I’m pretty damned excited about this one. On December 12th, my good friend Justine Jordan and I will be running an exclusive workshop for Front-End Masters on responsive email design. It’s going to be seven-and-a-half hours (likely more) filled with code and tips on building robust, responsive HTML email campaigns. We’ll be going over things like:
The importance of HTML email
Building a solid structure with tables
CSS email resets and inline styles
Using images and bulletproof buttons
Making all of that work well on mobile
You can read more about the workshop, as well as sign up to attend, over on their website. Now it’s time to get all of that content together…
I remember getting started in email design about five or six years ago. My earliest email-related memories were filled with frustration—mainly due to the void of information on the subject. Sure, there were a few random blog posts and a handful of guides from Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, and Litmus—but digging deeper proved to be difficult.
That wasn’t all bad, though. I was forced to experiment, break things, and figure out how HTML email works largely on my own.
Today, it’s a different story. There are a multitude of blogs on email design, we have thousands of members in the Litmus Community, and not a day goes by when we don’t hear about yet-another-white-paper on the subject. I’m constantly amazed at how open email designers are about sharing their frustrations, problems, and solutions.
Still, I’m more amazed when I talk to people that haven’t gotten a hold of these important resources. There are a lot of people still fumbling around in the dark, trying to grasp the concepts around email design. I’ve been there, it sucks.
Over the years, I’ve amassed quite the collection of email resources. So, in an attempt to ease that burden, I’ve dumped a some of them on to my new resources page. There, you’ll find some of my favorite blogs, a whole bunch of email friends, tons of articles, code, tools, and even a list of reputable email service providers.
The resources page will act as my own personal bookmarking service for all things email design. More importantly, it’s a good place for people to go when they want to knowledge up. Feel free to wander around, get lost in some articles, and learn. Oh, and if you have any recommendations that you’d like to see added, shoot me an email and I’ll take a look.
I’m a glutton for text editors. Always trying new ones, never seemingly satisfied.
Right now, my main editor is Coda 2.5 from Panic. I’ve had a Coda license for years, and the latest iteration is its best yet. There’s something about the one-window web development mantra that suits me, and Panic does it better than anyone. But, Coda is not without its problems.
Even with the speed improvements in 2.5, it is sometimes frustratingly slow to start up. When working in the “golden preview setup”, the preview flickers constantly, which is oddly distracting. And I’ve run into problems editing files with less-common extensions, like YAML files, because I didn’t manually add in syntax highlighting for said extension.
My biggest gripe is that I have yet to get Emmet to play nicely with Coda. There’s gotta’ be a way to do it, but I haven’t found out how. I’ve made do with Coda’s ‘clips’, and love the feature, but really, really miss Emmet’s ‘expand abbreviation’ feature. Coding is so damned fast with Emmet. Sigh.
So, I’m always trying out new ones. Right now, I have the following in my dock:
When I’m working on emails for Litmus, it’s in Builder - but I need something for more than just email.
Out of the three editors listed above, I’m actually digging Brackets a lot. I’m comfortable with Sublime Text 2, having used it for a long time, but I love how Brackets handles extensions. Plus, the Live Preview feature is fantastic. I know I can get the same effect using any of the editors with something like LiveReload or CodeKit—and occasionally use CodeKit for compiling Sass—but I’ve had problems with slowness and them just not refreshing at all. Plus, I hate having to pop open yet-another-app. Remember, I like the one-window approach.
Atom is cool, but I honestly haven’t given it as much of a trial as I should. It seems more-or-less comparable to both Sublime Text and Brackets, so I haven’t bothered much… yet.
So, Coda 2 remains my editor of choice. But, I’m open to suggestions if anyone has some for better text editors.