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Topic # 111229 27-Oct-2012 21:49 Send private message

QR codes are starting to pop up more and more these days and while they can be used for a multitude of reasons the most popular one is to take you to a website to view more info about a topic or product.

One thing I cannot understand is why so many QR codes go to a non optimised website, i.e one that does not display well on a mobile device.  Lets face it a QR code is most likely to be read by a mobile device and this usually means a mobile phone.  Yet in most cases when you scan a QR code you end up at a website designed to be viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.  This means the viewing experience is poor and the real advantage of the QR code is lost.

I wonder if QR codes are just being used to be trendy and put along side the Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn logos just because it will give that business the appearance that it is keeping up with the times.

In the majority of cases it would seem there has been no thought as to what device will scan the code and what the website the QR code links to looks like on a mobile device.  One would think that the people setting the QR codes up would have a bit more nous on their use, obviously not.

Has anyone else used QR codes and have similar thoughts to mine?




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  Reply # 707641 27-Oct-2012 21:55 Send private message

Technofreak:
I wonder if QR codes are just being used to be trendy and put along side the Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn logos just because it will give that business the appearance that it is keeping up with the times.

Has anyone else used QR codes and have similar thoughts to mine?


I would say that was pretty accurate.  The rare times I scan those square code thing I get a page that tells me about the great benefits of square code things and to register or something.  I never get any information about the product that I scan.

I've just stopped all together now.





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  Reply # 707647 27-Oct-2012 22:05 Send private message

You've pretty much summed it up.

Stupid placement of the codes is also readily apparent - a classic example has been the use of them on advertising campaigns on bus stops around Wellington. There have been several ads in particular where the QR code has been at the bottom of the poster meaning you have to actually bend down with your phone to scan the barcode. Total fail..




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  Reply # 707655 27-Oct-2012 22:19 Send private message

sbiddle:

Stupid placement of the codes is also readily apparent - a classic example has been the use of them on advertising campaigns on bus stops around Wellington. There have been several ads in particular where the QR code has been at the bottom of the poster meaning you have to actually bend down with your phone to scan the barcode. Total fail..



Or the code is so busy or small that the QR reader app has a hard time reading the code.

I think the QR code has the potential to be a great medium for education and or advertising but so far in this country at least, it is being well and truly screwed up.




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  Reply # 707656 27-Oct-2012 22:23 Send private message

try doing a google search for 'munzee' great game that makes use of the GPS and QR features of your smartphone

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  Reply # 707667 27-Oct-2012 23:15 Send private message

It's largely a gimmick still. I had a wine bottle which I scanned and it went to a page not found on the website. Either they hadn't linked the code up, or they had removed the page, both of which are a big fail. A full webpage is fine if you scan it with a tablet, and mobile devices will usually handle full sized sites fine these days. But new websites now should be responsive and scale down.

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  Reply # 707669 27-Oct-2012 23:35 Send private message

I put my contact details as a QR code on the last batch of business cards I got printed.
Saves you having to enter them into your phone manually. :)
Lots of people have loved it and also got lots of people talking to me as they didn't know what it was.




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  Reply # 707702 28-Oct-2012 01:45 Send private message

I am considering having a QR code put on the shirt sleeve of the shirts we wear at work :)

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  Reply # 707703 28-Oct-2012 01:47 Send private message

Have seen them on many inappropriate places too, like the back of a van, etc.

There is a very small range that they scan properly at, too small and it wont get it till you are close. No good when moving etc, takes a good second for the autofocus to lock on etc and get a result.

Have had better luck with just taking a photo and letting google goggles do its thing than use the dedicated reader apps on the phone, but still if its on something moving you cant really get it, whereas a short good URL you can remember and enter yourself.

Till cameras get good enough and the app works well enough that you can hit a 1-2" tag from meters away while moving they are useless for advertising really.

But for contact entry on a business card where you can hold it, control the positioning, reduce shadows and glare so it actually works then they are great.




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  Reply # 707710 28-Oct-2012 07:08 Send private message

richms: Have seen them on many inappropriate places too, like the back of a van, etc.


Cracked me up, had visions of smartphone wielding geeks chasing vans down streets.



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  Reply # 707864 28-Oct-2012 13:06 Send private message

mattwnz: It's largely a gimmick still. I had a wine bottle which I scanned and it went to a page not found on the website. Either they hadn't linked the code up, or they had removed the page, both of which are a big fail.
 

I agree, however bad links and removed pages are a wider issue which webmasters need to do a better job of managing.


mattwnz:A full webpage is fine if you scan it with a tablet, and mobile devices will usually handle full sized sites fine these days. But new websites now should be responsive and scale down.


True most tablets are OK on a full site but it's my experience that many phones while being able to display a full site certainly don't do it justice and it can be fiddly looking around a page and other than geeks like us the average person won't bother looking around a website that's not ideally suited to a mobile device.

The nature of a QR code is that it can be placed almost anywhere to provide a link to a site without having to type in a web address and avoid the high probability of mistyping the address. Therefore the most obvious user device is a mobile phone since tablets are not carried around all the time like a phone is.  

My point being those using QR codes should ensure that (A) the QR is of appropriate size and location to make it easy to scan and (B) the website it goes to provides a good user experience, i.e. is is optimised or scalable, otherwise its a fail.




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  Reply # 707888 28-Oct-2012 13:38 Send private message

Just as bad are the QR codes printed in the newspapers, that are so fuzzy that they are unreadable

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  Reply # 707889 28-Oct-2012 13:39 Send private message

THe problem with full sites on phones etc is badly coded lightboxes etc that position half of themselves off the screen etc.

If idiocy like that was stopped then most sites would be perfect on phones with a little panning around.




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  Reply # 707938 28-Oct-2012 15:13 Send private message

GregV: Just as bad are the QR codes printed in the newspapers, that are so fuzzy that they are unreadable


Yep, newspapers being trendy without actually understanding how things work.




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  Reply # 707966 28-Oct-2012 15:56 Send private message

There definitely needs to be a higher use of error correction. 30% error correction codes are far easier to scan.
You can use this 30% error correction to throw a logo in the middle too and still have it scan correctly - while it defeats the purpose of the error correction, it looks cool.

source: http://hackaday.com/2011/08/11/how-to-put-your-logo-in-a-qr-code/


I've seen some which said "scan here to see a video with more information" to which i thought, great, thats an excellent use which i'd love to do. Oh and thanks for the heads up on it being a video, now i know that its entirely useless in NZ for the amount of mobile data it would use.

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  Reply # 709887 31-Oct-2012 14:51 Send private message

I picked up the local yellow pages and scanned the QR code on the front of it.
It sent my phone to the yellow pages web site. I thought to myself "but I'm holding the yellow pages in my hand..."

More usefully tho, I notice in the restuarants section in the yellow pages, many of the large picture ads have a QR code that often brings up the restaurants menu, among other details.

That has to be the most useful thing I have seen yet, apart from the contact details sharing QR codes of course.

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