Creating More Problems (with QR Codes) While Trying to Solve One

This morning when I was buying my train pass, I witnessed the collision of enabling technologies. Normally, this would excite me, seeing more than 1 enabling technology in a solution, something that equates to an Interactive Out-of-Home (IOOH) technological explosion. But it didn’t.

There’s my kiosk (enabling technology #1).

DART kiosk

It’s a friendly kiosk. Easy to use. It’s always done exactly what I wanted it to do. In fact, I’ve got it down to where I can execute my transaction in a matter of seconds now. Just what I want from a utilitarian kiosk.

But I noticed something different about it this morning. Something I’ve never noticed before.

DART kiosk with QR code

That’s right. A QR Code (enabling technology #2).

My kiosk just became a little bit more interesting. So I read (squinting – white type on light blue background is hard to read and I have pretty good eyesight) about what it offered.


Learn more about using this kiosk.


So, let me step outside of myself – someone who knows a) how to make myself around most any type of interactive technology b) what QR codes are c) how to use them and most basically, d) how to use this kiosk – and get this straight. I walk up to a touch screen kiosk, something that might be a little bit confusing and intimidating, even if I’ve used an ATM before. And for the sake of this example, let’s just assume I get frustrated and don’t know how to make my way around it, I can now take out my smart phone and scan a QR Code to solve my problems?


If I don’t feel comfortable using a basic kiosk, how in the world am I going to feel more comfortable scanning a QR Code on my smart phone to get a quick tutorial?

I. Don’t. Get. It.

Well, I had to scan the thing. So, I did. In scanning, I had to crouch down low enough to get a good shot of it. In doing so, caught the attention of everyone else walking by me, I’m sure, wondering, “what is he doing?!?! With his phone, taking a picture of that kiosk, bent all the way down like that?!?! Better him than me.”

I think this is a good lesson in placement. If you want people to use anything like this – any sort of code/image recognition – it’s best to put it in standing range. People feel much more comfortable being discreet when they are doing something that no one else around them is doing. Or rather, people don’t want to do anything extra to draw attention to themselves, especially if no one else is doing the same thing. Simply, don’t make them crouch or bend down or stand on their tippy toes to take the action.

Anyway, after scanning the code, I was led to a simple page with a video and social sharing features.

DART QR website
While ultra low-fi, I actually think their concept is pretty smart. If you strip everything away, their purpose is to give people more information about how accessible, easy, and versatile their kiosks are.

Noble. Useful. I’m assuming they spent quite a bit of money making enhancements to the new kiosks and they want everyone to know.

But is the best answer really to put a QR code on a low part of the kiosk?

And even more, to be vague about actually getting that information?

2 thoughts on “Creating More Problems (with QR Codes) While Trying to Solve One

  1. Pingback: When QR Codes Go Bad « My BlogFCNMMthomasames

  2. Pingback: QR Codes Are Not Dead | Technology-Enabled Business Solutions

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