Why You Only Need One Mobile Site
July 27, 2012
When the mobile web was born, it was anything but user-friendly. Different companies were implementing different ways to access information. There was a rush to become the thought lea...Read More
Cover Art is Property of Wired
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first installment in our series, “QR Codes That Suck, And How You Can Fix Them.” Today, we will be examining some of the QR codes featured in this month’s issue of Wired.
Let’s jump right in.
Someone at Glenlivet must have been sampling the product when they designed this campaign. Sure, the ad itself looks nice, and the QR code is just the right size.
So the rest of the campaign must be great, right? Wrong.
Scanning that QR code will take you straight to this monstrosity:
And by straight to, I mean just that. No URL shortening, so there must not be any scanning analytics. All that money for a full page ad and no URL shortening?Let’s keep going. Let’s assume that we’re feeling overly generous, and we take time out of our day to zoom in on that microscopic form, put in some fake birthday, and get into the site.
Oh, wait. We can’t. When you submit that form, it just sends you to another form, with virtually no explanation as to why it even exists, or what it does.
I hate to pick on Newegg, because I’ve been a longtime customer. They have awesome prices on computer parts and most other electronic goodies. Surely Newegg, the nerd equivalent of Wal-Mart, was able to throw together something that showed a little technological ability, right? Wrong again.
The ad looks good enough. There is even a nice call to action beside the QR code. This thing could be decent. Let’s scan it and see how awesome the deals are.
Oh, I see. It’s like a website on my computer, just on my iPhone instead. That’s neat. The text is all tiny and everything. I don’t guess I REALLY need to read it or anything. I can just look at the pictures. Wait…those are small too. Hell, all of those laptops look the same at this size. But, wait. What’s that big white spot in the middle? Oh, that’s nothing. Seriously. It’s nothing. Just empty space.
These guys bought more than one ad, so surely they must be serious contenders. Let’s look at the goods.
The ads look good enough. Nice use of negative space and there is even a little call to action below the QR code, even if it is super vague. Let’s scan and see what we get. (Bet you can’t guess what it will be.)
If you guessed a massive PDF that is almost impossible to read and pretty much the worst imaginable experience ever, then you guessed right.
This thing is 28 pages long, and all of the actual text is that small. There are a few pictures sprinkled here and there, but nothing to make up for the fact that something this terrible even exists. If you’re using an Android device or a Blackberry without a PDF viewer…well, they don’t really care.
Ok, let’s back off for a minute. Maybe we’re not giving the PDF a chance. After all, we’re using an iPhone here. We have iBooks, with full PDF capabilities. Assuming that we use iBooks, know what iBooks is, and know that we can open PDF’s in iBooks, let’s do that.
Oh, wow. It’s so much easier to read these 28 pages when they are shoved into a space about as wide a credit card, two at a time.
I had never heard of these guys before, but I’m a sucker for a bean bag. So, let’s see what they’ve got.
You can’t really tell by the picture, but that QR code is damn small. It’s about half an inch wide. Luckily, we’re playing with an iPhone 4S with an 8MP camera that can zoom in on just about anything. I don’t even want to imagine trying to scan this thing with a 3GS or some old Android device. But, we scanned it. What’s on the other side?
That’s AWESOME! Look at that bean bag! It’s huge! Let’s zoom….wait. I have to download the latest version of Flash from Macromedia?Do they know that Macromedia doesn’t exist anymore? Ok, we can write that off. But the text is so small, that picture is really the only redeeming quality about this landing page, and it would not be as effective on someone who doesn’t want an office full of bean bags.To their credit: These guys used a URL shortener, so it’s not a total loss.
Well folks, that’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of “QR Codes That Suck, And How You Can Fix Them.”
Have you seen any crappy QR codes lately? Be sure to share them in the comments.