QR codes

Example of a QR code

The increasingly common use of mobile devices is creating opportunities for the University to extend the provision of electronic information and services via mobile platforms.

In keeping with the University’s commitment to equity and diversity, the University’s Platform Neutrality Policy outlines the extent to which “central IT systems, services and electronic resources should be accessible by a wide range of client platforms across the University.” The policy requires that “wherever it is possible at not unreasonable cost, cross-platform Web-based client access be provided.

Using Quick Response (QR) codes on UWA publications and advertising

If you are considering employing a QR code on UWA publications or advertising you should be aware of a number of issues:

  1. QR codes may not be usable by people with vision, mobility and other impairments that prevent their ready recognition and use of camera devices
  2. A user must own a camera-equipped smartphone to scan the code.
  3. A smartphone does not automatically read a QR code. A user is required to download software (from a non-UWA site) in order to read the code.
  4. The main attraction of this technology is that the code takes the user to a mobile-optimised website with an exciting opportunity. Before the code is created, a mobile device should be used to check the readability of the page to which the QR code will take the user. If the destination page is not clear, attractive and easy to navigate, the QR code will not have the desired impact.
  5. The code takes up valuable space on advertising and publications and may detract from your key messages.
  6. Brand, Marketing and Recruitment can provide the same tracking through a standard web address.
  7. QR codes have been employed in phishing and are susceptible to hijacking in some circumstances. As QR codes are only machine readable, they represent a much higher risk than a regular web address.

The use of web addresses is therefore always required and in most cases preferred over QR codes.

Getting a QR code

While in some situations it may be appropriate to employ a QR code in addition to a web address, business areas are encouraged to consult with the team at Brand, Marketing and Recruitment before making a final decision.

If the decision is then taken to use a QR code, you will need to email UWA 'Digital' with the URL of the web page so a QR code can be created.