This came in response to a question about QR codes on Linked In, they have been around ten years or so, whether those early users [Japan] have moved on or not is to be seen.
To cut to real focus, rather than marketers and developers talking about how they provide them. I think we should ask if there is an audience for them. I know there are stats to verify this, percentages in stats prove only that 50% can mean one of two people. So I don’t always believe stats are helpful.
I personally haven’t scanned a QR code and don’t see people doing this on buses, trains, next to posters/billboards, shopping malls and plazas or anywhere I go. I definitely don’t see groups of younger supposedly more tech savvy people in town and city centres scanning QR codes.
I have no quarrel with QR codes just see them as not being relevant to me if I am out and about, I absolutely wouldn’t scan a code of someones business card whilst talking to them or others at a meeting but would pass the card to my pocket and review later. Passing billboards always seems an odd one should I stop or carry on? They have to be relevant but also deliver more information than what I can see on a poster, and as I am mid way through shopping should the shop window QR code stop me and should I scan it or would I read 30% off my favorite product and be far more likely to interact.
So for me where relevant there is a need, but QR codes seem to be the necessary stepping stone to a more workable solution. Whatever that is, more than likely something that is smaller and more accessible. Consider the end user first though and not the technology, if talking to them is easier do it, if adding a signpost to get more information do that.
PS: Please don’t use them on screens where a link will be far more appropriate, or as an avatar like the ‘fun’ tie it doesn’t make you interesting just invisible :)