QR Codes or Quick Response Codes are specifically designed matrix barcodes (2-dimensional codes) readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones
How do they work?
A QR bar-code is created using a two dimensional code. This code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background (or other high-contrast background). The pattern can then be read by a device or application set up to read these codes. The information encoded can include text, web URLs or other data.
How are they used?
Besides encoding basic text and website URLs, you can create QR Codes to:
- add contacts to a mobile phone or other device,
- compose email/text messages, and
- provide driving directions or geographic coordinates.
QR codes can be made large enough for a billboard or small enough for a business card. Plus, they can be placed on just about anything–from forms to tee shirts
What do I need to decode a QR Code?
To decode a QR Code from your mobile device, you need to download a reader on the specific device you want to use.
For most smart phones, to find a reader you only need to search for “QR Readers” from your provider’s app store.
How do I create a QR Code?
Many sites offer free tools to create QR codes–you only have to provide the URL, text, link, etc. needed to encode. The tools automatically create the QR Code for you.
Each generator gives you different capabilities that vary from tool to tool so you can…
- add small images (like your logo) to the code,
- change the color of the code, and
- track who scans as people access them with their readers
What else do I need to know before I get started?
Before you get started generating and distributing QR Codes, here are a few tips:
1. Keep URLs and content short.
Shorter is better. The amount of information you encode affects the QR Code. If you include large amounts of text or long URLs, you must create larger patterns. These may not be able to shrink as much as needed (i.e., to fit on a business card).
When you include shorter URLs and other information, you can include higher levels of error correction. This helps prevent bad reads. To help keep your links shorter, you can use URL shorteners like bit.ly, goo.gl, or ow.ly
2. Watch the material you print or place QR Codes on.
Avoid printing a QR Codes on glossy paper or against backgrounds with a low contrast. This can lead to reader issues, especially for people with lower-quality cameras
3. Link QR codes to mobile-friendly content.
It’s important to link to content or information that has been designed specifically for mobile users. Be careful linking to a website designed for a standard web browser since most people have devices with smaller screens.