The QR Code. It’s been around for a while, in some cases we’re seeing great value added and in others we’re seeing the exact opposite.
One debate the seems to be reoccurring is whether to use QR codes on web pages. My initial feeling is a no – why tell someone to scan something on a web page to take them to a web page? They could, after all, just click a link.
The benefit here though is to transfer something from your laptop or PC to your phone. I have done some research and it seems this has been adopted on a number of websites already, but is not a widespread adoption as of yet. You visit a website – the example I found was a recipe website – and when you’ve browsed to a particular page, you see a QR code with the text ‘Scan me to take me with you’. To me, a perfectly acceptable and fairly creative way of using QR codes and of transferring content from a laptop or PC to a mobile.
If you’re going to adopt this yourself, I would however make sure you stick to the five QR code rules:
- Test the code – especially before putting on any print publications!
- Don’t get too fancy – as a rule of thumb you can manipulate a QR code by up to 30% and bar code scanners will still read it. Don’t push this too far. Remember the purpose of a QR code is take a user to specific place, don’t compromise this with fancy design.
- Send your user to a mobile page – seems slightly backward to tell a user to use their phone to go to a non-mobile site.
- Make sure your users will have data signal when they are scanning your QR codes – otherwise they won’t reach the destination. E.g. don’t put them on the underground!
- Offer enough value – an incentive – a solid reason that the user should scan the code.
Clearly QR codes are best suited to print publications – allowing the user to transfer from the offline world to the online world fairly simply. The above, however, is an example of how QR codes can be successfully used on a website.
What do you think? What really creative examples of QR codes have you come across?