The Truth and Humor Behind the QR Code

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While sitting in traffic one fateful Monday, I noticed the advertising on a bus in front of me. Now, being in the marketing and design world I find myself constantly oohing and booing design found everywhere in my environment. On this day however, I was more shocked at what indeed was  before my very eyes. On the side of this particular bus was a QR code. Hmmm, I pondered to myself, how many consumers while driving (in crazy Atlanta traffic) actually have grabbed for their phone (using the other free hand to steer, of course) and tried to focus in on the moving target? Nilch, none, zero I say. What about the other handful sitting in traffic? Do they pull out their phones and scan while waiting for the light to change? Well, no and even if they tried the distance, angle and size of the code in question would just not allow for registration.

So, marketeers and business owners, the truth lies in a few simple facts – a QR code, must be in proper distance, at a proper angle and most importantly must be a minimum size of 1″ x 1″ for our smart phones to be able to compute the  information. 

While QR codes have become the craze and do offer businesses a quick and easy link to products and information, there must be a strategy behind the placement. Placement on a postcard, billing statement, or business card are strategic – embedded into the design of a website, on a flying banner or on a moving (or non-moving for that matter) bus are simply not.

The best advice I can give is to first understand the user’s experience before applying a QR code. What marketing material is the code being applied to – is it feasible (or possible) for a consumer to scan? What information are you sending them to – is it a worthwhile web experience with content or a chance to win that may bring them back to your site again? 

Need more evidence (or more of a laugh)? Check out these QR codes gone bad:

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2 responses to “The Truth and Humor Behind the QR Code”

  1. Joel Black says:

    Nice post Susan.  If the QR code on the cupcake was edible, that would be pretty cool!

  2. Joel Black says:

    Nice post Susan.  If the QR code on the cupcake was edible, that would be pretty cool!

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