Over the weekend I headed out to Destin, FL. to do a little shopping at the Destin Commons.
While walking around, my wife noticed that the outdoor mall had begun to incorporate QR Codes into their outdoor print pieces.
She pointed to a floor graphic that included a large QR Code. The ad looked good, and didn’t seem to have too much wear-and-tear. It was strategically placed in the most “happening” area of the entire shopping complex.
I then noticed that a few more QR Code ads were placed high above the stores. I thought, “That’s cool…as long as they work.”
I pulled out my iPhone 4S and attempted to scan the QR code. My attempt was a failure. I thought that maybe I was too far back, so I scooted in closer. Still no success.
I moved in as close as I could, tried different angles, and even downloaded a different QR Code scanning app.
There were two more QR code ads on the adjacent building. No success there either.
So now I am left with some questions:
- Does my iPhone 4S suck?
- Are the QR Codes large enough?
- Is there enough contrast between the black QR Code and the Purple background?
- Are the QR Codes too high?
I’m pretty sure that my iPhone 4S does not suck. Although some die-hard Android fans may disagree. I was able to scan other QR Codes and bar-codes with no problem. And given the fact that multiple apps did not work, I can assume that it is not an issue of the device.
The QR Codes may not be large enough. The ads are placed rather high and scanning from a distance makes them really small in the scanning area. Additionally, when you get up close the ads are distorted and may have an affect on the scanning ability.
I don’t think that the color contrast played too much of a role in my unsuccessful attempts, but it wouldn’t hurt testing a sightly softer purple and more rich black. I did notice that when trying to scan the app did have a some issues focusing. The direct sunlight could have been a factor, but I tried another ad that was not in direct sunlight to help rule out that theory.
The QR Codes may be too high. Stores that had QR Codes on their windows gave me no trouble. I have scanned QR Codes on billboards before. Some of these billboards were much taller than the QR Code ads at the Destin Commons, so I really don’t think height is an issue.
These QR Code ads are great! I am glad to see a shopping complex that is open to different mediums of advertising. I cannot safely say that no testing was done on the Destin Commons part, but my testing resulted in a bad user experience.
Different size QR Code ads needed to be tested, as well as different color contrasts. In all, there were 4 of these ads placed around Destin Commons.
Last little note: In the first image below, you can see that the QR Code ad to the right is blocked by a Palm Tree, making this interactive ad hard to use.