For those unfamiliar with QR codes, they are the square barcode-like images popping up everywhere. When scanned with a smartphone app, these codes can take users to a website, or provide other information (think contact details or a special promotion).
These codes are becoming the latest fad in digital marketing, popping up everywhere. I personally do not yet own a smartphone, though I would definitely be tempted to scan some codes to see what they do. Whether the excitement of this would quickly wear off or not, remains to be seen.
The trouble with QR codes in my opinion, is that for every organization that uses one correctly, 20-30 more do a terrible job of it. Codes taking you to the company website (easily accessible without the code), codes leading to websites not optimized for mobile tech, and codes that are impossible to scan are popping up everywhere.
So what makes a good QR code? Like most new media, the best use gives the consumer something otherwise unavailable. When scanning the code becomes an inconvenient way of doing something routine or uninteresting, the QR code has totally failed.