Should you use QR codes on your website?

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There is a debate running within the Web team at St Andrews just now about the value of using QR codes on web pages.

Our feeling here is that QR codes are most useful on print publications and where used on websites for contact information, for example, they should be an unobtrusive option (accompanied by a tasteful 16 x 16 QR icon QR code icon perhaps) rather than splashed across the page.

Our feeling is also that there are better ways to enable people to import contact details into their address book software, such as microformats.

What are your thoughts? Please use the comments below and answer the poll. Thanks!

This entry was posted in Design and tagged , by Gareth J M Saunders. Bookmark the permalink.

About Gareth J M Saunders

Hi, I'm Gareth J M Saunders, 6' 4", father of 3 boys (twins and singleton), I'm a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, employed as the Web Architect at the University of St Andrews. My main interests are HTML, CSS (inc. frameworks), jQuery, Information Architecture and Agile development.

7 thoughts on “Should you use QR codes on your website?

  1. We were having a look at microformat support in browsers recently, but there seems to be little or nothing built in.

    The Operator add-in for Firefox seems to work quite well (we tested it against hCalendar, which we already had in some of our automated outputs) and successfully added events from our website to Outlook and iCal.

    With the news that Facebook has apparently marked up all its events with hCalendar and applied hCard to contacts, this could be something that takes off.

    Possibly you could use microformats, RDFa and HTML5 microdata all at once. As well as provide related feeds (EventsML for events anyone?). Good for search, user interaction and semantic web, perhaps.

    In the case of QR codes, perhaps you could hide them in your screen CSS, and display them in print?

  2. Hi Tavis—I like the idea of displaying them only in a print.css.

    I’d thought of including subtle links whereby the QR codes only appear when you click on them, lightbox-style perhaps.

    It is disappointing that more browsers don’t support Microformats out of the box, I’m using Microformats for Google Chrome which is great.

    Andy Clarke in his latest book Hardboiled Web Design certainly recommends using Microformats in conjunction with various HTML5 attributes.

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