What is the best use of a QR code that you have seen?

Steve Osborne’s recent article looked at the use if technologies such as QR code on packaging. What is the best use of a QR code that you have seen?

Nicolas Roope

‘I’m going to be my usual contrary self and draw attention to the most pedestrian use of QR codes. My mum’s local newspaper property section carries QR codes against each tiny listing. If you’re interested in a property, link from the code and see the fuller information, the lush image gallery, floor-plan, energy efficiency chart. We shouldn’t be thinking about QR codes as special, they’re going to be ubiquitous because they’re just very helpful for bookmarking the real world and connecting it with the virtual.’

Nicolas Roope, co-founder, Poke

Elliot Wilson

‘The team at Heineken are never afraid to embrace new marketing channels or opportunities and on this occasion, at a music festival in Poland, they have created a good use of QR codes, no easy feat. Traditionally QR codes have looked rotten, added no value to the user beyond selling something so this interaction that is fully integrated lets people at festivals create unique codes that other festival goers could scan to find out info and start a conversation. This is then brought to life through other social media channels. Fun and engaging.’

Elliot Wilson, managing director, Elmwood London

Daljit Singh

‘No. No. No. No. Pixelated puke. Please stop.’ (Note, Daljit also directed us to http://wtfqrcodes.com).

Daljit Singh, executive creative director, Conran Singh

Hide Comments (13)Show Comments (13)
  • Matt Davis November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    We thought this was a nice idea: http://t.co/EOUoSET3

    Matt Davis, designer

  • Tiago Cunha - Graphic Designer November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    At a recent interior design and architecture fair in Campinas, Brazil, a designer added QR Codes all over his display: a 400 square meter house. In every room, a tiny QR Code took the visitors to a specific webpage where they could get all the information about the furniture, the colors, description of the room, and downloadable floor plans. Talking about a nice way to engage the public, uh?

  • Alex Durbridge November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I’m with Daljit on this one I’m afraid; it worries me greatly that packaging (our key area of interest) may soon be overly subjected to this type of interactivity -a sort of mickey mouse version of ‘Minority Report’ on your cornflakes box.

    I’m a bit luddite I know but the world is a busy enough place to absorb information from already and to have to then engage my iphone to get the brand owners message across seems frankly lazy on their part…

  • Sarah Boisvert November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    We produce a paperless business card – laser engraving a QR Code onto a key chain that when scanned auto-posts your contact info into the potential customer’s phone contact list. Use Scan Life software….very powerful! http://www.qrdevices.com

  • Paul Ransom November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
  • Eric Bell November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Yes they’re ugly and hard to work with from a design perspective and technologically old. However, evolving the intent into NFC allows far easier engagement with a tap or proximity pass it can achieve all, if not more engagement from the consumer with less effort. With the meteoric rise in NFC enabled ‘smartphones’ This is where engaging the consumer is going. Go to http://www.tapmetags.com

  • Ian Culshaw November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am


    Even better, put them on the Underground….

  • Andrea Nastase November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Second after what Nicolas mentioned there are some book posters in train stations that allow you to scan the QR code in order to get quick access to the page that offers a sample chapter from the book.

    It’s a nice shortcut.

    But Daljit isn’t that far off; the question should be why are we not developing technologies that let you point at objects directly (eg. Google Goggles) in order to identify them? Blippar’s augmented reality app does something similar. It seems like a step beyond QR codes for us humans – and I say this because I’ve seen robots designed to use/navigate through QR codes that carry directional information.

    It seems odd we’re trying to shoehorn usages into QR codes rather than think beyond them!

  • PB November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I was at a Food & Wine Festival in Boston last month where the chef included a QR code on each dish… made from squid ink. And it worked, took you right to his restaurant’s homepage.

    Definitely the most creative way I’ve seen them used!

  • Ross Clarke November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    People actually scan QR codes?!!

  • Andrea Spivey November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I think they’re only useful when they provide more detailed information or an opportunity for the user to engage somehow. We included one in a print ad that took you to a video demo of the product in the ad. I hate seeing them used where it’s really difficult for the person to scan them.

  • Templar November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    On a cocktail napkin in a sports bar!
    GENIUS!!! The consumer page view must be huge. Some company called ScanNap placed it. Thought it was brilliant.

  • Nick Warren November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Try the one at http://www.n9design.com/ – literally breaks the site via logo transforming troublemaker ‘Des’ twitter bird tries to clear up…

    There is surely a future for codes that interact rather than just an alternative to typing a URL.

    Be interested in comments on this.

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