QR codes are dead… not quite
It’s a good idea to not believe everything you read. For instance if you were to search “QR codes” you’d end up with about a zillion articles about how QR codes aren’t long for the world and are soon to be replaced.
They’ve been saying that since 2010, yet QR codes are still around.
If you haven’t heard of QR codes or Quick Response Codes, here’s the Reader’s Digest version: It’s a kind of barcode that, when scanned by a smartphone using QR code reader software, directs you to a website. They were first used in Japan and are now commonly used in marketing and for product information.
People in marketing seem to either love them or hate them. But the biggest complaint about QR codes should be levelled at those who use them improperly, which appears to be the majority of marketers.
The biggest mistake they make is using the code to direct people to a website not optimized for the mobile web. It seems rather common sense that, since a smartphone is required to scan a code, you would be taken to a website that can be viewed properly by a smartphone user. More and more people are accessing the web almost exclusively through mobile devices and they are becoming fickle – not willing a view sites that are not mobile-optimized.
Another mistake you see is the inappropriate placing of QR codes. Users have to be able to scan them, which can be nearly impossible if they’re located on a billboard 40 feet in the air. It’s also not recommended to place a QR code for an ad about erectile dysfunction or diarrhoea relief in a crowded public place.
Wikipedia has a great article on the history and mechanics of QR codes and Vancouver digital marketer JP Holecka has written a interesting blog entry about how codes are used improperly.
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