Product Highlight – QR Codes and Mobile Stylesheets

After a conversation with one of our regular clients who thought QR codes were the coolest thing (they are pretty cool) and had no idea it was a service we offer, a new blog topic was born…

While QR codes have been around since 1994, their use in western marketing is relatively new. ‘QR’ stands for ‘Quick Response’, as the inventor intended the code to be decoded a highspeed.

They started out being used to track parts in vehicle manufacturing, but their ability to be read by mobile phones caused their application to spread to several other fields. Now QR codes can display text, add a vCard contact to the user’s device, open a URL, or even compose an email or text message. Almost all smartphones with cameras are able to read QR codes natively (with the exception of the iPhone, although free apps are available to add this functionality), which means that these codes are quickly becoming an important part of cutting edge marketing. They can be put on almost any form of print media, from billboards to fliers, and even some digital medias.

So, why do WE love QR codes? Well, our favorite application for them by far is URL linking – We put QR codes on our print media and link them to our client’s website. Sure, the site URL is there too, but it’s just so much easier to scan the code with your phone and have it automatically redirect your browser to the URL. There’s several other benefits – No URL to remember, an instant impression is made, and you have control over the URL the user visits. I will note however that using QR codes does warrant another consideration – If you’re encouraging viewers to visit your website via their smartphone a mobile style sheet should be implemented on your site. This is a special style sheet that will change the display of your website to accommodate the smaller screen size and resolution of a smartphone. Although mobile browsers have come a long way and can now display most sites quite accurately, there are still limitations.

So, in conclusion – QR codes are cool, make sure you have a mobile stylesheet, and Critical Productions is your source for both!

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