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QR Codes and a Mobile Optimized User Experience

QR codes have become very popular in print advertising because they can provide a direct link between the physical and virtual worlds. They can also significantly increase the conversion rate because they can deep link into very specific areas of your web presence that is most appropriate to that user.

A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is a trademark for a type of Matrix barcode that was invented by a subsidiary of Toyota back in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. With the proliferation of Smartphones, the use of QR codes has expanded to air transport ticketing, to allow for easy navigation to URLs, vCards for addresses and so many other uses.

During a recent client meeting we discussed the design of a mobile-responsive site design. We were able to distill the entire site design into four key terms: User, Task, Device, and Location. We decided that understanding and producing a detailed matrix based on these terms would lead us to a model of the entire information architecture.

When you present a QR code on a print brochure you can safely assume that you have some awareness of each of these key parameters.

  1. You know that your user is looking for more information about your product on their mobile phone (or maybe tablet)
  2. The User is potential customer;
  3. The task is getting more information;
  4. The device is mobile phone;
  5. and their location is available based upon GPS and other locations services.

It is essential that the user experience that you provide match the users’ expectations.

  • Do not present your generic desktop website to the QR code visitor.
  • Do not just mirror the same information that was presented on the print brochure (or billboard).

The QR code visitors are expecting a personalized mobile experience that provides more information, or some additional functionality that was not available in the print brochure that they decided to scan.

They have made a commitment to take a look at what you have to offer by scanning your QR code; you should commit to providing them the best mobile-optimized experience.

Working with The Usability People will ensure that the correct content is presented to the correct user, no matter the user, task, device or location!