Email Design… not always worth…
December 17, 2007

I love simplicity, and everything I do or create I try to keep it as simple as possible, and till now it worked well. This post is about a mean of communication that we all use daily, the email.

The mail is really great, is fast, reliable and you can attach files without any problem. The space to store your mail keep increasing (see Gmail for example) and users start to use the mail as a BK remote device, because is easy to upload files (sending to yourself) and easy to search using keywords, content, or the date of the mail. Those are all great features, but there is an aspect that can be used, the “HTML” mails.
I write about this because I just installed Leopard and one of the features of “Mail” is the possibility to easy create and adapt templates in a way to create your own and use to create your style.

I started to create my own “Mail Style” but I dropped this idea after a couple of hours, not because it was too hard to create, but I started to have doubt of its effectiveness. Would this kind of mail being better for the communication between me and the recipients of my mail? At the end I thought that the answer were no for those reasons:

  1. Simplicity: A mail with pictures and a cool design can be catching for the attention of the other person, but if not well designed can disorient the receiver. Lots of people get used to receive plain mails and they know where to find the information, because it’s the text, and also they can find in an easy way the history of the mail. If the mail has a design, that can hide those informations or would be hard to find.
  2. Commercial: A mail with a design can be considered to the receiver as a first look like a commercial email that wasn’t asked (spam) and could be trashed or not considered as a communication with a person that you know.
  3. Professional: Depending on the type of job you do, your clients can have a good or a bed impression about you. if you are a designer a mail like that can have a great impact, because you can prove from the start your creativity. If you are an accountant, maybe a mail like that can be felt like a loss of time, because you think too much to the aspect that at the content (depends also on the type of receiver).
  4. Fast Information: Most of my mail are fast communications, sometimes are a line if not even a word, and the history is really important to keep the information streaming active. Using a design for that kind of communication can be bad, and useless… beautiful and useless…
  5. Support: Lots of Mail Management Software doesn’t support that kind of mail, they can save the content and not display the design, or they can mix the content and the design together trying to interpret it, creating a big confusion.

Designed Mail can be great, but there is the need to understand how and when to use them, because not always can be understood or appreciated by the receiver.

A little suggestion – During you write an email keep simple also the content, email are faster and has zero cost, and we receive more and more mails for those reasons, and also we send more. So to save your and other’s time don’t make periphrasis, go straight to the point you wanna reach…

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There is 1 comment

  • Federica says:

    yeap! yuo are right, but sometimes also the style is a way to communicate something, and periphrasis not always want to waste the other s time…but not using a straight language also means belive in the others intelligence that can decode the hidden meaning…it s not only important what we say, but in many contexts, even if an e.mail context, also how we say that is rilevant and communicative as well.

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