QR Codes Don’t Work
QUICK response (QR) codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that resemble a checkerboard on LSD are appearing more frequently on billboards, magazine ads, business cards, stickers, T-shirts and anything that is used to promote stuff. However, evidence suggests many people don’t understand what QR codes are or what to do with them.
You might think that if anyone would know how to use a QR code, it would be college students — a demographic that is immersed in technology and bombarded by marketing. But a recent study found that nearly eight in 10 college students had no idea what to do with a QR code.
Archrival, a research group that focuses on youth marketing, surveyed 500 students at 24 colleges and universities across the United States. They found that although about 80% of students owned a smartphone and had previously seen a QR code, only about 20% were able to successfully scan the example QR code they were shown. Furthermore, about 75% said they were unlikely to scan a QR code in the future.
The whole point of a QR code is that it’s supposed to make it easier for people to use their phones to connect with information about things that they encounter in their environment. That’s where mobile typing gets in the way.
Most smartphones and even many feature phones have good enough web browsers and data connections to display a simple mobile-friendly web page, but trying to correctly type a URL on even the best smartphone is a pretty tedious and error-prone activity.
QR codes eliminate the need for typing a URL on your phone, but you need to have a barcode scanner app installed. And then you must take a moment to find and launch that app before you point your phone’s camera at a QR code.