An Ugly Black Splotch

I was riding the Metro North home last night after a great night with the guys from Ëko when I snapped this picture.

QR Codes are ugly

Doesn't he look happy to be photographed?

Notice that black square in the bottom left? The one that’s taking away from an otherwise visually pleasing advertisement? This is called a QR code.

QR codes were designed to be scanned by smart phones to give users quick access to premium content or a brand’s website in a way that is measurable. While a code like this makes sense to a computer or a smart phone, they look hideous to anyone viewing the ad. App stores and mobile browsers have evolved to the point of making such shortcuts unnecessary and outdated. An anecdote: I had a single serving friend on a flight to Buffalo once who tried to convince me of QR codes efficacy. Her employer? The yellow pages.

In my mind, nothing should take away from a brand’s eye-catching logo. When I see an ad, I want to come away with an idea of what a company’s value and vision are. That message has to stay with me; it has to inspire me to want to buy. The only thing that stayed with me here was an ugly black splotch

Have you ever scanned a QR code? Do you think they’re as ugly as I do? Do we need shortcuts like these when App environments like the App Store and Android Market exist?


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