Smarta reporter Michael Ruffles delivers a damning
verdict on QR codes. They're just a fad, he says.
Growing up it was Pokemon cards, in my early teens it was the
constant use of MySpace and now, the latest trend to be hyped
into oblivion, is QR codes.
QR codes or quick response codes are the square barcodes that
can be read by QR code scanners and smart phone cameras. They have
been plastered on everything from billboards and magazines to
business cards and t-shirts.
On the tube you can often see confused tech nerds hovering their
smartphones over them for ages while elder businessman barge past
scratching their heads. These ugly black and white codes are a
thing of the past and here are five reasons why.
No one understands them
The majority of consumers simply don't know what a QR code is;
they aren't even sure what app they need to be able to read one.
Even if you do search for 'QR code scanner' in the app store,
you're greeted by a never-ending list of options, there's no clear
app to use and all this just confuses people more.
They are too much effort
QR codes require engagement from a potential customer. If they
see a QR code on a product or an advert, they have to download and
install an app, take a picture of the code then scroll through the
website to find out more. In today's world people want speed and
clever technologies to save them the most valuable commodity, time.
Unfortunately, QR codes leave you standing still waiting for a
screen to load for too long.
No one wants to read loads of information on
a tiny screen
QR codes are meant to help you find more information
about a product or service. However, if you want to delve deeper
into something before purchasing it - if you really want to know
the details - then you're more likely to research at home, on you
computer. Not when you're out an about and having to thumb around
on your smartphone.
QR codes rely on a good Wi-Fi or 3G
For a QR code to take you from the maze of black and white
squares to a website promoting a product, it needs a good internet
connection. This is a problem because there are times when the
mobile internet is really slow, doesn't work or makes a website
look bad if it isn't mobile friendly. There's also the problem of
QR codes being displayed in places where there's no internet - I
refer back to the confused people wondering why their QR code
scanner isn't working on the tube.
One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch
In the marketing rush to have a QR code promoting products there
were a lot of poor codes slapped around. Some of them didn't scan
properly and of the ones that did, some took the customer through
to a bad website or linked to something they weren't interested in.
These bad experiences have put people off and left the QR code
For more articles by Michael Ruffles, click here.