QR codes: How and Why

QR codes are those interesting two-dimensional bar code or matrix codes that are starting to show up more and more in magazines, newspapers and posters. Originally developed in Japan for inventory control, QR, or,  quick response codes, are gaining ground as an easy way to get information into the hands of users. If you want to “read” one on your smartphone, you need to use a reader like QRReader. There are many ways that libraries can incorporate QR codes that enhance the user experience. A list of what libraries are doing is available at the Library Success Wiki. Some libraries are even adding them to the library catalog.

Here at Fondren Library we have used them for many posters, to quickly let users get more information about the event.

The main thing to remember is that these are still pretty new, so you have to help guide the user to know what they are, and how to reach the additional content that they provide!

(graphics by Jeff Koffler)

It is not too difficult to create your own QR codes! Try a generator like Kaywa.

There is also an app   called StickyBits, and it is a variation of QR codes. StickyBits allows people to attach digital content to a given barcode, which represents real world objects!

QR codes can enhance the information that libraries provide to our users, and help them access a world of information on their smartphone!

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About effervescentlibrarian

UX Librarian at Rice University, Houston, Texas.
This entry was posted in mobiles, ux. Bookmark the permalink.

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