QR Codes

University Communications QR Code

At left is the QR code for the Office of University Communication's Web site address. QR codes can be generated to visually represent long URLs so that users can simply use their smartphone loaded with a mobile application to read the QR code and go directly to the web site described by the QR code.

If your smartphone doesn't have an application installed yet, visit our mobile apps page here to download one to correspond with your cell phone: http://www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/mobile-apps.

QR Codes Seven Rules to Live By

1.       ADD VALUE FOR THE USER –Make the scan worth someone’s time - define a purpose for the QR Code and make it engaging for your prospect. Think of a QR code as a request for the user's exclusive time and attention. If you use these codes poorly, you will slow down adoption of this technology and hurt your reputation. Successful tactics for QR codes:
  • build brand awareness
  • offer a discount coupon
  • enter people in a contest
  • implement a video or photos
2.       LINK TO A MOBILIZED LANDING PAGE - Build a landing page that is optimized for mobile phones. People will be scanning these codes on the go.  The content should be optimized for fast download. The best rule is to keep things simple. Minimize the content and don't create images that take a long time to load. This is a sure way to detour your user from any future scans.
3.       ENCODE A SHORT URL-  Short URLs will lessen the amount of pixels needed to generate the QR image resulting a better designed QR code. For example, a reasonable sized QR code at 1” Square would have pixels so small and packed that most smartphones would fail at reading it. Increasing the size to compensate for this would yield codes that eat up valuable print space.
4.       PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS - QR codes are a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. Never assume someone
  • will know what a QR code is or what to do with it
  • will blindly scan your code without knowing what's in it for them, or
  • will automatically know the value that's waiting on the other side
5.       COMPLY STRUCTURALLY - Even the most sophisticated smartphone camera may have issues with scanning, a good rule of thumb is to keep the code at 1 square inch. Allow sufficient contrast and negative space to ensure the image decodes properly.
6.       TEST TEST TEST! Test on multiple devices. It only takes one negative experience to alienate consumers.
7.       MEASURE RESULTS – just as you would measure the results of an e-mail or direct mail campaign, a QR code campaign should be tracked as well. If you don't, you will never know what impact your codes are having or if they're worth the investment.