Friday, 27 May 2011

Feedback On The QR Code / NFC Combination Sticker

We've had quite a bit of direct feedback on the QR Code / NFC tag combination blog post. Most of the points relate to whether users would understand what to do.

There are two approaches on this.

The first is that you always include full instructions with what to do with the QR Code or NFC tag (although of course this is a bit more complicated for NFC because of the hardware requirements). This is an approach that Microsoft have taken with their tag system - essentially providing a URL for downloading the app etc.

The second approach is that you don't provide specific guidance. When you buy QR Codes stickers they are a clearly identifiable symbol and the letters NFC are arguably the same. A user that knows, will know. A user that doesn't may be tempted to find out but you aren't forcing it on them or asking them to do so.

With the combination sticker, we've taken the second approach but have put a small nod to the head towards the first by including both an image of a mobile phone and the words 'scan me'. We would think that a user that is conversant with NFC and QR Codes will instinctively be aware that they have the option to use both methods. A user that isn't conversant should at least understand that it's something to do with scanning something on a mobile phone and may investigate further.

So should we provide more guidance ? At the moment, we think not. While we understand Microsoft's approach, we feel that many users will consider that the tag is more associated with 'gettag.mobi' than the product, brand or person it's supposed to be promoting.

More importantly, should you expect your user/customer/friend to download an app just to scan a QR Code ? Or read instructions on how to use an NFC app ? We don't think so. You offer a QR Code or better you offer a QR Code and NFC (and your kimtag address :-) ) and if the user knows what to do, great. If not, they certainly will soon so let them find out on their own.