Beantin

James Royal-Lawson

Stop using QR codes!

This autumn the use of QR codes in advertising in Stockholm has exploded. There are more codes visible now than ever before. Unfortunately the majority of them are poorly implemented.

If the QR code doesn’t add to the user experience, don’t use them!

In this blog post I’ve collected together a number of recent examples of QR codes in the wild here in Stockholm, Sweden.

Almost every single code took me to a standard desktop website (or campaign site). Most of them led to a page that was not designed or adjusted for handheld devices.

If a fishy bites, hold on!

QR codes are not going to be scanned by a large number of people – irrespective of the hype, most people don’t know what the hell they are, don’t know how to scan them, or don’t care about scanning them.

When you get someone who does know what they are, and does bother to scan them – you want to make sure you hold on to them! This means what happens once they’ve scanned the code needs to help them take the next step in a relevant context.

Build for the context

By and large this means always think mobile when you are using QR codes. This is the context your target audience are in when they scan. Anything other than mobile-ready content or service will make their interaction more difficult. This will reduce their happiness, reduce the chance of meeting your goals, and potentially damage your brand.

QR Codes in the wild

Nokia N9

Nokia N9 advert with QR code

The code leads to the full desktop website. No handheld or responsive version available.

FV Seleqt

FV Seleqt Sugar Snaps with QR code

Scan this product packaging and you are taken to a desktop site showcasing their products.

Krusovice

Krusovich sign at an event with QR code

Leads to a page that has been designed for mobiles. The page contains a form, but there is still room for optimised it to make completion as easy and as successful as possible from a touch-screen device.

Biltema

Biltema catalogue with QR codes

Two tiny codes, very close together. One for the Android app and one for the iPhone app. They do both scan, but you have cover up one of the codes to ensure you scan the correct one.

Scan

Scan advert with QR code

I didn’t manage to get this code to scan. It was very badly positioned (right at the bottom of the advert) meaning I had to get down on my knees to try to scan it. The code was also relatively small and contained a lot of data.

Norskfisk

Norskfisk advert with QR code

Scan the code and you end up at a recipe, on a desktop web site. No mobile version.

SEB

SEB advert with QR code

Code to apply for a loan.

Stockholm Film Festival

Stockholm Film Festival programme with QR code

This year’s film festival site is really quite good, but shame they used a code that pointed straight to the desktop site. No mobile site is available, but there is an iPhone app.

Skanska

Skanska advert with QR code

This code was featured on an advert on the Stockholm metro leads to a desktop website.

Pantamera

Pantamera adverts with QR code

One of the few better implementations included in this blog post. The codes lead to YouTube videos, which serves a mobile version of it’s site (or can even open directly in the YouTube app on many mobiles).

Flickr

You can find all of these QR codes (and more) in this set on my Flickr stream.


James Royal-Lawson+ is a digital strategist and web manager based in Stockholm Sweden.

Green, green grass.

The truth about gamification – uxpodcast

Episode 5 of UXPodcast has been published. This month, Per Axbom and I talk to Jesper Bylund about gamification.

It was not only good fun to have Per and Jesper round to Beantin HQ to record the podcast, it was also thoroughly educational. Jesper knows his stuff when it comes to game design and gamification.

The peak of inflated expectations

There’s an awful lot of hype about gamification now – as higlighted by Gartner in their 2011 hype cycle. Gamification is right up there in the peak of inflated expectations.

Together with the hype there is a lot of misunderstanding. In the podcast we dig into the misunderstanding and talk about what gamification really is.

Listen to the show

Take the chance to listen to episode 5 – The truth about gamification on uxpodcast.com.


is a freelance web manager and strategist based in Stockholm Sweden.

The truth about gamification – uxpodcast

Episode 5 of UXPodcast has been published. This month, Per Axbom and I talk to Jesper Bylund about gamification.

It was not only good fun to have Per and Jesper round to Beantin HQ to record the podcast, it was also thoroughly educational. Jesper knows his stuff when it comes to game design and gamification.

The peak of inflated expectations

There’s an awful lot of hype about gamification now – as higlighted by Gartner in their 2011 hype cycle. Gamification is right up there in the peak of inflated expectations.

Together with the hype there is a lot of misunderstanding. In the podcast we dig into the misunderstanding and talk about what gamification really is.

Listen to the show

Take the chance to listen to episode 5 – The truth about gamification on uxpodcast.com.


is a freelance web manager and strategist based in Stockholm Sweden.

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