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Understanding QR Code UX Design Considerations

January 22, 2023

In the modern digital world, the use of QR codes is becoming increasingly popular as a way for businesses to connect with their customers. Companies can provide QR codes in various ways: on product packaging, Web sites, and mobile apps, and even as part of interactive-marketing campaigns.

But how can you ensure that your UX design for a QR code is effective and user friendly?

This article provides a complete guide to designing QR codes for your business and discusses five considerations for QR code UX design. If you’re a UX professional, marketing expert, or business owner who is looking to make an impact on the digital world, these QR code design tips can help ensure that your QR code design is successful and beneficial to both your business and your users.

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What Is QR Code UX Design?

QR code UX design is the process of creating a QR code that is user friendly, engaging, and easy to use. A business QR code should deliver quick access to information about your company, which makes these codes especially helpful for marketing campaigns and product packaging. To market your product, you can place QR codes on your Web site or printed marketing materials, enabling users to quickly access more detailed information about the product.

What Makes a Good User Experience?

A good user experience is the result of an effective UX design process that enables you to create a product or service that is easy to use and understand, with only minimal effort on the part of the user. Some benefits of a good user experience include the following:

  • improved user satisfaction—A good user experience leads to satisfied users who are more likely to use your product or service again and recommend it to others. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and a better brand reputation.
  • increased conversions—A positive user experience results in more conversions, whether that means completing a purchase, signing up for a service, subscribing to a newsletter, or completing another desired action on a Web site.
  • reduced bounce rates—A frustrating or confusing user experience can cause users to quickly leave a Web site or application, leading to high bounce rates. A good user experience can help reduce bounce rates and keep users engaged.
  • enhanced accessibility—Designing a good user experience requires considering the needs of all users, including those with disabilities. This can lead to enhanced accessibility and inclusivity for a broader audience.
  • increased efficiency—A well-designed user experience helps users to accomplish their goals more efficiently, saving them time and effort. Greater efficiency leads to increased productivity and satisfaction for both users and business owners.

Distinguishing UX and UI Design

When designing QR codes, it is important to distinguish between user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. Let’s briefly consider the differences between them.

UX design encompasses the overall flow and functionality of an application or Web site, while UI design focuses on the visual elements and layout of an application or other digital product.

For QR codes, UX design ensures that a QR code is easy to access, scan, and use. You should place the QR code in a highly visible area, ensure that is has an easily recognizable pattern, and make it easy to scan.

UI design focuses on the QR code’s visual elements, including color, size, shape, and style. It is important to ensure that QR codes stand out from their surrounding context by using different colors or other graphic elements to call attention to them.

5 QR Code UX Design Considerations

Now that you understand the difference between QR code UX design and UI design, let’s look at five things you should consider when designing QR codes for your business.

1. Make Sure the QR Code Is Clearly Visible

As I mentioned earlier, you should place QR codes in a highly visible area. This ensures that users can see and scan a QR code easily. Take the size and positioning of the QR code into account. QR codes that are too small or in a difficult-to-reach area can lead to user frustration and negatively impact usability.

If you’re designing an ecommerce home page and want to include a QR code, be sure to place it in a prominent location on the page and use bright colors to make it stand out, ensuring that the QR code is clearly visible.

2. Keep QR Codes Simple

Keep QR codes as simple as possible to make them easier to scan and access. While QR codes offer limited design options, you can still create an attractive QR code by using color, logos, or other aesthetic design elements. Keep in mind that QR codes should be simple and easy to read, so don’t get too creative with your designs. Plus, you could use a QR code–generator tool to keep your QR code designs consistent across multiple products and various marketing materials. These tools can ensure that you consistently create QR codes of the same size, using the same color scheme. This can prevent QR codes from cluttering your ads.

3. Make QR Codes Responsive

You should design QR codes to be responsive, making sure that they display correctly on both desktop computers and mobile devices. You can optimize QR codes for different screen sizes—again by using a QR code generator that lets you to set the size of the QR code for different screen resolutions.

4. Include a QR Code on Connected Packaging

Connected packaging, such as that shown in Figure 1, is a great way of engaging customers and providing them with quick access to product information or promotions. You can include QR codes on connected packaging, enabling users to quickly scan the QR code to view more detailed information about the product.

Figure 1—Connected packaging
Connected packaging

Image source: Pexels

For example, if you’re designing connected packaging for a new line of products, include QR codes on the packaging that link to more detailed product descriptions and promotional offers. This helps you engage customers and provides quick access to product information.

5. Test QR Codes Before Launch

Before launching your QR codes, it is important to ensure that they are working properly. Use a QR code–scanner app to test your QR codes and ensure that they link to the correct information or Web site.

Plus, if you were targeting international consumers, who might be using the best VPN in the marketplace, be sure to plan for this when creating your QR codes to optimize the user experience. You should also use an analytics tool such as Google Analytics to track how many users are scanning the QR code and, thus, engaging with your content.

Final Thoughts

QR codes are a great way of engaging customers and providing them with quick access to information about your product or service. However, designing QR codes for your business can be challenging—unless you consider the UX design principles that I’ve outlined in this article. By employing these QR code UX design tips, you can ensure that you design QR codes in a way that is both visually appealing and user friendly. Plus, by testing your QR codes before launch and tracking their performance with analytics tools, you can optimize your QR codes for maximum engagement. 

Director of Growth Content at Dialpad

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Grace LauAt Dialpad, a business, cloud-phone system and AI-powered, cloud-communication platform for better team collaboration, Grace is responsible for growth content. She has over ten years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is leading the development of branded and editorial content strategies and partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content.  Read More

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