6 Mistakes when Using QR Codes

qr codes

What are QR Codes?

QR codes have been around since the ’90s, long before smartphones even existed. A QR code provides data that points to a website where users can access more information about a product or service. When a QR code is printed and used correctly, information can be provided to the end user more quickly and efficiently. Sometimes, QR codes may not work if setup improperly. Below are six common mistakes that can occur when using QR codes.

Mistake #1: Printing the QR Code Too Small

Print the QR code at least of a size of a 1 X 1″ square. This allows mobile devices to capture and read them clearly with their camera. Sizes smaller than this may create difficulties, causing the code to not scan properly.

qr codes correct
This is phone readable!
qr codes incorrect
This is too small!

Mistake #2: Using a Background with Low Contrast

A QR code that has the same colours with it’s background may not be read properly by a camera. The square pattern should be clearly visible with it’s background. When designing the code onto printed material, contrast should also be considered. A different coloured background is important in ensuring readability of the code. The best way to show a QR code is the standard black pattern with white background.

qr code low contrast
Low contrast square
qr code low contrast background
Low contrast background

Mistake #3: Stretching QR Codes

Do not stretch QR codes saved as a JPEG of PNG file when adding them to a large posters or banner. Stetching a QR code will cause the square pattern to become pixelated and unreadable by mobile devices. Instead, save QR codes as a PDF or SVG file because these file types will allow the code to be made larger without losing any quality.

Mistake #4: Adding a QR Code to Moving Objects

To scan a QR code, users have take out their phone, turn on their camera or open an app, then point the device at the code. Placing a QR code onto moving objects such as cars, buses or vehicles will be ineffective as users will have limited time to scan them.

Mistake #5: The QR Code Points to a Broken Link

Printing and smart placement of a QR code are important. However, the data and content that the code leads to are just as important. When a QR code catches someone’s attention, they are interested in learning more. Do not frustrate them with links that cannot open or lead to an error page. Always double-check that your QR is working properly before sending it out!

broken code

Mistake #6: The Link Looks like Unsafe

Would you click a link that looks like this?


Most likely not. A link that looks like spam may appears untrustworthy and can prevent a user from proceeding to the site. For a smooth experience, use a trustworthy link or link shortener, such as Bitly.

Short URLs are easier to read and can let users know exactly what they are clicking into.

Using QR Codes Correctly is Easy

QR codes are becoming more common and will take some time to see their true potential. When understood, their versatility and simplicity can enhance a customer’s experience. Contact us to learn more about how QR codes can be help your business!