QR Codes & how to use them

What are QR Codes

In article-9 of our web design Cornwall series which discuss web design issues and provide advice when considering your next website. This blog post provides information about QR codes and their effective use.

A Quick Response or QR Code is a type of matrix barcode first designed for the automotive industry by a Toyota subsidiary, Densu Wave.  Due to their fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard barcodes, they have been used in Japan for over a decade  and now the rest of the world is catching up.  QR codes are scanned via a reader application (usually on your smart phone) that will take you to a video or web page.

Traditional barcodes are linear one-dimensional codes and can only hold up to 20 numerical digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. Their ability to hold more information and their ease of use makes them as practical for small businesses and individuals as to multinationals like Toyota.

A great way to link to digital content

When you scan or read a QR code with your smartphone, you can link to digital content on the web, activate a number of phone functions including email and SMS, and even connect your mobile device to a web browser.  QR Codes can be used for almost anything and are showing up in the most unlikely of places – even cemetery headstones!

The usability and versatility of the QR code is being proven over and over again for marketing and customer engagement. The QR code is seen as a vital tool for linking information – it can take you to polls, special messages, discounts, videos, SMS and anything else that can be digitally linked.

Evolution in aesthetic design

Despite looking like a crossword puzzle, there are ways to manipulate the code.  As with barcodes, that could be truncated, coloured and designed, designing QR codes to jazz them up has been an evolution in design.   The QR code has a unique imprint that is recognisable to scanners or readers, but there is a 30% correction allowance.  This means that a third of the code can be discarded and replaced with images, text or anything you can imagine. This fact has enabled designers to add a personalised code that not only links to a variety of data, but also looks unique with an aesthetic appeal.

Engage with users & potential customers

So if you are looking for smart way to make it even easier for your users or potential customers to access a whole range of information that could increase sales or maximise the impact of your offering, then QR Codes provide the perfect way of doing so. Give us a call.

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