The QR Code Fad is Over

QR Code

Fad: an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.

In the business and technology worlds, many fads that explode in usage, fade away as technology and/or habits change. Such is the story of  QR codes. They hit their full stride as an easy way to share web-based content anywhere without requiring users to type long or complex URLs into mobile phones.

Ply wanted wanted to test a creative concept that would help driving web traffic to a client’s new product. Instead of using a generic black-and-white QR code, we integrated the product into the code itself. We also wanted to show the process of building the QR code instead of only showing the final product for a more interactive experience for the user. A team of four of us spent about two hours building and filming the making of the final scannable image. From over 3,000 stop-action photos we created an engaging and innovative video, which made visitors watch and interact with the Sahale Snacks brand.

Today, QR codes have been on the decline. Part of this is due to the misuse of QR codes among business owners. Because they are free to make, people with a lack of education sometimes set them up to go…no where. That’s probably not their original intention, but again and again, QR codes are scanned and don’t do anything. If you are a consumer who has done this a few times, you will no longer keep scanning the codes.

There are also other misuses of QR codes. One of them is poor placement. I once saw a QR code on a bus-board. Did the advertiser expect me to scan while driving? Other misuses include posting QR codes in non-wifi areas, or scanning a QR code that take you to a site that cannot be viewed from a mobile device.

As always the web industry is rapidly evolving, and even though QR codes seemed to be a great idea, in the end we have to listen to users tell us what they want. In this case QR codes didn’t reach full adoption because of their lack of visual presence and misuse. With Sahale Snacks we creatively solved the former, but unfortunately the use of QR codes in the industry diminished because of the latter.

Like we did with Sahale Snacks, we love to take new technology a step further. We’re excited when clients come to us looking for innovation, because it makes our job even more exciting. We’ll never turn down a brainstorm of a new idea that gets our creative juices flowing, even if it involves a current fad.


By Tarryn Lambert, Designer at Ply Interactive. You can find her on twitter or Google+.

Posted by on July 7, 2014 with no comments yet

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