HTML Emails

Jeffery Zeldman writes that email is not a platform for design. I totally agree, and am pleased that someone with clout is saying so. I know I’m more developer than designer, the medium that is email was never intended to present flashy designy content.

E-mail was invented so people could quickly exchange text messages over fast or slow or really slow connections, using simple, non-processor-intensive applications on any computing platform, or using phones, or hand-held devices, or almost anything else that can display text and permits typing.

Amen. There is some interesting debate in the comments. So, it’s plain text for me. What do you think?

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2 Responses to HTML Emails

  1. I dont mind having so called ‘rich’ emails, but it’s when they try to make it the same as a web page that is wrong. Plain text emails are boring, if your doing a campaign you need some cut thru via design. However perhaps most people suck at doing this.

  2. Mike says:

    I had to wrestle an html email into submission recently. It aint pretty (especially when you take Office 2007 ‘support’ into consideration). I’d be happy enough if everyone stuck to text. When I get one of those emails that has a cheesy tiled background and some animated gifs I throw up a little bit in my mouth…

    In saying that, there are some nicely done html emails which blur the line between email and the web — they feel like you are browsing a normal web page. Not exactly the purpose of email of course, but it makes me forget for a bit that my email has been hijacked for marketing purposes 😉

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