5.31.2011

Online use of 2D Barcodes

The Post Game is an online website that provides information about sports and fitness. If you click on the link above, and view the site, you will notice a QR Code prominently displayed in the upper right-hand corner of the website's mast head. Care to guess where the QR Code takes you? Once scanned, the QR Code resolves to The Post Game's home page. Gee, how very clever, or not. And, to make matters worse, the code does not even link to a mobile optimized version of the website. So, what's the purpose, objective and/or goal of this type of code placement? Frankly, I haven't a clue as to what the site's marketing and creative team was thinking. 

With this example in mind, the question becomes, what is the best way to use 2D barcodes online? My answer to this is based on another question: How does the 2D barcode best serve the target audience and is there any value being delivered via the scan resolve? (Note: this is the same question that could or should be asked when using a code offline.) If thought of in this manner there is no limit as to how a code could be used.

Whether a code is used online or offline, the bottom line is that companies need to think strategically about them. Companies really need to ask about the purpose the code  serves, the customer/user experience and the value to be delivered or provided.

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL

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