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I've got a real-world variant on the classic "Are Carousels Effective" question. My office, like many others, has a 40 inch LCD TV hanging on the wall in the lobby, and on it displays a looping slideshow (PowerPoint presentation) with various company news, photos, and related items on it.

I've always wondered, is this an effective way of conveying information? As the linked question suggests, homepage carousels are generally regarded as effective at selling a design to stakeholders, but not particularly effective in getting information to users. Does the TV in the lobby suffer from the same fate?

And how much does the answer change if the TV isn't in a lobby? What if you had a looping slideshow on the wall hanging above a row of cubicles? Would this make it more or less effective?

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Depends on the goal. What are you trying to accomplish exactly? In the lobby the expectation (I assume) is that your employees breeze by while visitors grab a seat and wait for their appointments. If so, then there are a couple of questions to ask:

  • Do visitors already know about your company/organization?
  • If not, what information do you want to relay that can be done so with no audio and no small text?
  • If they do already know about the company, what sort of information is worth sharing, potentially again (baring in mind varying levels of company knowledge)?

Etcetera etcetera etcetera.

A TV with info on your company can be helpful, but it depends what you're trying to help. Potential investors? That slideshow should be a pitch deck with milestones, figures, successes, etc. Clients? Success stories, the products/services that you sell, some effective ways to use those products/services.

TL;DR, yes a monitor is more usable than a homepage carousel, so long as you make it properly for the audience type.

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