email standards projectAs reported previously on SitePoint, the team from Freshview (makers of Campaign Monitor) have taken it upon themselves to improve the state of standards support for HTML email, in both desktop and web-based email clients.

Yesterday that cause moved one step closer to its goal, with the official launch of the Email Standards Project site.

Freshview’s Dave Greiner summed up why we need to push for standards support, and the parallels between standards support in email clients and web browsers in an interview with SitePoint last month:

What we’ve done is we’ve set up a baseline of standards that we think should at least be a good start, for everyone to meet. And we’re currently working through all the major email clients, putting together a wishlist — a top 10. The message is, “If you could do anything, do these 10 things and it will get you pretty close to where we need to be.”

Read the background on why we need standards support in email and what you can do to help, then go read more about this movement or check out what’s next for the Email Standards Project on their new blog (complete with a running tally of email clients and a rating for each based on how they handled an acid test).

Matthew Magain is a UX designer with over 15 years of experience creating exceptional digital experiences for companies such as IBM, Australia Post, and sitepoint.com. He is the co-founder of UX Mastery, and recently co-authored Everyday UX, an inspiring collection of interviews with some of the best UX Designers in the world.

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  • http://www.afterlight.net.au AussieJohn

    Standards for HTML emails are definitely a necessity. As a web developer who also builds a lot of HTML emails, I know how hard it is to come up with something that works in the majority of mail clients (because, lets face it, unless you build an email consisting of plain <h1>’s and <p>’s it’s likely it will not look the same in every client).

    Especially now that a wonderful new email client has come on the market since recent – I’m talking about Outlook 2007 of course – that uses the Microsoft Word rendering engine, we are pretty much forced to go back to very basic email design if we choose to support this client (I’m avoiding “officially” supporting it for as long as possible).

    I’m heading over to email-standards.org and I’m going to bookmark the hell out of it!

  • Eyespi20

    Well, as someone who writes OE scripts that incorporate a lot of hacky things to make them work, I would love a standards html compliant email! I know that these are considered “fluff” by many and that’s OK — to each his own.

    Margaret

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