On a UX stance, what are the best practices to consider when designing a business card?

I've done some research in order to find some that I might not have considered and I have to admit that I've found some hardly believable opinions such like these ones (from : http://commadot.com/the-ux-of-business-cards-2013/ ) :

No QR Codes or other advertisements. It’s tacky. It takes up room and detracts from the experience. Your card has one purpose, to communicate who you are. Don’t try to make it interactive.

No QR code in the era of smartphones?? Really??

Don’t make the card all dark colors. People often want to write something on the card. Give them space and light backgrounds to do so. Make it easy to write on.

In Japan it's considered 200% rude to write something on a business card. It wouldn't cross someone's mind, really.

Anyway, what are the best practices to consider when designing a business card?

  • 1
    In America, we absolutely write on business cards and it is extremely annoying when someone's card cannot be written on either from a design or material standpoint.
    – Bowen
    Apr 6, 2015 at 22:31
  • I'll second what Bowen said. I always write down notes on business cards.
    – Mayo
    Apr 7, 2015 at 2:03
  • Your own question is a better answer to itself than the ones below, in my opinion. As you've pointed out you operate in a different culture where (a) the digital practices are different (yes, QR codes may be used daily in some Asian countries, I know they're not uncommon for logging in on websites in China for instance) and where (b) the role of business cards and relationship to the object itself may differ (speculating: some cultures might view them as a way to help the recipient remember an event/topic of discussion; others as a token of willingness to do business from the giver). Jan 13, 2016 at 9:31

3 Answers 3


It really depends so much on you – what you want your business cards look like / feel like – it's your business card and ideally it should speak for you, represent you, your ideas, your style. Just two thoughts on those two 'recommendations' you quoted:

  • You're working digital? Feel free to put a QR code on your card! Other people find QR codes on business cards tacky? Maybe you want it to look tacky? Why not have a square business card with nothing but the QR code on one side?

  • You work a lot with unix / console? Why not have white (or green) text printed on black card board. You could also have a 'day side' and a 'night side'. I personally once had all info printed in silver on black glossy paper – difficult to read, but people kept the card and some even showed it around.

There are various pages showcasing interesting designs – here's "100 Awesome and Original Business Cards from Designers" and here you have "60 Stunningly Beautiful Minimal Business Cards".

  • Well, thanks but you said nothing about User Experience's best practices.
    – majimekun
    Apr 6, 2015 at 14:04
  • 1
    As I tried to mention that I find it dfficult to follow "best practice" when designing Business Cards – since you probably don't want your business cards to look too similar to your competitors' business cards. So IMHO best practice would be not to follow rules for 'best practice' Apr 6, 2015 at 18:06
  • @tillinberlin, when I get business cards that break too far from the norm, I throw them out. They're no longer meeting my needs as a user, which is typically to convey contact information and remind me of the person's name.
    – zzzzBov
    Jan 12, 2016 at 18:34

You are the one who is running in your business circle. Think about all the times you've accepted a business card. What did you do with it? What did you like about it? Match those expectations.

In the US we use business cards almost like personalized stationery sometimes. If someone hands you a card and says "call me on Tues" you write call Bob on Tues. on his card. If it's all black, you can't do that.

QR codes are gross, but you're the one that's in Japan, so maybe people use them there.

This question is kind of like asking "what's the best car for my family?"

  • 2
    "QR codes are gross" ... it's a design/taste statement. Nothing to do with UX.
    – majimekun
    Apr 6, 2015 at 15:05
  • A user must have a built in reader or have downloaded an app to scan a QR code. It then takes them to a URL and they have to do something with the data there which is probably never aligned with what action they wish to take because you don't know if they want to call you, view your bio, see your portfolio, etc. They are cumbersome.
    – jkuss
    Apr 6, 2015 at 17:15
  • @jkuss, QR codes convey data, and can be a quick way to import contact information, which is what would be appropriate on a business card. I'm not saying it's necessarily a good choice, but it isn't necessarily a bad choice either.
    – zzzzBov
    Jan 12, 2016 at 18:34
  • @zzzzBov There's just no decent native implementation. If I have to have a separate thing to get the data, then it's worse than just having the data printed on the card.
    – jkuss
    Jan 13, 2016 at 19:21

Details to include:

  • Name (perhaps in the format "title known-as family-name", e.g. Ms Yvonne Aburrow) *
  • Job title
  • Company
  • Contact details - email address, mobile number, landline number (phone numbers in international format if you have an international audience)
  • Postal address (optional)

* See also Putting names on international business cards in a helpful way

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