QR Codes have gone out of style

we can be glad.

Before placing a QR Code on a medium, one wonders if this is actually a good idea. Is it because everyone is using them? What are the best uses of a QR code and how are they perceived today?

QR codes (or 2D barcodes) are out of style, but that trend had only bad consequences. Companies felt they had to put these labels on each product and advertising, without really knowing why. The results were mixed: after the last phase of curiosity, users are tired. Why? Because the content they were offered was worthless, because the code was poorly placed and difficult to scan, because smartphones were not so common.

Fortunately the environment has matured. Companies have learned to use QR codes. They are not there for nothing, some value is now associated with the reading of the code. It is no longer an excuse to drown in the visitor even more advertising. It draws a concrete benefit as a coupon, a free sample. When we scan it, a light page appears, adapted to the mobile phone usage.

Unparalleled technology

The trend is over and it is good: users are educated and installed on their smartphone a dedicated application to read the codes. The new Android models have a native application in their system, which makes the action even more simple. Finally we realize that QR codes make a real service.

Example : if we want to provide a link to memory cards at Best Buy, the address is http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Memory-Cards/Secure-Digital/abcat0404004.c?id=abcat0404004. It is not excessively complicated, it could be worse, but who would be brave enough to type it on their mobile phone? And how much would do it without a mistake? Then of course, you can use an address shortening service, linke http://goog.gl, which gives http://goo.gl/fYMYi. It is shorter, but still not easy to type.

QR code containing the shortened address

We must admit, in well identified cases, the QR code does not know any alternative. No other technology lets you enter a URL in the browser of the phone without having to type and without making any mistake. This is the first benefit for the user.

Here are some rules for the QR Code to be welcomed by users and to increase its usage:

  1. Indicate beside the QR code what you get by scanning it. Do not just write "Tell me more", and actually deliver what is claimed.
  2. Provide a real benefit to the user, motivate them to use their smartphone.
  3. Open a page adapted to mobile devices: light and fast, with an added value.

Following the rules of common sense, a QR code can connect your paper to the Internet. You will meet a real user's need and improve your return on investment.


  • Tags:
  • QR Code
  • Use case
  • Marketing
  • Mobile
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