Quick Response Code - QR
QR is short for Quick Response, a 2D barcode specially designed to be scanned quickly by mobile devices.
A QR Code is a black and white square which, using rectangles and dots, contains specific information. They look like this:
If scanned with a mobile device, this QR Code opens the URL address of the IPG http://ec.europa.eu/ipg/.
The QR Code is used to encode any text-based information like telephone numbers, emails, calendar events, contacts (v-cards), URLs, etc.
The storage capacity of the QR Code depends on the density of the dots in the graph – the more data encoded in the code, the smaller the dots. Encoding more information will result in smaller sized dots which can make them harder to scan. In such cases, it is recommended to adapt the size of the image of the QR Code accordingly.
Usage in mobile
In order to read and decode the QR Code, the mobile device needs a QR Code reader – special device-specific software, depending on the platform – either pre-installed on the device or installed for free by the device owner.
The QR Code itself is not device-specific but the QR Code reader software is.
QR Code generation
Currently, the EUROPA Team and DIGIT are working in the setting up of a corporate tool to create QR Codes. In the meantime, you can find numerous QR Code generation web sites in this comprehensive list of QR Code generators.
Use on EUROPA
- The QR Code is best used on print media, outdoor advertising, leaflets campaigns, posters, etc. to allow the user read more information online.
- QR Codes can be used on websites but they are less useful because the user is already online. You can use QR codes on websites in the following circumstances:
- On homepages: to link to the mobile version of a site;
- On contact pages: to provide contact information easily;
- In the print version of a website: to provide a link on paper.
- QR Codes should link to mobile-friendly webpages.
- When using the QR Code on paper or screen, you should put some text close to it explaining what information to expect after scanning the code, e.g. "Scan to go to our mobile site" and, if possible, the hyperlink in plain text.
- Adapt the size of the QR Code image according to the quantity of encoded information. Always use a size that can be easily recognized and scanned.
- For easier detection, add minimum four-modules white space (i.e. white quiet zone) around the QR code and always use a black code on a white background.
- Do not use images within the QR Code for additional branding. This can be difficult to recognise and reduces the storage capacity.
- Always test the QR Code with different mobile devices before publishing.