"Display Now" logo on laptop mockup
Image by Isis França

Display Now

What's your sign?

What's your sign?



After a major advertising blitz, the stakeholders were having a great deal of difficulty converting site visitors to product testers and paying customers.


I worked on a team of three designers along with regular input from the product owner.

My Goal:

Strip down and simplify the UI/IA while guiding new users to test the product with an intuitive, efficient tutorial. Adjust branding to present the product in a more friendly, professional light.


  • User Interviews/Testing

  • Information Architecture 

  • UX Writing

  • Mockups

Empty screens...

With a team of three, I was contracted to do UX work with Display Now, a company offering methods to populate and remotely update digital signage. At the time, there was an extremely low conversion rate.  The client thought that designing a calendar function would possibly solve their problems. User research revealed larger issues.


The startup had recently done a big advertising push. Despite the effort to drive a lot of traffic to the site, the conversion rate was statistically irrelevant. Looking at analytics, we discovered that around 83% of visitors were bouncing within 10 seconds, and hardly anyone made the effort to try the service. As my team began to explore the site, it quickly became apparent why. It took us two hours to figure out how to do a fairly simple task.  

Something was very wrong.

Testing and Interviews


User testing results from eight participants showed ties to our experience. All but one indicated they would have bounced on the first page because of the messaging, and the one who didn't missed basic functionality in the tool because of cryptic IA. The language on the front page (falsely) gave the impression that a Windows PC was necessary to use the service. In addition, users could only sign in via a Gmail or Windows email account.


Interviews of six potential users also showed that inflexibility and complexity are the last things small business owners want to deal with. They are busy, stressed, and just need things to work.  One interview participant, Noelle, was paid to set up a digital sign in a bar. She offered to teach them how to do it. They didn't want to deal with the process. It took her five minutes, and she made more than what it would cost for a year of Display Now service (see quote below.) The demand for the service was there. The will to deal with it spotty. 


I'm thinking I don't want to buy a f***ing PC to use this.


I had offered to teach the bar... how to do this stuff on [their] own. You have a really simple setup, and literally not that much programming. I can just show you how to pop it in... boom, done. [They say] "No, no, we'd rather pay you to do this" Like we'll pay you for an hour's work even though it takes me five minutes.


[When our system does not work] it's awful...dealing with technology can be a pain.

Users couldn't figure out how to test the product.

Usability testing data was reflective of our team's experience attempting to use the site.  Most were confused by the language on the website, and those that got past that stage struggled with several aspects of the IA and UI.

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Usability Test summary

Land mines…

We began to create user flows based on the current site.  What we found was a maze with far too many pain points. We specifically created them around what the stated language of the site indicated.

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User flow

"Simplify, simplify."

Our affinity map revealed what we had suspected. Flexibility and simplicity were key for users. This was a product that needed to be as user-friendly as possible.

1. I need flexibility.

  • "I want to be able to easily switch content."

  • "I would like to have different content on different signs."

  • "I want to be able to add content whenever I need to."

2.  I need simplicity.

  • "It is a pain to update the slides."

  • "There is not enough time to make a quality presentation."

3. I need cost effectiveness.

  • "I have to pay an extra fee for support."

  • "My software is expensive."

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Affinity map

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UX User Persona
DN Persona 2 Fix.png
UX Problem statement
DN Solution Fix.png

Strengths and opportunities...

While we didn't produced everything we would have liked through our SWOT analysis, the cheapest and most effective steps toward an improved system were focused on. Namely highlighting useful things that were already on the site but obscured by cryptic language/IA. Namely the Groups function, which was what made Display Now stand out from the competition. 

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SWOT Analysis

Cutting the fat...

We changed the language of the site, added a tutorial, and stripped away unnecessary IA fat to make the process of signing up and testing the product as easy as possible.  Implementing a preview function was a key part of making this goal easier for users to achieve. Our new flow reflected these changes.

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Changing the channel...

As we made some rough wireframes our goal was, above all things, to make this as painless as possible for the user. I worked on efficient, helpful UX writing that showed a sense of humor. I wanted the tool to not just be user friendly, but for it to feel like a friend was guiding them along the way.  We added a tutorial using this approach as well. Again, we wanted to avoid users feeling overwhelmed by any step in the process. 

With the voice came a new look.  We worked on a new logo, and one of my teammates and I bounced ideas back and forth until we found the right tone. I created graphics and sourced imagery that matched the voice of the copy.


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LoFi wireframe
MedFi wireframe
Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 1.36.10 PM.png

Broadcasting strengths...

Competitive analysis revealed that Display Now had a function that was unique - the ability to share and manage content across multiple accounts. The function, however, was not highlighted or sold as a major feature on the website. Going back to the research, flexibility was of paramount importance to users. Groups allowed the tool to manage signs across multiple locations.  In other words, this function could allow Display Now to grow in tandem with a growing business. It's what made Display Now special, and was barely highlighted.  We decided to put it on the front page, and suggested our stakeholder charge a premium for access to it.

Website feature

"Less but better."

Usability testing showed a dramatic improvement in achieving the original stated goal. In fact--everyone was able to do it! In addition commentary showed much better impressions of the service, as well as a generally positive impression of the brand. There was, however, a universal desire to see the preview function become more feature rich and malleable.

Usability Testing summary
Display Now mockup new.png

Finishing up...

I was really quite proud of what we had done. We stripped away everything unnecessary, simplified the IA, and gave people an onboarding experience that held their hand. It lead to statistically significant testing improvements.  I'm extremely curious how analytics will be affected once the overhaul has been implemented!

Display Now

A simple, flexible, and affordable

digital signage creator.

Prototype scenario: you're new to this website. Look at what it has to offer. Then sign up for an account with an email. See if you can create a playlist with your image file "Open.png" and preview it.


Note: best experienced on laptop or desktop.

A man under the spotlight with smoke_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Next Steps

This was an extremely important learning experience. It showed me how much budget matters when taking design decisions into account.  It also forced me to step up my IA game. I do wish that we had time to address the elephant in the room--that digital signs on physical monitors may very well become increasingly obsolete over the next decade. Had I been able to continue, I would have likely explored the following:

  • Switching to a SaaS model and to wean off of a per-screen charge. 

  • Redoing the icons. They feel a bit disjointed from the aesthetic. 

  • Improve aesthetic of playlist, screen, and groups organisms on the dashboard. 

  • Improve and expand the preview function, both conceptually and aesthetically.


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