Quick Response (QR) codes are a common feature in a lot of digital interfaces today. We use them in different industries and for various purposes, from tracking products to sharing URLs to making payments, and more.
Recently, QR codes have gained even wider usage in mobile software. So many applications in the market use them as simple and fast ways to perform authentication or make connections.
However, the user experience related to these QR codes has been a subject of debate, are they any good? In this article, we will consider this argument in depth.
QR codes are a type of matrix (two-dimensional) barcode invented in Japan back in 1994 by Toyota subsidiary, Denso Wave. They are a way of storing information such as URLs, text, images, etc. You can scan and decode this information using a smartphone camera or a dedicated QR code reader app. On scanning, the information stored is displayed on the user's device in a usable format.
Virtually all industries can make use of QR codes.
QR codes are popular in the marketing industry, according to a Statista study, 45% of shoppers use QR codes built for marketing-related tasks. QR codes can be used to direct users to promotional offers, web pages, and more. They are also popular in other industries, such as logistics and manufacturing, to track and manage products.
In the mobile space, they are used for various purposes, including tracking products, sharing URLs, making payments, and more.
Wondering why there's widespread adoption of QR codes in several applications and interfaces? It's because there are numerous advantages they offer as a method of authentication and data exchange.
Some of the advantages of using QR codes in various products include:
To make accessible products, designers have to adopt standards and best practices that ensure it's convenient for people to use your product. QR codes are good accessibility features as they can help people who have difficulty reading text.
QR codes pose a set of challenges to users given it's a unique way of representing data, and it is a bit sophisticated for some people. Here is an overview of common QR code usability issues:
You can customize QR codes to fit your brand, and while the black dots and spaces represent actual data, you can improve their visuals and your users' interaction with them. An overview of QR code design best practices for implementing QR codes to optimise user experience is discussed below.
To design QR codes, designers and developers need to consider the user experience and ensure that the QR code is easy to scan and understand. They can achieve this by:
In conclusion, the UX related to QR codes is a topic of ongoing debate. While they can provide a convenient and seamless experience for users, there are also concerns related to the need to download a separate app and the visual design. When designing QR codes, it's essential to consider the user experience and ensure that the code is easy to scan and understand. By doing so, designers and developers can create a positive user experience and encourage users to engage with QR codes.