This post was written by Burke Ingraffia of FSC Interactive and originally appeared on the FSC Interactive blog.
I recently created a QR code for a campaign I was working on. That’s one of those not so new strange looking bar codes you can scan with your mobile device that will then open up a web page or provide you with some sort of information.
I went to this website where I typed in the URL of another website, and then an image was created for me. I saved the large image to my computer, shrunk it down so that it was 300 DPI, and then put it in a magazine advertisement. Anyone who would see the code in the magazine could then use any number of free apps to scan the image. (The one I happen to use on my iPhone is i-nigma)
After submitting the QR code to the magazine I had a short-lived (but very real) panic attack. Was my web page, the one I embedded in the QR code, mobile ready? I mean, nobody is going to scan the code with their desktop or even laptop computer. It’s funny to imagine picking up your iMac and holding it up against a magazine. No, the web page that the QR code was going to send people to had to look great on an iPhone or an Android.
Why Does it Matter?
The small screen has requirements very different than your desktop monitor has. The text needs to appear bigger on a mobile device, and there needs to be appropriate spacing between links so that big clumsy index fingers won’t make mistakes. And not every technology that works on a regular website will necessarily work on your phone.
“Ok fine,” I thought. I’ll just make sure the page I submitted is in HTML5: the latest and geekiest type of mobile browser language. There needed to be an audio clip on my mobile web page, and HTML5 has a great feature that embeds audio natively into the browser. No problem. I created the page and tested it on my iPhone. It worked! I looked at it on my wife’s iPad just in case someone would use one of those and it worked there, too. Then I went to work and tested it on a co-worker’s Android and…ooof…HTML5 audio doesn’t work on the Android browser.
What was I going to do? Certainly people were just as likely going to scan it with an Android as they would with an iPhone. They wouldn’t be able to hear the audio clip on the page. But, what did I learn? I learned that the Android is capable of playing Flash audio. Flash? As an iPhone user I didn’t even think of Flash. But yes, Flash works in the Android browser.
The Happy Ending
So now the web page is mobile ready. The page can determine what type of browser is being used and display either HTML5 or Flash accordingly. When the QR code gets scanned I get added value out of my print ad and all of you who love Apple, or Google and, yes, even those of you who love Adobe Flash will be able to hear the music.
Uniquely positioned as an online marketing consultancy, FSC Interactive is based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and led by a team of marketing professionals who have emerged as leaders in online strategy with backgrounds in traditional media, public relations and advertising.