QR CodesI have a confession to make: I’m addicted to QR codes. I’m not sure if there is a support group for it, but if there is, I may need to join.

When I was first asked to work on a project which involved mobile website design and QR codes a few years ago, I had to research these strange looking patterned codes. To my surprise, I discovered they were more becoming more popular than I’d imagined.

QR (quick response) codes have been around for a few years and were invented by the Japanese and from their humble beginnings in the car industry they’ve grown in world wide appeal.

The reason for this is because the QR code is designed read contents quickly by a  QR reader on a mobile phone (with a camera attached), and that makes it very appealing for business owners who are utilizing the fast-growing mobile web market.

The patterned code is free for anyone to generate and use, and there are various places on the web you can do that. However, they do look a bit boring, so the latest craze, which I think will be around for a while, is to actually customize the QR code.

Customized QR Codes

QR codes have a thirty percent error rate. This means you can redesign certain areas of the code with color and even logos and the code will still scan.

As someone who likes to put their mark on things, I love using customized codes, but my practical nature makes me just as happy with the plain black and white version. Both have there places and are truly functional for small business owners.

Some QR codes go directly to websites, some send text messages and others can be made to show phone numbers. This gives businesses a chance to really connect as well as be creative.

A Variety of Uses for QR Codes

Imagine these codes on your marketing literature with a chance to get people to your website, call you directly, or present them with a special message: That’s pretty amazing. Think of having QR codes printed on your store fliers or restaurant menus, where people can opt in to your text coupon list or visit your mobile website while they’re waiting for service. QR codes can be amazing for realtors and car dealers as well: Put them on a house sign or a window sticker, and let your customers take a virtual tour all on their own.

Once you start using QR codes, you may well be addicted too.