Friday, January 20, 2012

10 QR Code Tips Question #2 Addendum

This is an addendum to tip # 2 of the 10 QR Code Tips To Know Before Any QR Campaign.

About tip #2 I use Google Shortener to do 2 things:
  • A. Create a shortened ur.
  • B. Generate tracking analytics.

Using a shortened url creates a less complex QR code, thus reducing the likelihood of a scan error. I know the google shortener creates a QR code, but I don't use that code, I just use it for analytic tracking purposes. For generating a QR code (This has to do with #3) I use Kerem Erkan’s QR Code Generator because it has tons of options and best of all it produces a .eps and .svg QR code, both vector formats that allow for near infinite flexibility. Trying to vectorize using livetrace produces horrible results and hand vectoring is time consuming.

The analytics on the shortener aren't as complex or as indepth as the google analytic's interface, but for my purposes they worked just fine. The information that provides in its details are Referrers, Countries, Browsers and Platforms as well as how many "click" or in our case scans.

Originally the reason I began tracking my QR codes was to gather the demographic information of how many people scanned the code and what type of phone they were using, that way I could format my mobile content in a way that was best suited for the average user.

Also related to management, I book marked all of my QR code links, gave them descriptive names and kept them in a folder to keep better track of them. (e.g. vCard Url Tracking - The interface isn't the best and it gets more difficult to as more codes are created.

This step comes in handy when testing which QR/Call To Action or what ever variable combination is more successful.

I hope that explaination helped at least a little bit.

Adrian Davis
Interactive Media Designer

Sunday, January 15, 2012

10 QR Code Tips To Know Before Any QR Campaign

Here is a list of 10 QR Code Tips I wrote to help web marketers, mobile designers, graphic designers, interactive designers and anyone interested in using Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) in their campaigns.
  1. Target Audience. This is integral to the success of your QR efforts. If your target audience is not mobile and/or web savvy your QR efforts will go no where. I've learned this from experience and the results were dismal.
  2. Analytics. Always track your QR codes to gauge the success. Instead of using a direct link in the QR code I use Google's url shortener and analytics on my codes to track my results. Remember what gets measured, gets managed.
  3. Format. Creating a vector version of you QR code helps provide the flexibility you need to manipulate and reproduce your QR codes with out the limitations raster formats.
  4. Size. This is very important and depending on the medium the size of your QR code will vary drastically. For example a QR code on a large wall poster 48in x 72in would possibly be 8in x 8in, this is to compensate for the distance that your Qr code will be view from, where as a QR code in a magazine ad would be approx. 1.25in x 1.25in.
  5. Location. Like all design elements the location of your QR code is just as important. Use your best judgment and be sure to allow for adequate space, don't let your QR code placement be an after thought.
  6. Color. With the advent of custom QR codes coloring your QR code is an option to be persued with proper judgement. The best color combination is black and white, then white and black. The idea is to have as high a contrast as possible to ensure the QR code scanner can read the code properly.
  7. Call To Actions. This is small piece that can be easily overlooked and often is. Call to actions are vitally important and can improve your conversion rate, because it signals to your target audience that the information your QR code contains is important. When ever possible, if not always include a call to action with your QR code.
  8. Content Description. This should accurately describe where the QR code is going to take you and/or what the QR code is going to do upon scanning. Some QR codes have text messages embedded in them, while others make phone calls or download content. QR codes have a variety of use, so it is crucial that a content description is given. Sometimes surprises are not a good thing.
  9. Content. The most important aspect of the QR code is where it takes you after the code has been scanned. It is in your best interest to have content that is worth while, properly formatted and mobile friendly. It would be a tragedy to spend so much time and effort planning your QR campaign only to skimp on the content at the end of the link. Remember it is best to have a mobile friendly website attached to your QR code than to one that is not formatted for mobile and difficult to read. This is how I got into mobile design in the first place, because what works for a desk, most likely will not translate very well to a mobile device.
  10. Testing. After all the work is said and done, testing your QR code is something that can be overlooked in an effort to finish the project. Before you go to print, keep in mind that small mistakes in a url can cause disastrous and embarrassing results. Testing your QR code to ensure that it goes to the right destination. Again, I learned this from experience and please learn from my mistake. Test your QR code before you go to print or public with your QR code.
Thank you for your time, feel free to ask me anything if you have questions or concerns.

Adrian Davis
Interactive Media Designer

Adrian Davis: Interactive Media Designer

Hi everyone, I am Adrian Davis and this is my professional blog. I intent to talk about the design and development industry topics such as QR Codes, Mobile Design, Interactive Design, Graphic Design, PHP, HTML 5, CSS3, Freelance, Business, Contracts, Negotiations and anything else that is new going on in the industry.

Adrian Davis
Interactive Media Designer