I am a fan of QR codes — partly because I have a smartphone that can scan them, woo. Also, I am lazy and anything that saves me effort is awesome. So the fact that everyone who seems to use them does it wrong is super frustrating.
The way I see it, QR codes make it extremely easy to import data to a phone so putting a QR code on any source that people would want to see on their phone is a smart idea. Using the QR code to access data that is not phone friendly is a pretty big fail. People have commented before how it’s bad marketing to use a QR code that directs the user to a website that’s non-mobile friendly. I cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t have the forethought to avoid such a useless effort. In fact, I once scanned a code that was part of a sweepstakes or other contest that led me to a Flash-based form that wanted me to register for the content. Um, hello? Why not just code your website so that each code links to a unique, dynamic URL that notifies winners of their status before making them register?
But it also bothers me that the only thing people seem to use QR codes for is URLs. Do people not realize that QR codes work with several types of data? I mean, you can use the code for an entire contact card. This is why using the QR code as part of a business card a great idea. Allow your associates to scan your information directly into their phone rather than having to remember it or keep another card in their wallet. Brilliant.
Other uses of QR codes include
- Phone Numbers
- SMS (text) Messages
- YouTube videos
- Google Map locations
- Social media links
- iTunes links
- Events (vcalendar format)
- WiFi logins
- PayPal buy now links
What a convenient way to invite people to your event or let them know where you live without giving directions than including a QR code on your poster or even as a part of your company or family calendar? Plus, anyone who creates and sells anything that they debut in person can include QR tags on products to facilitate sales directly from PayPal. Awesome, am I right?
But, no, what I see is the use of QR codes leading to websites that won’t work on my phone or catalogs that lead to the same same ad on a store’s site. Why?!?
And, unless you’re being facetious, there’s pretty much no use to use QR codes on a website that someone is only accessing from a computer. It makes no sense for me to have to break out my phone to read something on my computer.
Whatever. Stop pissing me off.