Walking across campus, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the signage littering the U’s walkways. Our commutes are inundated with disorganized A-frames promoting local services, community announcements, and event information. The content these posters, A-frames, and yard signs provide is no doubt important, but it seems a series of outdated tripping hazards is no longer the best way to get that information out. It’s clear analog-based communication is a way of the past, but what does the future of campus communication look like for the U?
You may have already noticed the campus’ first digital monument on South Campus Drive, between Rice-Eccles and the Marriott Library. In an effort to bring campus’s appearance up to par with its core goals, the university has begun the effort to transition away from those easy-to-ignore signs and replace them with a state-of-the-art digital signage platform. Not only will these signs provide a sense of campus continuity, they will allow emergency broadcasts and safety messaging to be communicated in a coordinated effort across campus at the push of a button. The digital signs will elevate the U by helping to ensure the long-term vitality of the University, promoting campus services, and, most importantly, helping to keep campus safe.
Ensuring long-term vitality
The new digital sign network is centrally managed, meaning the content displayed across campus will be relevant, dynamic, and consistent. Campus visitors, incoming students, and campus leaders can all benefit from a platform that, at its core, is designed to connect our community. Sign content will come from a range of sources, from on-campus entities to local advertisers, and include important campus announcements, messaging from businesses, and safety notifications. In addition to enhancing the variety and control of messaging, digital also allows for interactive content such as campus maps, video, safety and other types of interactive content that will aid in a transition that not only enhances the appearance of campus, but also improves the effectiveness of its communication. Unique messaging can be sent to each sign in a way that’s purposeful, managed, and designed with the long-term mission of the U in mind.
Keeping campus safe
Central to their purpose, the outdoor digital signs serve as a way to help keep campus safe. Timely safety alerts can reach all of campus at the click of a button, connecting our campus’s safety and law enforcement personnel with campus in an instant. In a year that’s been racked by health crises, environmental disasters, and campus threats, the signs couldn’t have come at a better time. Connecting the U with those who aim to keep our community safe has never been more necessary or welcomed.
Cluttered campus signage is impractical for a number of reasons; it’s an antiquated model that takes advertising control out of the U’s hands and overwhelms students and staff with unmanaged content. The digital signs allow the U to build sustained, lasting relationships with partners willing to become committed to the University’s mission and adapt to the university’s ever-evolving needs. The new signs serve as an organized platform to showcase student opportunities through internships, job prospects, scholarships and additional avenues for education and trainings. Digital signs reduce the amount of unwanted content and pave the way for advertisers to connect with the U in a modern way.
These new digital signs represent a crowning achievement in our long-fought bid for safety, vitality, and change. To find out more information regarding the project’s timeline, goals, or content guidelines, please visit digitalsigns.utah.edu.