How to Test if a QR Code Works: An In-Depth Guide

You know what a QR Code is. Just like a barcode, it is used to store information. However, it goes a step ahead of traditional barcodes to store much more data.

And you’re probably planning on using them too. It could be for any promotional or operational use case.

Hence, you want to make sure that your QR Code works properly. After all, any discrepancy in the scannability of the QR Code can worsen your audience’s experience. In addition, it would translate to hampered business operations too.

And you wouldn’t want to be stuck with a QR Code that looks fine but just doesn’t work.

Hence, it is important to run a QR Code scanning test before deploying it for any campaign. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can test if the QR Code works fine and how to increase its scannability.

A. How to test a QR Code and check if it works?

After you create a QR Code online, don’t hassle up the process by just downloading and using them right away. Test the generated QR Codes first!

The most basic way of checking a QR Code is by merely scanning it. All that you need to do here is—pull out your smartphone, open the camera, and hold it in front of the QR Code. You’ll get a pop-up within 2 seconds and the QR Code will be scanned.

While many smartphones today come with an in-built QR Code scanning feature, there are some that don’t. And if your phone’s camera is not able to scan the QR Code, you can download any free third-party QR Code scanning app to do the job.

Here are some crucial things you must ensure while working with QR Codes

1. Enough contrast between the QR Code and its background

Do you know that the contrast between the QR Code and its background is of utmost importance for its scannability?

Yes, it’s true! There must be high contrast between the QR Code and the background. For example, if the QR Code is dark-colored, the background should be light and vice-versa.

Once you take care of the color contrast, you must test scan the QR Coe in different lighting levels.

If the QR Code doesn’t scan for most of the trials, increase the color contrast and test again. Once you are able to scan the QR Code, you are good to go!

2. Scannability on different devices

Your audience will have various different devices. For example, some of them might use tablets while others may use smartphones.

Similarly, there will be people who’d have iPhones, Android phones, etc. In addition, the browsers on their devices will also be different.

Hence, when you make a QR Code, just make sure you test scan it using as many different devices as possible. It’s a good practice to use 4-5 different handsets to do the needful.

Doing so will help you understand that your QR Code is working fine. And in case it’s not, you’ll be able to take the corrective measure well in time.

3. Scannability from an appropriate range of distances

The scannability of a QR Code is greatly affected by both its size and the scanning distance. Both scanning distance and the size of the QR code are interdependent.

For example, a QR Code on the product packaging which needs to be scanned from a couple of inches away can be small in size. On the other hand, a QR Code present on a billboard to be scanned from a couple of meters away will have to be fairly larger.

So make sure you test scan the QR Code from the appropriate range of distances. Doing so will make sure your audience can scan the QR Code properly too.

4. Internet accessibility

Planning on using QR Codes to redirect people to a weblink? Or looking forward to creating dynamic QR Codes?

Then you must make sure there is a good internet connection where you are placing your QR Code.

Since your audience will need the internet to open the web link, you must not place the QR Code where there’s no internet.

B. Some pre-requisites to follow while working with QR Codes

While you will test the QR Codes before using them in your campaigns, here are a few important things you must ensure:

1. Right size and image format of the QR Code

As discussed, the size of the QR Code holds significant importance. Hence, make sure you download it in the right size as per the conventional formula.

In addition, you must also export the QR Code image in high-resolution vector formats. For example, SVG, EPF, and PDF.

These formats do not pixelate no matter how much resizing is done. That means your QR Code remains smooth and clear. And that greatly helps ensure good scannability.

2. Avoid over customization of QR Codes

Have you heard the phrase, “Less is more?” Well, it applies to QR Code customization too.

Customizing the QR Code according to your business requirements is good. But remember, don’t overdo it. And always make sure you use colors that have high contrast with the background.

If the contrast is poor, the scanners will not be able to read the QR Code elements such as eyes and data modules. If that happens, the QR Code won’t get scanned.

Conclusion: QR Code testing matters!

Once you test the QR Code according to these points, always look at the results. If you have a success rate of over 80%, you’re good to go.

Otherwise, you can take the necessary corrective measures to fix the problem. You can even consider talking to your QR Code service provider to help you out.

That’s it. That’s all you need to know about how to test if a QR Code works. In case you want to get started with your first QR Code campaign, you can try Scanova for free!

Just sign-up for a free trial and create your first QR Code. No need to enter your card details while signing up.


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