How BenQ Redefines Retail through the Ultra-Interactive CMS X-Sign

As the popularity of interactive retail continues to grow in recent years, retailers of all sizes are also beginning to adopt different kinds of interactive technologies like digital signage to help them optimize customer engagement, store management and business models. Even though BenQ is better known for its digital display products, it does not want to limit its potential to hardware solutions.

In order to create an integrated solution that helps retailers transition into interactive retail effortlessly, BenQ designs a highly interactive CMS, X-Sign, which allows retailers to better understand customers’ behaviors and optimize their operations accordingly. Recognized for its ability to help retailers provide comprehensive services to their customers, X-Sign was awarded the Service Design Award at the 2018 iF Design Award, proving it the right place for BenQ to start focusing on software solutions.

Achieving higher efficiency through user-centric design

When the design team at BenQ’s Lifestyle Design Center first started brainstorming about X-Sign, they pictured a CMS that can truly help retailers enhance the efficiency of their retail workflow and operational processes with a minimum amount of budget. To achieve this goal, members of the design team need to recognize end users’ needs while designing a CMS that’s simple enough. They decide to embrace a new workflow by first sketching out a user journey for X-Sign. Instead of focusing on developing X-Sign’s features, the design team concentrates on creating the system based on users’ pain points and needs that they gathered through research. To them, X-Sign is a solution designed from the end users’ perspective.

“To help small retailers better display their product information, we created a feature called local delivery that allows retailers to showcase content on the signage once they finish editing it,” said Patricia Yeh, one of the designers from the X-Sign design team. “X-Sign is created from end users’ perspective, which means we offer them features that they ask for.”

In order to make it easy for end users to navigate X-Sign’s features, the design team also applies softer colors and less complicated interface to X-Sign, hoping to allow them to effortlessly design more engaging in-store experiences for their customers through X-Sign.

”We designed a very simple structure to encompass all the features, so end users can easily recognize the features they need and start using them,” said Eling Hsu, one of the participating designers. “And in order to ensure X-Sign is implemented with all the key features, we adopted a flat organizational structure that lets us gather all the key players since the very beginning of the product development cycle.”

Why X-Sign?

As a brand known for its hardware solutions, BenQ isn’t used to developing software solutions from scratch, but designing X-Sign offers the design team a chance to revamp the creation process. With more R&D resources to support them, the design team is able to create an interactive CMS tailored for customer engagement and continuous optimization. Even though the design process may be more complicated than before, as designers, engineers and product managers are required to be involved since the very beginning, the final product is a solution that allows retailers to refine their business models while ensuring the utmost level of engagement with customers through prompt feedback from the system.

“There are only a few interactive CMS solutions tailored for digital signage on the market, and most of them require complicated steps to complete a simple task,” said Yeh. “Comparing to them, X-Sign offers a more intuitive and simplified user experience. In order for X-Sign to achieve this goal, we focus on improving every detail within the solution.”

To let end users feel secure while using X-Sign to design or adjust a piece of content, the design team ensures that they can preview any edits instantly. Additionally, X-Sign also merges several trivial editing steps into one main feature, guaranteeing users a streamlined experience when they have to update a piece of information real-time. According to Yeh, X-Sign provides optimal reliability to end users based on instant feedback, simplified execution and a mild learning curve when they first start using the system.

“Apart from satisfying end users’ basic needs, our team also takes into account how X-Sign can help small retailers transition into interactive retail smoothly,” said Steven Huang, lead designer of the X-Sign design team.

By positioning end users’ needs at the center of its mission, the design team believes that X-Sign has transcended the original scope of a regular CMS. It has become a comprehensive set of service that end users can rely on when planning and executing a wide range of tasks. In order to further fine-tune X-Sign’s features, they hope to focus on developing advanced customer engagement capabilities through the integration with different types of sensors and interactive technologies. Ultimately, they hope X-Sign can bring more benefits to end users by allowing them to create different kinds of shopping experiences for their customers.

“We hope to eventually combine all the data acquired through multiple sensors with other information acquired offline, which allows retailers to constantly improve their businesses based on the feedback provided by X-Sign,” said Huang.

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