I’m sure you’ve seen one before. Maybe on a billboard or in the pages of a magazine. It’s one of those squares, you know, with the weird arrangement of black and white boxes. And all the little boxes form this interesting pattern. For what appears as no more than a decorative and quirky little rhombus, in reality it contains some pretty complex information. A Quick Response code, or QR code, is a 2d readable barcode originally designed by DENSO Corp. in 1994 for Japanese auto-makers to track car parts.
What are they used for:
QR codes can be coded with simple web links, but are best used for complex URLs and a lot of information.
They are most commonly used for promotional items such as movie trailers, promotional coupons, mp3 downloads, and even direct links to purchase goods.
How to use them:
QR codes are made available via free online generators. There, you can upload your information and design preferences to establish what your code will look like. You can even use graphics and change the colors of the code – as long as the pattern of boxes remains.
When displayed, the user must use a mobile device with a QR coder reader app. With an Internet connection, scanning the square allows the user to find out what mystery the 2D image will reveal.
The curiosity of the where the square will lead the user is half of the fun. Studies show that most people are intrigued by the unknowing and often hoping for something big or surprising. That is why it’s important to link your QR code with something more than just your company’s website. Give the QR code’s user something to tell their friends about — make your audience talk, make that secret door worth opening. If it is … they’ll open it again when the opportunity presents itself.
QR codes are widely used, but haven’t become as popular in the states. Germany is using QR codes to inform travelers about bus or train routes. There’s even a company in Great Britain that is putting QR codes on its sushi, to let customers how fresh it is. In Korea, a grocery store opened a virtual store in a subway station, so travelers can shop while they wait. Products are purchased online and then delivered later that day.
The ways of applying QR codes are limitless and the more creative, the better. Not only can they be used to promote businesses … but they can be used to promote you as well. Stick a QR code at the top of your CV to have a potential employer link to your personal website and portfolio.