We have the following room arrangement with a plan on a 40 inch TV mounted on the wall.


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In this place people usually walk between the stairways and the main door, so I suggested to place the TV against the main door. Actually this is the only viable place because other wall spaces are occupied by windows, etc or simply not a place where people would notice the content on the TV.

There would be ads and various info displayed in the monitor and one of my friend told me that we shouldn't place the TV against the stairways because people who came down on it can be distracted from the images and they would fall off.

Is this really an existing problem? Do people tend to fall off from stairways because of visual distraction?

  • 2
    Probably not, but people do tend to fall down stairs and lawyers are very creative in ascribing liability to "wealthy" business owners. Why make their job any easier? – Henry Taylor Dec 30 '14 at 15:36
  • Are you talking about noisy TV-like ads with lots of movement and animation or content that is properly tailored to a public information display? People would usually ignore the former, though occasionally be irritated by flashing attention-whoring images. They could be distracted by the latter more likely, I guess. – Crissov Dec 30 '14 at 17:54
  • @Crissov The content would be muted and well tailored. The emphasis is more on giving information rather than catching attention. – totymedli Dec 30 '14 at 20:07
  • Context is important: if you are giving information useful to people entering the premises (such as who is in which conference room in a hotel/conference center) it would be good to put the display in a place easily visible -- and given your layout, suspending from the ceiling or mounting to a free-standing floor display may be more appropriate. If it's background advertising, the weather, or company newsletter-type content, then putting in a place people are likely to see it while standing around waiting (eg, visible from reception seating or line-up area) makes more sense. – gregmac Mar 26 '15 at 19:47
  • @gregmac agree all around – tohster Mar 26 '15 at 20:46

Your friend is probably right

Assuming you actually want people to view the content, that's one of the worst places in the room to place a TV display.

You not only have a staircase with (presumably) two-way traffic, but also a blind hairpin turn where traffic coming in and out of the main doors rounds the corner to climb the stairs.

Adding a visual distraction to this intersection is really not a good idea, even if (for the sake of argument) it's a monotonous reel of content.

  • It's easy to underestimate the distraction caused by someone carrying a cup of coffee walking down the stairs looking at a moving screen, but TV series 'Brain Games' shows this cutely with the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKry81bf2qw

Nowadays it's common to see LED displays at transit locations like subways, airports, and elevators. But pay attention to the placement of these displays:

  • On conveyors (escalators and elevators) they are placed in locations where people are likely to be standing still and waiting, rather than getting in and out of the conveyor.
  • In high-traffic areas (airports) effort is made to place displays in areas where there is some space for people to walk around crowds (e.g. travelers assembled around a flight timetable display).
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I´m missing some context.

Is the space retail? Are the stairs an escalator, or are they static?

The use of promotional material at POS and Out of Door tends to be either a five second informational burst based on your users journey times or a series of images and information pieces subject to differing parallax treatments.

The best examples I´ve seen are the way that advertisers use the escalator speed at London Underground stations to build a narrative.

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  • If you have a suggestion on what is best (e.g. the way the London Underground handles advertising at speed), then you need to expand on exactly what they do, and explain why you feel it's a good solution. – JohnGB Mar 27 '15 at 11:01
  • London Underground can control the speed which the user moves and determine the proportion of users that remain static against those who choose to walk. In combination with the technology offered by phased/moving screens, LU can thus offer advertisers a `phased narrative´ in the staircase environment giving marketing professionals the chance to build a narrative specific to the product and to that environment; escalator length and speed. The POS environment of the question can be employed to deliver a journey and narrative appropriate to footfall and dwell time data. – David Genis Apr 23 '15 at 9:05

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