The biggest problem with QR codes is that they are really cool. Their second biggest problem is that they are very easy to create. So now we see them everywhere on billboards, brochures, posters and more. I was at a museum exhibition and there were QR codes on the walls that could be scanned in order to get more information about the art.
Why is this a problem? The coolness factor and ease of use makes it too easy to jump right into using them without any forethought as to the result. QR codes are designed for use with a mobile device. If that is the case, why do most QR code scans take a user to a desktop formatted webpage? Sending a mobile phone, especially a smaller screened Blackberry, to a desktop webpage is inviting a less then stellar experience with your website. If fact, it is inviting a really bad one by providing the user, who is your potential customer, a lot of frustration as they try to read the content and click on tiny buttons that require surgical skills to reach.
The use of mobile devices for web browsing is growing at a rate that is almost too quick to measure. It is estimated that 40% of all web searches are done on a mobile phone and by next year it probably increase to more than 50%. Add to that the fact that 100% of all QR code scans are done with a mobile device and you might see a problem if you are not providing your web content in a mobile friendly way.
QR codes can be a really great and inexpensive marketing tool. But don’t use them the wrong way. What is really cool and really easy might end up as really bad and really difficult if your web site is not easily viewable on the device that scanned the code.