Posted 2 years 30 days ago ago by John Clark 6 Comments
In a previous blog post from March 15th
I did an introduction to Quick Response (QR) Codes and a few starter ideas on how to use them. Let's look deeper into some additional and creative ways to work with these codes so you can see how to use them in practical ways for your business.
QR Codes - With Style
One of my alert friends, Tom Mckenna from Shamrock Publications, pointed me to a blog post about how QR Codes can be styled away from the ugly black and white standard codes. The article from Mashable
has some great illustrations on how this can be done.
To the right you will see what a few minutes of manipulation can do. We take the basic black and white look, kind of ugly, and then pulling into Photoshop we can do some creative things to dress it up. The only real requirement is that the scanning area have enough contrast with the background for the mobile device to grab it and make sense of it.
What we've done is soften the hard corner edges, rounding the corners and adding a color palate to it. We can do so many things with some time and effort.
New Business Card Design Ideas
In this effort you can create some real interesting applications. Incorporating these codes into your business cards is a huge advantage. I have a whole stack of them rubber banded in my drawer, telling myself that one day I'll manually put each one in my address book. Never happens. Yet if I get one with a QR on it, presto, download the V-Card into my address book and off I go. Below is what I'm doing for my new business cards, front and back, with mobile use in mind:
There are many options for creating codes. The one I used above is from Scan for Life
. They offer commercial applications for tracking with full campaigns. This is the freebie personal version and I like it a lot. I can put in all my basic contact information and you can then download my VCF (vCard File) right into your contact manager. Then you can safely throw the card away, you've got it.
If you want your scan to connect to your LinkedIn profile, you can use Ping Tags
. When you log in, it will ask you to link to your LinkedIn profile and presto. Go ahead and scan this to see the results.
The great benefit there is that Ping Tag will geo locate the person when they scan it and also show when they scanned it and how many of the links they clicked on. A bit of tracking magic so you can see how well it's being utilized.
One down side I've noticed though. I hadn't updated my new blog or RSS feed location to my newest website in LinkedIn. It appears, once you create your account and connect it, it scans as it is. I don't see any way for me to update the tag after correcting my profile in LinkedIn. Thus the links to my Blog and RSS dump you on the home page. I guess I have to create a whole new account. If your profile is good to go, nice option.
is another option I like as well. Enter your information and off you go, similiar to Scan for Life. Downloadable vCard will also be available. At right is a sample I've styled. You can scan that to see the difference in the results from the above two sites.
Get Your App
- Droid phones: Go to your Market Place and search for "QR Droid". It's free and has the ability to both create codes and decode them. When you open it up and you will see a Decode section with apps under it. Click "From camera" icon and point it at my code above. It will take you on a trip. Another one is Bee Tagg. It will only read tags and allow you to share them. QR Droid will allow you to create them and mess with a lot of other stuff.
- iPhone - iPad: There is QuickMark for .99, QR App, Optiscan and NeoReader to choose from. Find your flavorate and play. I'm a Evo person so I haven't played personally with any of these but Bob in our office does the iPhone, it works much the same.
- BlackBerry: Go to http://goo.gl/S6bZe and you will find a nice set of apps to choose from.
Interweave QR codes into your printed material, your website, business cards, newspaper or magazine ads and connect people quickly to your information. Remember, the easier you make it for your customers or friends, the more apt they are to take advantage of it. Start now and when the rest of the world catches up, you will already be there.
Are you already using them? If so, please leave comments on how and maybe some results you are seeing. I'd love to hear about it.
You need to login
Get custom, styled/designer QR codes on the fly, individually or in bulk using our API. Visit: http://qrstyler.com http://blog.qrstyler.com http://facebook.com/qrstyler for more info!
Michael, I tried your tool, can't tell any difference between before and after. Must be missing something. Interesting idea, just don't see the dif. John
So for example, this QR for your URL (wowwebworks.com) http://qrstyler.com/qreate/?q=1979&d=210 was qreated using two layouts (Extreme set - Break Glass, then anchors set, Round Red Stroke). Sorry for the browser compatibility issues, if I am correct that this is what you experienced. We are still in beta, so we occasionally take the encoder offline - could have been that as well. We will have a new, much more intuitive interface up by Sept 10 or so. Thanks!
Hi John, apologies for the delay, I didn't get a notice that there was a reply to my comment. Make sure that you are using Firefox, some of what we are doing is a bit too aggressive for IE, and we are moving too fast to focus on cross browser compatibility right now ;-)