English articles, QR

A QR is a link, it needs a relevant landing page

Billboard of a phone shop, of The Phone House in the street: that Samsung smartphone, you really need to buy it now. And look, with that QR code you know more instantly. Well, no. A case of how QR should not be used. Because it doesn’t serve the task of the curious.

Billboard with QRThere have been meetings about this billboard, for sure. And someone at a meeting said: “We should put a QR down there on the billboard.”

“A what?” Oh, no, not one of these guys in the meeting, the never up-to-speed guys, never know about nothing new. Shocking, really.

“QR, an enhanced type of bar code. You scan it with your smartphone, and instantly, you have more information. So, we put the most essential on the billboard, we design it nicely, and whoever is interested, will have more online. New marketing, enhances the conversion. And good for our image, it shows that we are ahead of the pack, up-to-speed.”


“But then they need to have a smartphone already to access our smartphone QR extra information.”

Touché as well. How the meeting ended, is shown on the billboard.

In the mean time, someone must have decided on the landing page, where the QR code leads to. Someone in the meeting must have understood that a QR code actually is a link,  a link made readable for a camera.

And this person is not up-to-speed.

Because this is where I ended up, scanning the code, at a home page that

  • way too large for my smartphone screen
  • told nothing about the promotion on the billboard
  • offered me choices I never asked for.

QR-landingpage1Leading smartphone browser to internet web pages is most irritating, isn’t it? As if responsive design doesn’t exist. Web pages can be delivered to the size of the device. (Must have been discussed in an other meeting, probably)

Anyway, after some pinching, I have a better look at the full page. Nothing about the Samsung, lots about other phones. Oh yes, after a number of seconds, there in the Samsung, in the slide show in the center piece.

What a waste of time, and no conversion, and a dissatisfied prospect.

A QR code isn’t just a beautiful square, fitting nicely in the design. It is a link.

And hence, it is a promise. It promises more information. It promises usefulness. Well then, deliver! And deliver exactly that what fits to the task of the person using the link. He or she spends time, spends some effort, wants to reach you. Treat him respectfully by fulfilling the promise of the link.

What our meeting could have decided, is to have the Samsung phone product page as the landing page. And if the meeting hadn’t ended too early, they could have decided on creating m-pages, fit for the small screens. And for measuring the use, to analyse the result in the next meeting.

And that line-up of other phones in the top of the page, I don’t want to see that, do I? I came for the Samsung. They do want to sell it, or what?

And read Why QR-codes too often are counterproductive


About Toon Lowette

Customer is not king on the internet, he is dictator. Online services are successful if they allow the customer to do what he came for efficiently and without confusion. Toon Lowette is online publishing consultant in the Customer Carewords network of Gerry McGovern. Task management is the central issue. We teach websites to manage the task, not the content, not the technology. We teach websites to become relentlessly customer centric.



  1. Pingback: Why QR-codes too often are counterproductive « Toon Lowette – Netspanning - 16 March 2012

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