10 Tips for Using QR Codes

A smooth transition between the real and digital worlds, or between digital channels, is made possible by QR codes. Although scanning a QR code is more convenient than typing in a URL, consumers are not always likely to act simply because they see a QR code.

Applications for QR Codes

gradual revelation. Additional information that cannot fit in constrained places or is not relevant to all users can be accessed using QR codes. They may resemble the physical world’s “Learn more” links. For instance, a little sign advertising a neighborhood project cannot hold much information; nevertheless, by scanning a QR code located in the corner of the sign, further information may be viewed online. Because the interaction cost is too high or the consumers are uninterested, very few will take the time to scan such codes; yet, the code enables the designer to create a sign that is easier. The quantity of scans for this code can provide important information regarding interest in the project.

Simplify sharing with a QR code maker! These tools (explore QR generators too!) turn text, links, or vCards into scannable codes. Print the code or share it digitally – a scan with a QR code reader unlocks the information instantly.

shifts between several channels of engagement. These shifts are typically from the real world to the digital realm. As an illustration, a parking meter displays a QR code that consumers may scan to download the payment application. In other situations, QR codes can facilitate smooth switching between digital gadgets such as PCs, TVs, and cellphones. For instance, passkeys and other authentication methods. Since the purpose of these codes is convenience rather than awareness, the usefulness of the process the code provides is considerably more important than the quantity of scans the code receives. Utilize qualitative usability testing to assess these codes’ functionality.
lowering the need for print. Print information may be transferred to a digital platform with the use of QR codes. This has environmental advantages in addition to cleanliness and convenience. For instance, offering a QR code that connects to a restaurant menu enables as many people to view it as desired while limiting the transmission of bacteria and the need for printed menus.

Rules for the Usability of QR Codes

1. Describe to users the purpose of a QR code and its origin.

QR codes by themselves don’t carry any information, in contrast to links with labels or raw URLs that do. Users are not informed about where they lead or what happens when they are scanned by these. In order to persuade the user to scan the code, designers must include sufficient contextual information about it. Contextual information is essential for QR codes to be reliable and appealing.

2. Clearly State Which Apps and Devices Are Capable of Scanning Codes (When Required)

This information must be shown next to the QR code if it needs to be scanned by a certain device or application. For instance, in China, certain restaurant tables have QR codes that can only be scanned with a certain app, like WeChat or Alipay, while other tables have codes that can be read with either. Confusion can be avoided by clearly stating which devices (or apps) can scan the code.

3. Mobile-Friendly Pages Should Be Found Through QR Codes

You may presume that people who scan a QR code will use a mobile device to access the related website. QR codes ought to direct users to responsive or mobile-only websites.

4. Deep-Link QR Codes to Actions or Pages That Are Relevant

Instead of going to a general homepage, users expect a QR code to connect to content that is specifically linked to the context of the code. Scanning a code that seems to provide a certain activity or piece of information only to land on the homepage of the website is irksome. This is analogous to providing people with a very informative link that does not lead to the destination it purports to.

5. When displaying and accessing information on the same mobile device, use direct links rather than QR codes.

When a QR code is meant to be provided by the user to another person for scanning (such to another user or to a scanner at a physical site), that’s when it’s most useful to display it on a mobile device.

Mobile applications that contain account connection codes or digital boarding permits are excellent examples of the kinds of QR codes that ought to be shown on mobile devices. It is not intended for consumers to scan any of these codes themselves.

6. Never Invert the Colors of a QR Code

Presenting QR codes in light mode with a light background and a black foreground is recommended. Not all scanning technologies used in real locations can read QR codes with inverted colors, however the majority of cameras on modern phones and tablets can. Dark hues absorb more light, giving scanning technology a clearer edge to identify the distinct pattern in the code. This can be especially crucial in situations when codes are expected to be scanned in dimly lit areas or under bright sunshine.

7. Employ QR Codes to Ensure Device Authentication

Enabling devices to work together in ways that complement one another is essential for providing satisfactory omnichannel user experiences. Users who are already logged into an account on a mobile device can leverage QR codes to effectively login on another device, such a PC, smart TV, or even another smartphone. Although there are certain hazards associated with this authentication method, it is far more convenient than having to remember and manually input a password.

8. Use Progressive Disclosure with QR Codes to Offer More Information

A simple technique to conceal extra information that most people won’t find interesting is to use QR codes. They work especially well with tangible goods that have a little display space, such those seen in product packaging, signs, or ads. Only a small portion of individuals will access material that is restricted to the digital sphere, thus merely making it available does not make it fascinating.

9. Verify That QR Codes Lead to Current Data

Users should continue to receive pertinent information even if they scan a QR code in the distant future. A QR code cannot be removed from the world once it has been published, especially when printed physically. Some people may still scan the code after the connected information becomes irrelevant, even if it is only important for short-term, current information, like an ongoing advertising campaign. Old codes should go to a pertinent page explaining that the code’s window has closed but offering simple access to up-to-date information on the code’s original intent.

10. Don’t Depend Only on QR Codes to Visit Site Frequently

It is impossible to recall QR codes. URLs are still more remembered than QR codes, despite the fact that people seldom ever memorize them. If a website only accepts QR codes to get access, then most people won’t be able to view it again without the code. Especially on mobile devices, a lot of users will find it difficult to access previously viewed URLs by browsing through their browsing history.