it.

If you have two digital menu boards with different visuals on them, you need to create a sense of balance between them. If you don’t, customers will focus on the one that is more attention-grabbing and ignore the other. If the board on the left is in color, make sure the board on the right is also in color.

5. Pictures
Rely on a good balance of pictures and text. Pictures are important, but if you use too many, the composition of your digital menu board gets too ‘busy’. It then cannot command and hold the attention of the customer.

Avoid using stock photos as customers will complain when the product doesn’t look like the image on the menu board. If you use your own photos, make sure that they are good quality images. It may be worthwhile to hire a photographer to take pictures of your products. A picture says a thousand words, and you don’t want them to be a thousand negative words.

6. Portrait or landscape?
Before you design a digital menu board, look at the area it will be situated in. Then look at your content and how you want to lay it out. Take both factors into consideration when deciding on the orientation of your digital menu board. You are trying to utilize your space wisely and list your menu in an attractive manner.

7. Avoid high contrast
High contrast colors can be difficult to read. This can make the customer less likely to read through the whole menu. The use of high contrast color can strain the eyes. The minute a customer feels that reading the digital menu board is challenging, they’ll stop. A digital menu board is supposed to be easy on the eye.

Saturated colors are also a challenge. These are colors that are said to be at their highest intensity. It’s better to use shades of colors instead of their saturated versions.

8. Put your brand out there
If it’s possible, use the colors and logo of your establishment’s brand on your digital menu board. It reinforces your brand with the customer. When you use advertising to create a positive image of your brand, you’re encouraging customers to come back.

There is a balance between being too discreet and too overt in using your logo and colors. Be careful if the colors of your brand are high contrast or saturated colors. These create a strain on the eye.

9. Give your digital menu board some space
When a menu is too full of text and images, it becomes confusing. This clutter is hard for the customer to understand. It feels to the mind as if it is being asked to solve a puzzle in order to understand the menu. This is frustrating after a long day at work. Instead of tackling the challenge, the brain will shut down. But it won’t forget.

A memory of the difficulty processing your menu will be implanted in the brain. The next time a customer wants to order food, they’ll sub-consciously avoid your brand. Their brain will remind them that figuring out your menu is hard.

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