We've been taking about the importance of responsive emails for awhile now. With over 40% of emails opened on a mobile device, we knew ensuring our emails looked good on any device was imperative. Iterating and improving our emails is something we've been working on since last year. And we've been teasing that a new solution was coming. Well, today's the day! Ink, our brand-new responsive framework, is finally here.
What We Learned Building a Responsive Email Framework
Ink's development started when we released our responsive email templates last year. We were spurred by our growing mobile readership. Originally, we didn't support Outlook in our templates, but we realized we were cutting off the second largest email client market share. Let's delve deeper into the lessons we learned whilst building Ink.
1. Flexibility is Key
Ink is a framework, not a template....
We've written before about the importance of responsive design for email. With over 40% of emails being opened on mobile and 80% of mobile users saying they'll delete an email if it doesn't look good on opening, it's pretty evident that mobile can't be ignored, even in the table-ladden pain in the butt that is email.
There are two main methods of creating responsive emails (other than hand-coding each one individually): templates and frameworks. Both offer the advantages of making your content available to audiences on a number of different platforms and clients, but take very different approaches.
Templates: Attack of the Clones
Templates are by far the most popular approach, with many options out there to choose from. They're quick to implement, require little technical know-how to set up and can lead to decent results with minimal effort. Because templates...
Today we updated our Studios website. For those who hadn't noticed, we changed the generic name from "services" work to Studios this past summer. With the evolution of our business, it was a great opportunity to highlight our core competency and reinvigorate our team.
The video that greets visitors to our new ZURB Studios site.
Why the Name Update?
We're four years into the evolution of our business strategy. As we push to build out the remaining parts of this strategy, it's important to focus on what got us to this point. "Services" didn't quite capture that. Studios does. It better reflects how we think of our work. Why? Because we're collaborative and creative, working alongside clients at every step of our design process. We don't do big "Mad Men" reveals at the end of projects. Services doesn't imply that close, collaborative, creative relationship. But...
A little over a year ago, we started to notice that more and more people were reading our monthly email newsletter on their mobile devices. With a growing audience of readers on-the-go, we made our email newsletters responsive. And that mobile readership has only grown since then — now nearly 50% of our readers open our emails on a smartphone or tablet.
We took what we learned and released a series of responsive email templates, but they didn't get along with Outlook. Now we're poised to release a new responsive email framework that's Outlook-ready. But why all the fuss with email newsletters that work across devices? Well, the facts are just too hard to ignore. Let's take a look at a few of them:
Recently we were bouncing ideas around for a new Playground piece. We started thinking about some of the customer projects we were working on and how having a responsive pie chart would help others present data on any device. That's when it occurred to us that we've never seen dynamic pie chart plugins done well. So we created one of our own so others can use them in their projects.
And thus was born Pizza — our brand new Playground piece that allows you to create responsive pie charts with ease!
Delivering Pie Charts in 30 Minutes ... or Less
<div> and some Sass.
- Water Buffalo (60)
- Bison (20)
- Sheep (12)
- Goat (32)
- Shetland Pony (50)
Our work was inspired by the...
With every new Foundation release comes faster, better and smarter ways to code with Foundation. There is a lot of excitement happening in Yeti land lately — the Foundation 5 release is on the horizon, and we're starting a new Advanced Foundation class in our ZURB University, so we thought it would be a great time to answer some of the common questions about best practices for using Foundation.
We use Foundation every day here at ZURB for a huge variety of client projects, as well as in our own apps. We'd get lost pretty quickly without implementing its standards and best practices. We've pulled out the top three best practices that you can employ with Foundation.
1. Customize Your Settings
To start your project right with Foundation, you'll start by customizing your
_settings.scss file. The settings file contains the variables and values for all the Foundation...
The recent kerfuffle and the hefty $300 million price tag for the federal government-run HealthCare.gov highlight that there's a serious need for innovation in health care. The fraught industry is primed for a technological revolution ' and we believe that product design can help bring that about. Which is why we're stoked to host the Ignition hackathon for the second time this year!
Teams will have 48 hours to get a jump start on solving problems in caregiver support, medical advice and end-of-life planning. The opportunity for other designers: to mentor these teams, guide them through this challenge and turn the health care on its heels.
The Problems These Teams Will Solve
Design teams will work over two days to flesh out concepts to solve these particular problems. They'll present their early concepts. If a team's idea is chosen, then they'll get one week...
Should IE8 support concern you when designing for the web? What do you say when a client wants to make their site IE8 compatible? From Netscape 3 to Explorer 6 to Blackberry to the latest Chrome, supporting legacy browsers has — and probably will be — a concern for web designers.
So what are your options when working on a new web site or application?
- Don't use anything that IE8 doesn't understand. This includes CSS3 and media queries.
- Create a separate stylesheet tailored for IE8. This is a common trend, but it's still a pain that requires a whole separate QA process.
- Ignore IE8. It's going to die anyway.
We're inclined to go with the last option. But sometimes it's not that easy. Convincing some clients to ignore IE8 will require hard facts and difficult conversations. Here's some firepower for you when that chat comes up:
Explorer 8 is the latest IE browser...
We often get asked why we make Foundation, our responsive front-end framework, free. It's fair question. The simple answer: Foundation is free because we love to help people design better products faster. And it helps us do that too, which is why we use Foundation every day on customer and internal projects.
The same answer applies to why we make a great deal of our content free, from our Playground pieces, such as our prototyping stencils, to our free apps like Bounce. And our paid products are also centered around this idea of designing better, faster and stronger. That's why we love it when we meet others who have a similar philosophy, such as the awesome folks over at GraphicStock. We're happy to announce that they'll be sponsoring our educational and training content, ZURB University.
GraphicStock provides more than 50,000 royalty-free images, icons,...
Today we're opening the huge wooden doors to the new Forrst, like that scene in "Jurassic Park." We've been in Private Release for the past month or so, getting feedback from the community members lucky enough to be part of it. Now we're open for business for every Forrster.
Forrst is a unique place where designers and developers can share their work and get contextual feedback. When we took over earlier this year, we saw an opportunity to build upon what founder Kyle Bragger started and turn Forrst into a place of active learning. And it's become that as part of our educational resource, ZURB Expo.
The big changes are: