In a recent trip I saw a billboard with a huge QR code printed on the front. The person I was with had absolutely no clue what the purpose of it was.
But I did.
QR codes have been emerging for a long, long time. They were initially designed by the Toyota group in 1994 to help identify vehicle parts in manufacturing, in a similar way to how barcodes have been used.
Although most consumers know what a barcode is, and what it does, its always been something that someone else handles.
If you go into a supermarket, and scan an item, its the shop assistant that scanned the item (with barcode) for you. There hasn’t been until now, with the common use of self-checkout, the need for the consumer to care what information the bar code contained.
But marketers and designers have been persistent. Although I would guess, most of the population in the UK don’t know what a QR code is, or has a program that can read it. It is still being pushed, and used by many advertisers.
The best use of QR codes is when the URL is also presented, and not just the QR code. As this will still allow potential consumers, who aren’t “as” tech savvy to access the content.