Redirecting users from a PC browser to a mobile app: one of the few good uses for a QR code?

A couple of years ago, QR codes were all the rage. The groovy little black and white hieroglyphs were on every bus-shelter advert, leaflet and even business cards.  Some were in colour, and some either relied on the built in error correction to become a piece of art! I wasn’t convinced that they always made sense though – and it seemed I wasn’t alone…

Some studies showed that consumers didn’t know what they were. Others warned of malware hidden in QR links. Some were cynical. And some analysts warned of their impending demise:


QR codes are ugly. Give me ubiquitous, directional RFID instead. We won’t be plagued with QR codes in 2012
@mgualtieri
Mike Gualtieri

Earlier today I was asked to join a business partner’s Yammer network.  This particular (Redmond-based) partner has a “special” interest in Yammer (ahem), so I dusted off my old, not-used-for-a-couple-of-years Yammer credentials, signed in and accepted the request. Yammer encouraged me to update my profile (fair enough… it was 2 years out of date), and then to download the mobile app (sure, why not?)…

[imagine sound effect of record needle scratching and music coming to abrupt end…]

Some mobile app developers are smart enough to realise that, when you navigate to a page on your PC that advertises their mobile app, you don’t actually want to go to the app store from the PC browser… so, what’s the perfect way to send you there? Exactly! Provide a QR code, which can be scanned with a mobile device’s camera to jump instantly to the appropriate Apple App Store/Google Play/Windows Marketplace location.

Yammer doesn’t do this.

Sure, it’s easy enough to search the App Store and download the app but, meh, why make it harder? Make the user experience simple. Maximise the number of conversions (or whatever the marketing speak is for “make people download your app”).

Here endeth the lesson.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: