In addition to lots of lofty marketing messages, SXSW Interactive showed us QR codes in full effect. Capital Metro, Austin’s public transportation service, has recently added QR codes at every bus stop. Riders or would-be riders can scan the codes to get current route information and maps. The non-smartphone-enabled can send in a text message to get similar information, or the QR-averse can go directly to a URL for updates. All of these options are clearly explained on the attractive new signs at Cap Metro stops.
This is a picture perfect use of QR codes that provides. There’s a clear call to action–scan the code–that results in immediate, relevant information for the user. The code is placed in an appropriate context (i.e., not underground or on a billboard), and there are alternative options for those not prepared or willing to scan.
While you’ve long been able to call in for bus updates, QR codes are an excellent app-agnostic alternative for providing the same information faster and with a visual component. The new feature provides riders with the information they need and may convert infrequent riders to take the bus because they now have a better idea when it will arrive. Kudos to Cap Metro for experimenting with QR codes and earning our best QR code use of the week.
If a government agency can do it, why can’t you? Create a free QR code to provide relevant, contextual information to your users, and start measuring the impact today!