Quarter Machine Surprise

QR Codes

Ralph Lauren QR CodeThe common perception in America is that faster is better. We all have busy lives where we overlook anything that is going to slow us down; fast food restaurants have drive through windows, there are freeways next to neighborhoods, and some people even use Google to do research for their blogs. This fast paced lifestyle can even be translated to the internet by a little thing called QR codes.

When it comes to the web, QR code stands for Quick Response codes. These codes, made up of modules and characters, are square in shape and can come in a variety of sizes. The more detailed information it links to, the more complicated the code will appear. They work the same way that a bar-code works on grocery items: a scanner reads the information and produces an outcome for a viewer to see. Users download a reader onto their smart phones to make QR codes work. Groceries typically show the price whereas QR codes can link to web URLs, phone numbers, text, contacts, etc.

QR codes are not typically found on the internet; after all, links are much faster than pulling out a smart phone for a quick scan. These codes live in a brick-and-mortar environment. They are readily accessible in places where the public is dwelling. Often times, you will find QR codes on brochures and posters. This is revolutionary because it translates the slow searching of web pages to our fast paced lives. People can scan a poster for an event, browse a page, and discover tons of information on the event in a matter of seconds. This method speaks so much more than a simple poster could to the consumer. In addition, it is appealing because it does not impose on their current lifestyle.

Where could you use QR codes? We already stated they could be used on posters for events, but magazines use the codes and so do some product labels. Another location QR codes come in handy is on your resume! If you have a website broadcasting your talents, you can link to this with the simple square box. If you don’t have a website, this can still be used to link the user’s smart phone to your contact information. (Click the Ralph Lauren photo above to discover even more uses of the QR code.)

When making a code, make sure that the code can easily be scanned. As stated earlier, it can be a variety of sizes, but make sure that it is scan-able.  You do not want the photo of the code to be muddy. Secondly, make sure that it links to a mobile-optimized page or text. It would be embarrassing if the site you linked to was incompatible with the smart phone. Finally, give people an idea of what they are scanning! Placing just a code somewhere might be intriguing, but it can also be off putting. People do not want to be tricked out of their time.With those steps in mind, check out this site for a free generator to create your own QR codes.

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2013 by in JOUR 348 - Interactive Design and tagged , , .
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