April 2012


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Peter Riemenschneider <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
UofMN Web Standards <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 3 Apr 2012 13:38:59 -0500
text/plain (56 lines)
On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM, Aaron Zirbes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dan,
> Yep, almost all QR codes these days are encoded URLs.
> --
> Aaron

Almost - but we're doing something a little different with ours.

The College of Science and Engineering produced a series of posters
that promoted our majors, with the idea that faculty would staff
booths and discuss their departments and majors with students.

The idea of QR codes came up, but like it has been mentioned here, I
thought it was odd to produce a code that just contained a ULR when a
vanity URL would be easier to produce and remember. So instead, I set
up the QR code to contain contact information for the department/major
being visited as an encoded Vcard. I included department name, email,
web and mailing address, so if the visitors wanted a take-away, they
could scan the code and put the department info in their phone for
later reference.

Size of the QR graphic was important - I tested our using my
first-generation iPhone, which has a (relatively) poor quality camera.
Given that students might be several feet away from the poster, with
potentially no ability to zoom, the image needed to be large (8"
sounds about right) and sufficient white space needed to be around the
image so as to not confuse the camera.

On a related note, we're currently looking into using digital
signage/displays for our new building and I've been exploring best
practices for content and presentation. I've seen some digital signs
that use QR codes and it always makes laugh. Because the majority of
displays around campus are mounted at least 7-9 feet high, the size of
the code graphic isn't large enough to make phone capture even
possible. And usually in those cases, they are acting as a Web link,
so a vanity URL would have been a better way to go.

I think there are more useful ways to use QR codes than URLs. For
example, I recently put a QR code on my personal business card. It
contains my Vcard info, so contacts can scan it to capture my contact
info (provided they have the right reader)


Peter Riemenschneider
Electronic Communications Manager
College of Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota
Phone: 612-624-2929
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