How Not to Use QR Codes: Part 2Posted on by Timothy Boyle
Quite often you will find a QR code that isn’t being used properly; perhaps it is in a bad location, is too dense, or maybe it lacks a call to action. Any of those and more are normal, but in our latest example of how not to use a QR code we find the use of a QR code that goes far beyond any of the typical QR code mistakes. Instead what we find here is the use of a QR code that if scanned will bring death—by train.
Now, the question you are in all likelihood asking yourself is “what if the QR code has a great landing page? Wouldn’t the risk of death be worth the reward?” Of course this must be what the marketers in this situation were hoping you would be asking yourself, and that the curiosity of the human species would lead many to attempt to discover the answer. Unfortunately to this day there is no record of a survivor able to tell us about the greatness of this landing page.
Besides the likely outcome of death, let’s take a look at what else is wrong with this QR code use.
Poor location: In order to scan this code you have to be skilled in dodging thousand ton trains at 40 mph, if this isn’t a skill of your potential customers then you’re probably not using the QR code properly.
Potential lack of Internet: So your customer has just dodged a train and scanned the code, but it doesn’t matter because he is in the subway and doesn’t have a good connection—if he has one at all. He sits and waits for the link to load—he gets hit by the next train.
No Call To Action: Good news and bad news. Bad News: On the one hand there is no call to action, or it is hard to see so as to be useless, so people will have no incentive to scan the code and there will be no new sales or benefit to the QR code use. Good News: On the other hand, there is no call to action, or it is hard to see so as to be useless, so people will have no incentive to scan the code and will rejoice in keeping their life—a potential customer lives on.
So what did we learn here? To always make sure the QR code is big enough to be scannable from a distance, that the code has a call to action, that internet access is available and sufficient, and most important—to make sure your potential customers are thoroughly trained ninjas who can dodge high speed trains.