QR codes 101: Link to a mobile-optimized site!

Perhaps because I live in the Bay Area, where there’s a higher-than-normal proportion of geekier people walking around, I’m starting to see QR (“quick response”) codes more often.

And I’m seeing a common mistake in how they’re used: Often, they don’t take users to a mobile-optimized landing page…

The basic value proposition of a QR code is that it makes it easier and faster for people on the go to connect with information. Specifically, it bypasses the need to have to type a URL into the web browser of a mobile phone — an activity that’s notoriously annoying, error-prone, and time consuming. Instead, you use a scanner app to take a picture of the QR code. It then uses that information to launch a web page in your phone’s browser.

(List of QR code scanner apps for just about any kind of smartphone. They’re usually free.)

In my experience about half the time the resulting web page is not mobile optimized! That is, I must pinch-and-zoom to magnify the text, and then scroll horizontally or vertically to view all the content on that page.

Not exactly the most efficient way for someone to experience information on a mobile phone.

Here’s an example: At a comedy show last night, I picked up a postcard featuring a QR code, promoting something called Quizitter. Try going to that page right now. If you have a smartphone handy, try using the QR code below. Where does it take you? To a full web page where you have to use extra manual navigation effort just to figure out what they’re talking about.

And bang, you’ll lose a lot of your mobile audience right there.

Postcard I saw last night promoting an online checkin service. Try this on your mobile device. Notice any problems?


One thought on “QR codes 101: Link to a mobile-optimized site!

  1. Pingback: Be Smart when using a QR code. | Michael Fanning

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