by Neil Perlin
QR (Quick Response) codes are an expanded form of a bar code. Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave created them in 1994 for parts tracking during manufacturing.
- Let field service techs open a complete online service manual without having to carry it, just by scanning a QR code on the product casing.
- Let any users jump to your web site from a PDF or print manual by scanning a QR code that you add to a manual.
- Created “extended” quick reference cards with QR codes that link to the full online help system on a server or to web pages with videos showing how to perform tasks described in the card.
- As a sales tool for times when prospective customers can’t write down your contact information because they’re driving or hanging onto a strap on a subway. (I saw a QR code on the back of a delivery truck. If I was interested in the service, I could have simply scanned the code to get the company’s URL.)
- As a brand differentiator that says that you’re much cooler than your competitors.
- For any case where it’s inconvenient to type a URL. (I have large hands and find it difficult to type on a smartphone keyboard, virtual or real. I’d find a QR code a helpful substitute.)
QR codes are a specialized but interesting feature with a range of possible uses, probably more than I mentioned above. But I can see many possibilities and they’re easy to try.
Neil Perlin is MadCap-Certified for Flare and is a long-time consultant, troubleshooter, and trainer for the tool, going back to MadCap’s founding in 2004. He also has years of experience with older tools like RoboHelp and Doc-To-Help and now defunct tools like ForeHelp. He is also a certified app developer, trainer, and consultant for the ViziApps app development platform. You can reach him at [email protected] and at NeilEric on Twitter.