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I’ve just returned from London where I gave a couple of keynotes at ScreenMediaExpo and a workshop for Imperative Group’s excellent ngage conference. One of my themes was to help guide decision makers to ask the right questions and expose some DOOH BS (or at least differentiate between DOOH hype and reality).

For anyone who couldn’t witness the exposure of all things frothy, here is one of my points….

Before you think about a technology-focused DOOH solution, think FEET FIRST.

Mobile is a behavior before it’s a technology.

If someone is walking, queueing, standing, sitting or driving, their ability to notice, react and engage with media will be different.

There was an excellent screen at the entrance of ScreenMediaExpo (made by the folks at SignageLive I believe) which displayed the show’s Events, Tweets and yes, even a QR code (to download the agenda). But that screen was designed for a close (less than 10ft) standing experience. NONE of that content would work if the screen was hanging more 20 ft from viewers in a high traffic area.

Many DOOH networks have loops with 10, 15 and 30 second spots. THAT ISN’T ENOUGH TIME TO INTERACT WITH A SCREEN UNLESS YOU’RE A GUN SLINGER!

In my keynotes, I wanted to prove this point, so before I advanced to the next slide, I got out my iPhone and started its stopwatch app. Then without saying anything, I displayed the next slide which had a QR code full screen, and the simple headline HOW FAST CAN YOU SCAN THIS QR CODE?

I said nothing. And waited.

10 seconds… 15 seconds… 20 seconds…

I then pointed out that typically an audience wouldn’t be so captive and facing a screen…

30 seconds… 40 seconds… 45 seconds…

A man started to attempt to scan the QR code – but he couldn’t from 20ft away.

60 seconds… 75 seconds… 90 seconds…


Had they managed to, they would have got the message “If you managed to scan this QR Code in under 15 seconds, you made Stephen Randall look pretty stupid”.

So before falling in love with anything requiring interactivity and a screen, make sure you have enough time to succeed!

That’s why at LocaModa, we’ve designed what we call Passive, Active and Interactive apps – we don’t believe that one size fits all.

My slides from ScreenMediaExpo can be seen here.

If you go into this business Tech First instead of Feet First, you could trip up.

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One Response to “Feet First (Don’t Trip Over That QR Code)”

  1. News for your screens | digitalsignage.NET Says:

    [...] supermarkets, hallways etc). As Stephen Randall, Locamoda’s CEO, puts it in his latest post about the mesmerizing QR codes ”before falling in love with anything requiring interactivity [...]

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