Last year I gave a presentation at PayPal to show how charities could harness QR codes.
I'm not sure if Oxfam were in the audience that day. But if they were, they missed the point. QR codes are a solution for quick interactions with mobile phones. Let's investigate the Oxfam QR code seen in Metro.
So, can donate by scanning the code? Well, it's not really made clear what the QR code is for. There's no text associated with it.
Let's take a closer look at the code.
That's a huge URL stuffed into a tiny code - making it hard to scan. Ideally, codes should use black ink - the blue used here shouldn't cause too many problems, but coupled with the small size reduces the scanability.
Let's take a quick look at the URL before moving on.
Good: Use of https for a secure connection.
Bad: Just about everything else. Why is this so long? Why didn't Oxfam set up a redirect so that oxfam.org.uk/4373 went to the right place? If that's not feasible, drop the redundant index.php.
Even better, just direct to the target page. In this case
Doing that would have resulted in this smaller and more easily scanned code.
This is where things go from bad to worse.
The first thing I saw - on several phones - was this certificate error. Given that Oxfam are expecting me to give them money, this doesn't give me confidence.
But, it gets worse.
Yes, that's right. Oxfam have decided to send my mobile phone to the full version of their website. Rather than provide me with an optimal experience, they're making it slow, costly, and awkward for me to give them money.
After clicking through a few screens to try and give them some cash, we get to PayPal.
Perfect. At this stage of the transaction - if the user has even got this far - PayPal provide their optimal mobile user experience.
- Poorly formatted code.
- Mobile unfriendly landing page with security issues.
- Multiple clicks to donate.
- Overall, why bother?
If anyone from Oxfam is reading, the interaction should go:
Scan - mobile friendly landing page - straight to donation. No more than 3 clicks including the original scan of the code.