Like any form of communication, you must consider your end user when constructing an email. Check out these guidelines, and learn about Outlook’s accessibility checker.
Like any form of communication, you must consider your end user when constructing an email. The ultimate goal is to make the email visually pleasing and accessible for any person to view. Here are some tips to consider when constructing an email:
Utilize the Subject Line
The first thing your end user sees is the subject of your email. Be concise, but be sure you let your end user know what the email is about…short and sweet.
Color Can Be Your Enemy
For anyone that is color-blind, changes in color actually cause more harm than good. Keep your background clean and white. Stay away from any type of pattern as it is a distraction. Keep your font black to ensure you have a good contrast.
Text Size, Spacing, and Font Type
An ideal font size is 14, but do not go lower than 12 pt. 16 pt is actually ideal for mobile devices. Also, be sure you have proper spacing between lines so that they do not blur/blend together. Font type should also be on your radar. While some fonts may be “pretty”, they are often much harder to read. Stick with sans serif fonts as they are easiest to read.
Use Emojis Wisely
It is OK to use emojis, and in many cases it draws attention. You should never replace a word with an emoji, however. Always be clear in your message.
Add Alternative Text for Your Images
Many people with disabilities block images from loading in their emails because it causes issues with screen readers. If you choose to use images, adding alt text to your images allows a screen reader to “see” the image.
Utilize Outlook’s Accessibility Checker
Outlook Online has an accessibility checker built into it. You can check any email you send in a couple easy steps.
After you have written the email, select the ellipses below your draft and select “check for accessibility issues“.
Outlook will run a quick check and present you with any issues it finds. Below the issue will be a “fix it” button. Select it to start updating your email.
When all of the issues have been addressed you can choose to run another check to be sure nothing is missed. You are then ready to send.
Contributor: Paul Wagner
Paul is a Digital Learning Specialist for a school district near Houston, TX. He oversees the Learning Management System for his district.
Follow Paul on Twitter: @pwagnerlcisd