QR codes

As someone who is not necessarily a social media/techie wizard, I was stumped when it was suggested to me that I try using QR codes as a way for our students to complete workshop evaluations on the go.

Having never heard of a QR code, I got rather excited once the basic principal was explained to me and I started to dream big. Instead of killing endless trees with paper evaluations, we could attach each eval to a QR code!  No more remembering to email content after the fact as a link to the presentation slides or key documents could be attached.

However my excitement was soon dashed when I pitched the idea to my co-workers and they said that our students would laugh and we would lose all credibility if we used QR codes! As one co-worker exclaimed “QR codes are so 2009!”.  I hung my head in absolute embarrassment and shame that I was so behind the times.

 RIP QR codes

What is a QR Code?

For those of you, like me, who do not know what a QR code is – they are scanable barcodes that you can attach information to – ie product information, a website, or in my case, a workshop evaluation and key documents.

Are QR Codes being used?

According to all of the many articles that I’ve read (a few are listed below), and my co-workers, QR codes are not being used efficiently by companies, therefore the trend is not gaining traction amongst the general population.

Top Three reasons why QR Codes are not being used

1. QR code readers are not preloaded onto smartphones.  Users have to download and install apps for reading QR codes.

2. Companies don’t want to waste valuable packaging space on a UPC code and a QR code.

3. Companies overuse QR codes and aren’t strategic with their usage.  Who is going to scan a QR code on the side of a bus?

Does anyone else have any experience with QR codes in your work or personal life?  Do you find them useful or are they really ‘so 2009’?




4 thoughts on “QR codes

  1. Unfortunately, I have to agree with your coworkers. I work with a youth organization (12-18) and we stopped using QR codes because we never see them using them or referring to having used them. As you pointed, the fact the functionality is not preprogrammed on the phone is a big problem. It discourage people from investing 5 more seconds into turning the app on and scanning. In a world of immediate consumption, QR codes are done. 😦

  2. It’s true QR code were the new black in 2009-2010 and just as quickly as they appeared on the scene they fizzled out. If Apple had of considered making a QR code scanning app as a staple iPhone app sooner things may have been different.Plus, the novelty of QR codes meant that they were severally overused, I believe also added to the their short-term life span.

    That being said, according to Aaron Strout, the QR code might not be as dead as we think, http://marketingland.com/5-reason-qr-codes-may-not-be-as-dead-as-we-think-63997

    I think when used well QR codes can be great, but often times are a bit of a disappointment with current use.

  3. QR posts were a weird thing to me as well when they came out. I had a Blackberry a few years ago, and to add a contact you would have to scan what was basically a QR code. Then I started seeing them everywhere and was super confused myself. They didn’t seem all that useful to me, as I never saw people in public stopping to scan one myself.

  4. QR codes…I’ve never been a fan of them. Why? Never took to the time to look into them. I find that it’s quicker just to type in the website address of what you’re looking for than opening up an app. I think some people use them on regular basis…mostly at airports for example. I saw a traveller this past Monday in Fort Lauderdale scanning his QR code….at the security check point! Maybe I should take the time to explore the QR codes benefits but should I? 2009 is soooo far behind us…old school. Here we use bar codes, not QR codes!

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