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One Web - Content For All - Part 2

May
07
2012

Agency

One Web - Content For All - Part 2

Shelton Crouch, Interactive Art Director

In part one of my One Web series of posts I professed my love/hate relationship with the mobile web as well as the enormous growth of search on mobile devices (feel free to read the article here).

First, let's recap the concept of One Web. It’s a rather broad concept with a single important principle at heart – the web should be open. Regardless of what device you're using or what browser you're accessing content from, no one should be left out. The One Web concept suggests our content should be optimized for any device or browser. In the end, the experience is not about the visuals but the content. Our websites should be saying, "We will meet you where you are."

The lovely QR code

Most of us love to hate QR codes. Whether you do or don't, all of us have experienced them, often with poor results. Many of the failings of these campaigns are due to faulty execution. I am not going to use this article to cover proper implementations of QR codes (you can read some do's and dont's here) but show some statistics reflecting the current usage of QR codes as well as what consumers should expect at the end of that process.

Here's where QR code usage currently stands.

  • 14 million mobile users in the United States (6.2% of the total mobile audience) scanned a QR or bar code on their mobile device in June 2011. (source)
  • 60.5% of code scanners were male and 53.4% were 18-34 years old. (source)
  • 50% of scanned QR Codes takes place in magazines and newspapers and 35% from product packaging. (source)
  • Over 90% of the top 100 magazines in the US have featured at least one mobile barcode since May 2011. (source)

Of all the tactics that could reach mobile devices, QR codes are the only one solely utilized by mobile devices. Because of that, and the numbers shown previously, it’s important to be aware of where we're sending our mobile audience. Mobile optimized or mobile specific content is essential. Anything less than that feels like an afterthought in the campaign and increases the chance of failure or creates a bad impression of your brand.

For example

As we did in part one of this series we are going to look at one good example and one bad example of QR code usage.
eyeD Mobile QR Code Good Example

Vacation Sweepstakes Mobile QR Code Bad Example

As you can see, the eyeD web content is presented appropriately for the device accessing it while the vacation sweepstakes landing page is the desktop layout viewed on a smartphone. The vacation sweepstakes landing page is difficult to read, tap links and requires me to scroll three screen lengths before I can even access the entry form. I even thought the contest had expired. As stated in part one of this series, 80% of mobile web users are willing to abandon mobile sites when confronted with a bad experience (source). This number alone should convince us to question why more agencies aren't creating better mobile experiences for our campaigns that include a QR code.

In the end it doesn't matter if you love or hate QR codes, but it is important to know there will always be technology that marketers will use to connect people to products and brands. We always need to be aware of them and understand the experience we want our audience to have with our brand or campaign.

Come back in a couple weeks for the next part of this four part series: One Web, Content For All.