The first thing you must understand is that the QR code is in the image and the more text you are converting to a QR code, the more detail in the image.
The ability QR reader is to scan that image successfully is dependent on a number of factors:
the size of the QR code image (physical dimensions)
the resolution/quality of the image
the amount of text converted
Now in the simplest case of converting a Web URL to a QR code, the result is a QR code with your URL displayed as a graphic image which is just fine stop
however, few other matters you might like to consider are as follows:
how can you track your QR code identifying how many people are using it
what if you want to set the QR code to point to a different URL without changing the QR code image
how can you squeeze your long URL into less text (making the QR code less complex and easier to read)
is it possible to beautify or customise your QR code image
what other uses are therefore the QR codes in the mobile environment
Quite simply - QR codes are two-dimensional bar code, You may use them for sharing a variety of data such as contact info, website address or directions
to a location embedded within any media but most commonly, print media. "QR" stands for "Quick Response", as the code can be scanned and decoded at
high speed. With the appropriate QR Reader software installed on your camera phone it shows that embedded data on the phone in the relevant application
relating to the type of data shared.
QR codes are very efficient and make use of the vertical dimension to store more data. Whilst most popular in Japan, they are used throughout the world
and are becoming more popular within the advertising industry in a wide variety of interesting ways. They can be used in print advertisements, billboards,
maps, business cards, product tags etc.
QR Code Size
It is important to understand that it is not the size of the QR code image that determines the minimum size of your QR code. You QR Code is made up of
modules (the little black squares you see making up the pattern) and it is the size of these module combined with you r phone camera scanning
resolution that will determine whether the code can be read by the device.
Essentially the more data you put into your QR code, the more rows and columns of modules will be required in the QR code to compensate for larger amount
of text data making up your QR code. Thus, depending on the amount of data converted which determines the number of modules and the physical representation
of the QR Code image will determine your QR Reader’s scanning success based on your cameras resolution. Simply put – too much data squeezed into too
small an image results in an unreadable QR Code.
Of course this is also impacted by the scanning distance – the distance the phone is held away from the QR code image. The further away
the QR code is, the smaller it appears in the camera viewport, and so the smaller the modules will appear too. Once again, if the camera is held too
far away, the modules become too small for the camera to read and the QR code won’t work.
A word of advice, for more complex (larger QR Codes, the longer it will take to scan and the more stable your camera needs to be so if you suffer the shakes
holding your camera one handed, grasp it in 2 hands for the more complex codes.
Courtesy of that article we provide the following examples to give you an idea of what QR codes look like as their data load gets higher, resulting in
the modules getting smaller and the QR code image becoming more dense.
How can you track your QR Codes
Basically there are a few approaches
Set up you own URL’s and using a URL shortener For this the easiest is probably Google Analytics URL Creator and combine this with your favoured URL
shortener such as bit.ly
Bit.ly and Google’s own URL shortener actually will generate a QR Code for you although the image is rather small and may not be so widely useful.
Word of caution: Google URL shortener URL’s and analytics are PUBLIC and accessible by anyone.
It is essential to keep the amount of text you are converting into a QR Code to a minimum. For instance a vCard typically needs 240 – 270 characters while
a URL may be 100 or characters. With use of URL shorteners, you can squeeze a URL down considerably and with some offering customisation of the URL
created you can create tiny URL’s that may be a bit more meaningful.
Customising your QR Codes
No they don’t have to be black and white and yes you can not only use some colour but you can embed logos and icons. This is not always freely available
but some of the QR generators such as www.azonmobile.com do offer this.
www.qrstuff.com offer an interesting feature which is to password protect access to the QR Code destination through
the QR provider themselves.
The free QR code generator at www.azonmobile.com/qrcode-generator is probably one of the most
robust and broadest featured free generators I have seen and I would thoroughly recommend this for a close look at.
Uses for QR Codes
What uses can you put your QQ Codes to? The limitations are only those set by your imagination. But to give you some idea here are some of our ideas for
where you could make use of QR Codes.
Here’s a list of the top applications that I feel have the best combination of practicality, cost and impact:
Maps and signage – “point and find” or “you are here” – this can work well at events, theme parks are large complexes – where someone
might need specific guidance to get to something, quickly. You can even create forms of engagement for virtual treasure hunts, or “find your nearest”
Coupons and special deals - obvious and likely to become the most exploited, allow users to redeem offers in specific locations,
ideally with a time limited offer so they act now
In-store drive to web – when retail experiences can be so bland, imagine bringing content into that space that offers a richer experience
(not a hard sell), check out the PUMA case study at the foot of this post for a great example of this one
How-to advice – Rich advice based content in the form of “How to” video or maybe audio – great for DIY or interior design, even
recipes and cooking advice, maybe a bottle of wine at a restaurant
After sales care – ever struggled to assemble flat packed furniture or wondered where the specific help area is for the product
you have, maybe you just want to add to the “new purchase” experience by having a value-add waiting online for that new consumer or use it for
activating a guarantee with data capture
Direct response mechanic on any advertising (press, TV, outdoor media, direct mail or brochures) – do ensure the landing page appreciates
where I’ve come from, that’s a wasted opportunity and can be limiting for the user
E-ticketing – with the ease of creating QR codes, you can issue e-tickets easily enough and have that scanned from your phone to
If you would like to investigate or implement a marketing strategy around the use of QR codes then Top Left Designs are well positioned to talk to you about the various options and how to put your QR
Code marketing strategy together.
Written by: Greg Tomkins