By Hannah Moyers
Once the initial joy of first using a Quick Recognition (QR) code wears off, many users are finding developers are unable to keep up with the technology.
By implementing these small squares in ad campaigns, companies can communicate practically unlimited amounts of information. Even the common man, not just techies of the cyber world, can create and use QR codes to expand the information conveyed through their business cards. Why then is such a simple tool taking time to catch on with the general public?
One word: misuse.
QR codes offer major flexibility, but such freedom encourages people to forget the logical rules of using mobile-devices. Smart-phones and tablets simply don’t play nice with “non-mobile-friendly” websites.
But people who generate QR codes often forget about this little war between web and mobile technology. Whether slightly computer literate or a computer-code expert, people handling advertisements are often guilty of this multimedia communication sin.
It is easiest to forget about the tech war when adding a QR code to business cards, which never have enough space to share information. Some individuals claim they cannot even access the information on their business card QR codes from their own iPhones.
This issue plagues not only the common man, but also big businesses. Some restaurant chains use QR codes to re-direct visitors to a five minute YouTube video. They failed to recognize that not everyone has the time, technology or data to watch such a video in such an environment.
This kind of situation shows that even big business developers do not have a handle on QR codes.
The technological issue and not linking to a mobile-friendly site are simple to fix. This will not be the death of QR codes. The bitter end will come when developers and independent businessmen alike fail to consider context – like we see with the restaurant chain. When and how are users accessing information? What do they want to see?
A more useful approach for the restaurant chain might have been to direct QR users to something that offered value to them as consumers.
Meanwhile, the average Joe might use a QR code on his business card to repeat the same information already on his business card or redirect you to his LinkedIn page. Currently, LinkedIn is not mobile-friendly.
QR codes are beneficial when used to communicate information with sleek presentation (i.e., a mobile-friendly site) that users might not find on their own.
Four questions could effectively help developers fix their misuse of QR codes:
• Is the visitor interested in the information provided?
• Does the visitor have the time and technology to appreciate this information?
• Is content direct and to the point? (Remember KISS)
• Is everything linked to the QR code properly formatted to be mobile-friendly?
This new “genie in a bottle for advertising” is destined to catch on as people learn the rules that govern it. As new technology makes outdated hardware obsolete, QR codes might possibly become a new standard for communication.Contact Hannah Moyers.