QR Codes still have a lot to offer, they are a great way of making print media interactive. QR codes have the capacity to encode up to 7,089 alphanumeric characters, while conventional bar codes have a max capacity of 20 digits. These characters are encoded both horizontally and vertically in a QR Code making them a fraction of the size of a barcode. This means you have more real estate to use for other information. Furthermore, if the QR Code is damaged, it can still be scanned because QR Codes have built-in error correction to restore data. However, the error correction ability is dependent on how much data needs to be corrected.
In recent years, QR Codes have become more of a novelty, used practically everywhere. You might have seen QR codes on an event flyer that opens a web page displaying the same information. Or you might have come across a QR Code stuck on a banana when shopping for groceries. With these unintended uses, companies have traditionally steered away from QR Codes. Now, that convention is changing. From payment processing to direct mail marketing, many are making unique use of QR Codes. In this blog, we consider some guidelines for using QR Codes along with some examples.
Tips to Create Effective QR Codes
- Give instruction. Let people know why they should scan your QR code. What do they get? Just placing a QR code without a reason for scanning provides little benefit.
- Use a single QR code where possible. Placing multiple QR Codes close together not only doesn’t look good but can lead to accidentally scanning the wrong one.
Whenever possible, try to consolidate your information so you can present only one QR Code. If you need to place multiple QR Codes, just ensure they are adequately spaced.
- Keep the content short. While data storage may not be an issue for QR codes, it might be an issue for load times. A shorter URL means a quicker scan. You can use a service to shorten your URL.
- Use the right size. Though you can adjust the size of your QR Code, it is not advisable to use one that is too small. Scanning could become a problem. QR Codes should be at least 2cm x 2cm.
- Ensure your target page is mobile friendly. This one is often neglected. Since your QR Codes will likely be scanned by a mobile device, make the sure the landing page it leads to is mobile friendly.
Use Cases for QR Codes in 2020 and Beyond
Using QR Codes in Restaurant Menus
Some restaurants make ordering easier by allowing people to skip the line. Customers are given a QR Code when they place their orders online and pay for it. At the store, they just scan their QR Code and receive their food. This results not only in efficiency for the kitchen but also time saved for the customer.
Using QR Codes in Car Dealerships
If you’ve visited a dealership, you’ve seen the vehicle data sheets displayed on the side windows. Sales people can easily place QR Codes on each vehicle. When customers scan the QR Code, they can see all the specifics related to that vehicle. This would be ideal for used car dealerships who need to present all the necessary information, including Carfax reports, upon a QR Code scan.
QR Codes in Grocery Store Labels
For grocery stores, taking inventory can be an overwhelming process. One way to make this process a little less cumbersome would be to add a QR Code on each product label. When taking count of each item, associates scan the QR Code and enter the count on the shelf. This makes the ordering process much easier as well because the ordering manager knows the count of each item and which items are below, or approaching, the threshold.
Patient Wrist Band QR Codes
Nowadays doctors carry mobile devices, such as tablets, with patient records instead of manila folders. One way to save their valuable time would be to add a QR Code to each patient’s arm band when they are admitted. Doctors can then scan the QR code with their tablets and bring up patient records, history, list of medications and allergies, or order new prescriptions.
Product Catalogs Can Incorporate QR Codes
We’re all familiar with the Ikea app that lets you virtually place a piece of furniture in your living room. They do so by placing a QR Code next to their products in their catalog. Using the Ikea AR app, you can scan the QR Code and visualize the item in your home with the help of your smartphone’s camera. No doubt, an awesome use of QR Codes!
With ActiveReports, you can very quickly create any of these in minutes. Maybe you can’t create an augmented reality app, but you can certainly create the catalog with the QR Code. If you have thoughts about QR Codes and their usability, or have used it in a unique way, we would love to hear from you.