QR codes are awesome! I mean, you may think your moo mini-cards are pretty funky - but they're nothing without a QR code.
Why do you hand your card over to someone? You want the recipient to plug your contact details into their address book, right? So you give them a bit of card and then you expect them to tap away on their phone, like a primitive ape, until they've saved your number. And hope they've saved it correctly.
That's just so.... analogue... Isn't there a better way of doing things?
Yes. Yes there is. QR Codes are here and they are going to ROCK YOUR WORLD!
Introducing QR Codes
QR Codes are two dimensional barcodes which can quickly and easily be scanned by most camera phones. They're free to create, easy to use, and they look like this.
Go take a look in your phone's app store - you'll find several free readers. If you can't, point your phone to GetReader.com to see what's available for your device.
QR Codes can contain many different types of data - URL, phone number, SMS, and vCard. I'm going to show you how you can integrate these into your Moo Cards.
With a QR code on your Moo Card, you can point people straight to your blog.
To your .tel website.
Or any other site you like. Perhaps to search Twitter for your hashtag?
Scanning in this code will prompt your phone to give me a call. Why not leave me a message?
Want someone to scan your card and send you a message? Dead easy.
Scan this code and my address will appear in your phonebook as if by magic
One thing to note is that these QR codes are rather large - it's probably best to print them on full size cards.
Putting It All Together
Here are some of my cards. I've used free or Creative-Commons images of phones and placed the QR code inside them.
There are several free sites you can use to create your QR Codes.
I recommend using QRstuff to generate these codes.
You can also use Google Charts for QR Codes if you want dynamic, highly customised codes.
Finally, if you want to generate QR codes on your own site, there are several free resources. I use Swetake's QRCode v0.50.
Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your QR codes.
- Use black ink on a white background to ensure the code is readable.
- Ensure there is some whitespace around the code.
- If you resize the QR codes, don't use any interpolation.
- QR Codes can have variable error-correction. Unless your codes are likely to get dirty, you can set this to "low".
- If you're pointing people to a URL, make sure it's mobile friendly.
- Make sure your phone numbers are in International Format (+44 for the UK).
- Be creative! QR Codes are appearing on everything from advertising posters to urban graffiti - make sure yours stand out.