Points to check and things to fix if your QR code is not working
You have seen, heard and read enough about QR codes and were excited to generate your first 2D code. But it is not scannable, and you can’t figure out why? QR Code Chimp is here to help! Here are several QR code scanning problems generally you may face and their solutions.
The primary issues that may keep your QR code from scanning are:
Is the size too small?
Solution: No matter how small the product on which a QR code will be pasted, the minimum size should be 2*2 cm (0.8*0.8 in). Another way to figure out the appropriate size of the code is to use 1/10th of the distance between the code and the scanning device. Apart from scannability, size also affects visibility. Tiny QR codes are unlikely to attract attention.
The logo size placed on a QR Code must be 21*21 – 177*177 modules (grows by four modules/side), and the attached structure must be a maximum of 16 symbols.
Is your logo size too big?
Solution: The logo size in the QR code should not be too big or perhaps there should be some white space around the logo so as to make your entire QR code scannable. You may have to adjust the logo size and the logo background scale to some extend and keep testing till your QR code is readable by QR code scanner.
Is the colour contrast in your QR code too low?
Solution: The contrast between the background and foreground colour must always be high. There is a reason the initial QR codes were only black and white. Technology has advanced, and aesthetics are equally important, but it is possible to play around with just one colour instead of both. If the foreground colour is pink, red, purple or green, keep the background colour white or closer to white.
Is your QR code crowded by other elements or unnoticeable?
Solution: Where and how you place a QR code is essential for higher scans. While the code should not be in a very crowded area, it must also not be very away from the main message that leads to CTA for which that code was generated. If a restaurant is talking about a discount offer on burgers on the top central part of a poster, the QR code to scan that offer cannot be on the bottom right or left. It can be in the middle of the body to get attention right after your audience has read the text.
Are you using the right format of the QR code image and a high-resolution image to insert inside the code?
Solution: Quality of QR code can refer to the format in which it is printed or the image quality inserted in the code. For mediums such as newspapers and magazines, JPG or PNG formats work well. For sizeable mediums like billboards and posters, SVG or EPS formats maintain the quality of the image.
The image or logo inserted inside a QR code should neither be blurry nor pixelated. One must use high-resolution photos for QR codes.
Have you inverted the colours of your QR code?
Solution: A common mistake users make while creating a QR code is to invert colours. Aesthetics should not be implemented at the cost of efficiency. By using high contrast, people often misunderstand that contrast can work, either way, keeping the background dark and foreground white. Experts strictly advise against colour inversion.
Does your QR code have heavy content?
Solution: Too much content creates an overloaded QR code, sometimes taking up the quiet space and corners of the code. Not so advanced scanners may depend on these lighter/empty spaces to detect the QR code better. It is better to use a dynamic QR code for more content and heavier images and PDF files than a static QR code.
You may like to read how to customise a perfect QR code
You may also have to check on these things:
QR Code Expiry
Did you know that poor quality QR codes can expire without your knowledge? Too many hits or no hits can result in the expiration of QR codes generated by certain QR code makers. You should regularly check the scanability of your QR code. QR Code Chimp lets you generate free Static QR codes with an unlimited number of scans.
Broken links may mean a typing error in the URL, or the website does not exist anymore. Besides being a technical glitch, it may result in a user never coming back to scan your QR codes. One must periodically check the URL for its functionality and use dynamic QR codes to fix such issues with ease.
Overloaded QR Codes
Customizing a QR code may mean adding only necessary elements like changing the foreground colour, inserting an image and adding a logo. Using too many unnecessary details or extensively changing the data pattern of a QR code can be counterproductive.
One should read the QR code printing tips before printing QR codes to be careful and sure that your QR code is scannable.
Did you test your code after adding each design element and with different devices?
1. Test your QR code after each step and element. For instance, scan the code after changing the colour before you move on to add an image or a logo.
2. Test the code using multiple scanning devices to know which one does not work. You can use link shorteners or dynamic QR codes for cleaner QR code images.