Creating your own QR Codes (& why)

This is a slight departure from our usual topics but I stumbled across something a few days ago and I found it very interesting:

QR Codes.

Yes, you read that right.

QR Codes?

For those who don’t remember, a QR code is one of those funnily looking, machine-readable blocks of characters.

The idea was that you scanned it with an app on your smartphone and it did something.

As you always needed a third-party app to make it work on many phones, it just seemed to be more trouble than it’s worth.

So I promptly forgot about QR codes until recently when I took my kid’s to Nandos in Cribbs Causeway.

Nandos

With COVID, Nandos (like all shops/restaurants etc) have had to radically rethink how they serve us customers whilst at the same time following the official guidance so as to best look after our safety (as well as their staff).

And Nandos (as many others have, no doubt), chose QR codes to help with that.

Queue

At the restaurant, there was a queueing system to get and register for a table. After I’d done the usual ‘sanitise your hands‘ routine, the instructions said to scan a QR code.

Uh oh, I thought, this will get convoluted. Will I need to download the Nandos app? (And the rigmarole of remembering my login). It all sounded like a world of pain.

Surprise

Imagine my surprise then when I simply pointed my phone’s camera at the QR code and a link popped up. I followed the link and then carried on registering our table on the Nandos website:

Scanning a QR Code

Scanning a QR Code

Whilst enjoying the lovely food, I made a mental note of revisiting this technology which I had obviously unfairly forgotten about.

Creating your own QR Code

The interesting point to me was how to get a QR code to do something, simply by pointing your iPhone camera at it. And that turned out to be quite simple as well.

If you visit www.qr-code-generator.com you’ll see the following:

 

QR Code type

The first thing you do is to select the type of QR code you want to use:

As you see, there’s a lot of options on offer. I’ll just look at the URL option today, but feel free to play around with others (VCARD, WIFI, PDF, Twitter etc all look very interesting – I mean Wifi! No more hunting around trying to look at the back fo your router!).

If you select the URL option, you just need to input the URL (web page address) of where you want people to be taken to (don’t forget the HTTP:// or HTTPS:// bit on the front).

Once you type in the URL, you’ll see the QR Code on the right-hand side change:

 

….and that’s pretty much all there is to it.

If you whip out your camera app and simply point it at the QR code, your link will magically appear!

Final Thoughts

Apologies again if this is old hat top you – I’m thnk that many Android phones have been able to do this for years but, as I’m an Apple person, it’s a bit more recent that this magic has been enabled (since the release of IOS 11).

Given the contactless elegance of QR codes, I’m sure you’ll be encountering them more & more. And you may even be mulling the options for how they could help you and your business.

If you fancy talking about this further, why not head over to our Facebook Group….or, if you prefer, scan this QR code 🙂

Joel

p.s. the above QR Code took a bit more messing around to create. Basically I did not want to send people to the Safari web browser; instead I wanted to send people to the Facebook App on their phone (as I’m pretty much guessing that if you use Facebook, you’ll use the app). If you want to know more about that, ask me on Facebook

 

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