2024-03-11

How not to QR (again)

I have mentioned a bit about QR codes before (here).

But today I saw an example of a QR done badly!

The QR code contains a reference, an alphanumeric code and number, and name of student. But the passcode is just the first part (8 character code).

So what is wrong here?

  1. The machine readable part, the QR code, has the redundant extra information of student name, why? QR has error check and correction code, so no need.
  2. People expect a QR code to be scannable, and for that to be anything useful it is best done as a URL. This is just text.
  3. The instructions ask you to go to a web site, and enter a pass code.

This could be so much better as a URL with a passcode on the end, perhaps as a query.

  1. The user could scan it, and even if it only went to the web site, that saves a lot of typing.
  2. The web site could use the query on the end to actually do the next step and save typing the passcode.
  3. If they need the QR for face to face stuff, collecting photos, whatever (which does not seem top be the case, so why even have the QR code at all on the paperwork), then scanning can easily skip the URL part and read the passcode part. Though the wording sounds like this may be printed first and scanned as part of taking photos - fine, scan with a URL in it, that does no harm.

And example of a case we have is serial numbers on FireBricks.

The QR code contains HTTPS://FB0.UK/900000050159 which serves two purposes. When scanned by a user it goes to the product page, but when scanned by my staff for a serial number on a delivery note or invoice, the HTTPS://FB0.UK/ is skipped by the system and the serial number correctly recorded.

1 comment:

  1. Using an SQL wildcard (i.e. %) does seem to confuse the site too

    ReplyDelete

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