You know what QR codes are, right? They’re those little, weird looking squares that marketers are putting absolutely everywhere now to get you to check out their service, visit a web site, enter a contest, or get product information. Scan it using a code reader on your smartphone and “read” the information. You can find both free and inexpensive readers in app stores. When used correctly, they’re super cool. You can create the codes for free using any number of bar code creator programs, either online or in existing software, and you can even design them with a photo or image in the center.
I’ve seen a number of local governments using them recently with several different functions.
Cool way to use a code…building permits. Scan the code as you pass a construction site and get a mobile friendly link to the most current information about the building project, including owner and contractor information, city contact info and expected completion dates.
Cool way to use a code…print them on individual documents. Scan the info and get a link to the county’s web site to get your full property tax assessment on your phone. Though you might not necessarily need to have this information at your fingertips, it is interesting to have. This site is not actually mobile friendly, but it is relatively easy to read on a small screen.
Cool way to use a code…the back of a business card. These are my business cards. Scan it and my contact info pops up, ready to be saved in your contact list. You may lose the card, but you still have my info!
Most QR code use offenses I’ve seen consist of a link to a fully functional non-mobile friendly site. Don’t do that! I can’t see your whole site on the small screen, and I likely won’t be able to use most of the functionality on it anyway.
What are some interesting uses of QR codes that you’ve seen governments use? (Share a link or photo if you can.)