A recent Tweet caught my attention. Loop Fountain wrote ‘Motion background loop designer for digital signage. Create and manage your own content with eye-catching loops and PowerPoint!’. Reason enough for me to connect directly. The person behind Loop Fountain is Floris Eloff, a communication specialist using Microsoft PowerPoint for digital signage. Who is using that too?
Let’s interview Floris.
Floris Eloff is a communication specialist with many years of hands-on experience in the corporate field, assisting big corporates in their internal communication. For Floris, the flat screen/digital revolution has seen a proliferation of high-tech screens in company shared spaces, but has also brought new challenges.
“The biggest challenge is content. I still see many companies with screens tuned to a sports or news channel with the sound turned off. This is a huge missed opportunity where companies could be communicating company messaging that could promote belongingness, culture building and team building.”
Floris believes that the traditional method of corporate communication that was predominately based on interviews with senior staff still has its place, but that a new opportunity has now arisen with the development and availability of screens in company shared spaces.
“The new way of communicating is moving towards silent, visual communication because screens are in shared spaces where sound is problematic. We have to find ways in which we can present information that is silent, in a visually entertaining way. This is new territory and there are no silver bullets… yet. We also have to understand that curating and presenting the information will require time and effort, but will become a necessity for companies in their internal communication offering.”
As we start using screens more and more in other spaces such as retail and hospitality, Floris finds that content is a major challenge here as well.
“Retail businesses are not equipped yet to deal with content for their screens. The question arises of outsourcing versus managing your own content. Outsourcing is an option but could be costly, especially if content needs regular updating. Is creating and managing your own content even possible? I believe that it is. And it is through a ubiquitous tool with 500 million users worldwide, PowerPoint. PowerPoint allows anyone with a pc to create content for screens, and it could be very effective with the right guidance and input from the PowerPoint community. It needs to rise out of the traditional boardroom application, and we need to see the potential of using it in our shared spaces.”
Asked to explain how the PowerPoint community can assist in making it possible for companies to create their own content, Floris believes that creators need assistance in the design process.
“Not everyone is a designer with a good sense of layout, composition, font usage and colour to make their designs have the right appeal and impact, and to also lift it beyond a basic PowerPoint look and feel. The basic perception is that a blank page is white for instance, which, when working on paper, it is. When working with light, as in screen technology, the blank page is black. Content designers need to consider this in their designs.”
“That is why I looked at designing and animating looping background video templates where the design work is minimised with text and image placement in pre-designed placeholders. The video loops are animated so it has just the right amount of movement to be visually engaging and attractive. The best thing is that the background video will play in a seamless loop meaning your message can stay up for as long as is required, playing in a seamless loop.”
I am not a PowerPoint ace but found it amazingly easy to use, and the “create video” feature very useful. The render quality is excellent and creates high resolution videos of your design. Using my loops in PowerPoint renders to perfectly looping videos which can then be played from a memory stick, or from a connected laptop or PC. If connected to a feed, other useful information can be added in PowerPoint.”
Floris is excited about the future of digital signage, and information sharing via digital screens. He believes that this sector is in its infancy and that we will develop exciting and interesting ways in which to create and manage content. View his work.