I love QR Codes.
I love when companies use them to help customers.
As I mentioned in my LavaCon talk last year, I love them for their simple and efficient method of bridging the real and online worlds. With a simple click of a camera phone, you can be taken to a website, load an app, enter an address… a myriad of things. But if you’re going to use them, you have to consider the entire chain of events. Don’t use it as a simple link mechanism without considering the consequences.
This year the Stratford Festival has started using them in their magazine adverts. I think this is a great idea. Their target market is likely to be carrying smartphones that have QR code readers installed (or can be installed), and they’ve been putting them in the magazines that their market is likely to be reading.
All this makes sense, but why fail at the end?
Their recent advert in the programme for “Barrymore” (starring Christopher Plummer), contained a QR code, the one you see above. Using my phone I snapped the code and was immediately taken to the Stratford site. The regular Stratford site, not one optimised for mobile viewing.
Why is this a problem? Because making it easy for people to get to your site, the doorway to your information is good. Making it hard to get to that information once they’re there is bad.
The site is clear and easy to use on a large screen. With a small screen the images are too small and confusing and the text – the titles of the plays – is unreadable.
If you’re going to use QR codes, it’s important to provide a destination that meets the needs of your customers. QR codes are used with mobiles; link to a site that can be used with a mobile!