Weekly Wrap-Up 17.09.16

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Es wird langsam Herbst, nicht?

Noch genieße ich die letzten warmen Tage, bevor es wieder nasskalt draußen ist und ich Sonnenlicht nur noch von Bildern kenne haha.
Herbst scheint auch die Jahreszeit der Veränderung zu sein, zumindest habe ich das Gefühl, dass in den letzten Wochen eine Menge passiert ist.
Das reicht von Kollegen, die Abschied genommen haben, um neue Lebensabschnitte zu beginnen zu dem Gefühl, Dinge, von denen ich weiß das sie nicht funktionieren, endgültig aus meinem Leben zu streichen. Es muss Platz für Neues her!

It’s autumn soon, right?

I still enjoy the remaining warm days, before the weather gets wet and cold again and I’ll only remember sunlight from pictures haha.
Autumn seems to be the season of change, at least I get the feeling that a lot of things happened during the last weeks. 
Ranging from telling good-bye to coworker, who start into a new part of their life to the feeling to finally get rid of all the things which don’t do my life any good. I need that space for more important matters!

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Ich denke, es ist immer mal wieder wichtig innezuhalten und um sich zu schauen. Bringt uns unser derzeitiges Verhalten wohin wir gehen wollen? Was wollen wir eigentlich? Je klarer die Antworten sind, umso einfacher ist es passende Lösungen zu finden.

I think it’s important to stop from time to time and look around you. Does your behaviour do you any good and are you on the right way to where you want to be? What do we want anyway? When you know what you want it’s easier to find solutions to make your ideas happen.

Dank Bungou Stray Dogs (der Serie, die ich im letzten WWU erwähnt hab), hab ich Interesse bekommen, die Bücher der darin erwähnten Autoren zu lesen. Leider sind nicht wirklich viele Übersetzungen im iBooks Store oder in irischen Buchhandlungen erhältlich. Gekauft habe ich letztendlich „No Longer Human“ von Osamu Dazai. Es ist lediglich ungefähr 90 Seiten lang und ließt sich (trotz der vielen schwierigen Worte) relativ flüssig. Das Buch ist sehr tiefsinnig und wirkt wie eine Autobiografie, ich habe mir aber sagen lassen, dass es trotz Ähnlichkeiten zum Leben des Autoren eine erdachte Geschichte ist.
Jetzt habe ich Lust mich wieder mehr mit klassischer Literatur zu beschäftigen!

Thanks to Bungou Stray Dogs (the series I mentioned in the last WWU) I got interested in reading the books of the authors mentioned. Unfortunately there are not many translations available in the ibooks store or irish book shops. In the end I bought “No Longer Human” from Osamu Dazai. It’s simply around 90 pages long and is relatively easy to read (despite the many difficult words). I recommend giving it a try, if you are interested in foreign books!

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Ansonsten war ich heute spontan in der Stadt und habe im Avoca Store herumgestöbert.

Was soll ich sagen, als Designer kauft man schnell mal was nur weil es hübsch gemacht ist. ヾ(・∀・;)
In dem Buch, das ich gekauft habe, geht es um das Leben und den Werdegang von Coco Chanel mit wunderschönen Illustrationen und Zitaten.

Apart from that I spontaniously went to the city centre to take a look around Avoca. As a designer it happens so fast to just buy things only because they look good. ヾ(・∀・;)
The book I bought tells the story and life of Coco Chanel, accentuated with beautiful illustrations and quotes.

Das war es für diese Woche
Bis ganz bald, ihr Lieben!

That’s it for this week
See you soon!

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Newsletters- 4 tips to get started

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When I started to design newsletters around a year ago, I knew practically nothing about this topic. Newsletters were these things which I would receive in my inbox, right? Next to my coworkers, who did App design or re-thought the concept of our website I didn’t seem to have an important position.

Since I had never worked with code before and wanted to get an easy entrance into the topic, I was still satisfied. To my surprise I learned that newsletters are not that boring and unchallenging, rather the contrary was true.

It is possible to make absolutely beautiful things if you have love to detail and the patience to make new design concepts work in every email client.

For starters I only want to talk about 4 tips, which I see as a basis before digging deeper into the actual design.

Don’t use nothing but images images

It seems like the simplest solution – you don’t have to worry about fonts and tables and all that mad stuff, but effectively it’s not. One problem is that by making your newsletters nothing but (or an overwhelming amount) pictures, it is more likely to receive a higher spam rating. Once you are in that category it is quite hard to get out, meaning a huge junk of your audience won’t be reached anymore.

Another problem is, that some clients will not display images by default and the user has to manually allow showing them. If your email is purely image based, the user will not receive any information about it’s content and is much more likely to just hit delete without reading it.

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Image alt text

When you do use images give them a description with the alt-tag. This text will be displayed if the picture cannot be shown or is deactivated and gives the user information what he would see there. It is also important for disabled (for example blind) readers, as the alt-description will be treated as text and read to them out loud through a machine.

An example for an alt tag would be:

<img src=„blog-image.jpg” alt=„Newsletter – 4 tips to get started“>

Of course it’s best to make the alt-text relevant to what is shown in the image.

Text size
Choose a text size which makes it easily readable for people. (So no size 10px in light grey, please!)

Mentioned in the Litmus conference was that for copy text standard size is around 14px, but that also depends on what kind of font you are using.

It is easier to navigate through an email if you use a clear hierarchy, which means the same size for headlines, sub-headlines, copy text and footnotes.

For example H1 (headlines) are always 24px, H2 (subheadlines) always 18px or 16px, copy text 14px and footnotes 12px.

Subject line and Pre-header
I believe you all know what a subject line is, but just in case: It’s like an introduction to your email and appears behind the email name.

The pre-header is the summary text, that follows right after the subject line. If you don’t define it, whatever you wrote as the first sentence in the email will be displayed. But why not take the opportunity to control what’ll be displayed?

It’s a great chance to give the user information about the contents and make him interested in opening your newsletter.

At this point, I want to stress just one thing: Regardless of what you see on other infographics or posts, using deceiving copy will not give you the results you want!

Don’t pretend that the other person „just won an iPad“ or will see „great kitten images“, when you want to sell him a product about plant medicine.
Sure, your open-rate might be great – for once!
Once the person discovers the lie, you will most likely be handled as spam and never appear in their inbox again.

Also, very often email clients automatically read these lines and automatically mark you as spam on their own.

I think, the better option is to just be honest and give a useful first line about the contents of your email.

But how do you write the pre-header?

This is an example from one of my newsletters:

<!–preheader text–>

<p class=”preheader” style=”Margin: 0; color: #f4f4f4; display: none; font-family: Noto Sans, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 1px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1px; margin: 0; padding: 0; text-align: left;”>Are you in Rio for the Olympics? You should visit this breathtaking places</p>

<!–preheader text end–>

As you can see, we put the text in the smallest font-size, so it’s not visible in the email itself. Of course you are free to style it however you like.

So that’s it.
I hope these 4 tips were a useful start .

See you next time!