Digitally Projected Donor Recognition as a tool for engagement.

When considering the creation of a donor wall, there are two primary components that are often overlooked, but which define the success of the wall. The first is ensuring the engagement with the viewer. In the digital age, vying for attention is thought of by most as a lost cause when the average individual faces thousands of unique images over the course of a day. The second is ease of maintenance. In the past, that has typically required leaving spaces available on a physical object and then engraving additional names to recognize new donors.

This projected donor wall with complex, but fixed-location moving imagery addresses both of those concerns.

Creating the Unexpected

The average visitor to any facility has already experienced an average of 10-12 hours of “screen-time” per day including computer use, mobile phone and television. It is therefore little wonder that adding additional screens into facilities is perceived as having little to no effect. This is one of the big reasons that the-Otherside has begun to experiment and recommend digital projection as an alternative.

“Now that digital projectors have come down in price and can be seen without difficulty even in daylight, there is a whole new opportunity for implementation in design. The most interesting part is that you can place digital imagery that interacts directly with physical objects and designs.”

        Jayson Tang, Creative Director, the-Otherside

In this particular design there is a mixture of decals placed on the wall, fixed digital elements that convey a sense motion and the donor names which are dynamically generated using a simple CMS management tool. Projection allows the artwork to be viewed in an unexpected places, in this case a stone wall. And by mixing mediums, it gives back some of the sense of exploration that is missing from a purely digital medium.

Addressing Complexity with Simplicity

Another key design choice was reducing the pace and complexity of the imagery in order to “bring a sense of calm” to the viewer. Rather then a typical advertising approach which strives to place a logo or brand message before the viewer moves further, the-Otherside uses simple motion points that allow the eye to relax and then move to the next location. This is a characteristic in many of the pieces they develop - using slower motion to allow for a sense of wonder to unfold such as the ballet dancers (NEED LINK).

We find that especially for children, the simple line drawings but overall complexity of the design create a balance that really invites the viewer to fill in the visual gaps with their imagination and their engagement.

Reducing Cost with Real-time Updates

This design was created for an active fundraising campaign which meant that new names from additional donors were being made available at least once a week. In the past, that would have resulted in either waiting until the completion of the campaign before producing the donor wall or having 1-2 tiles being engraved with new names each week and then being replaced on the wall. A continuous cost for production, installation and coordination.

When they selected to create a digital version of the recognition display they were surprised to find that the price was comparable to the physical design they had considered. “It is a statement that projection technology has hit scale - the prices finally reflect a wider adoption.” says Tang. But because each digital piece that is created by the-Otherside also includes a CMS management system, adding new names to the wall was as simple as posting to Twitter.

The biggest paradigm shift was that they could complete a donation agreement with the donor in their offices, the assistant could post the name to the wall and they could see themselves recognized by the time they walked to the main lobby. It made the decision to give easier, especially for small-level donors. Because there was no real additional cost adding additional names, the facility could also include donation levels that usually would not have been part of the display. They were still able to reflect the impact of the donation by adjusting the size and frequency of the displayed names.

Expanded Use

the-Otherside fully expects to see increased use of projection technology as a display option. It offers a unique way to connect the physical and digital world in a way that still feels exciting. And the cost implications of managing digitally are a strong decision factor for many facilities, especially with active campaigns. Digital Project continues to offer a sense of wonder about the unexpected.

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