HTML standards in email clients: Oh, the horror!

A new HTML standards for email clients advocacy site has sprung up. It’s called Email Standards Project. I sincerely hope that it is able to make a difference. I’ve personally had issues with the major discrepancies in email clients at my job. I’ve heard that Microsoft Outlook 2007 is unfortunately using the Word HTML engine instead of the Internet Explorer Engine. The full list of clients that are on the Average or Poor list are:

This is based on their acid test. If you are involved in developing internet applications or sites and aren’t familiar with acid tests (and you should be!), visit for the web browser acid test.

So what’s a person to due in the mean time–structural tables and inline CSS, of course! That’s what! So barbaric and so 1999! Here is a tutorial on what HTML/CSS you can use across multiple email clients.

2 Responses to “HTML standards in email clients: Oh, the horror!”

  1. Alex Conner says:

    What’s the big deal about formatted e-mail? I’m usually quite irritated when someone sends me an email with tons of pictures and other “pretty” things… But then again, I think there’s nothing better than a terminal screen, and I write papers in text editors first…

  2. Stephen says:

    The idea is to always associate yourself with the image you want. It’s an issue of branding. For instance, I receive a newsletter from a local social club for young professionals. It always includes the logo which purveys inter-connectivity and has pictures of 20-somethings. The colors are trendy designer colors. Except for there being a side bar with dates on it for upcoming events, it’s emotional association–just like a technical blog should look technical.

    I agree that images are often annoying, especially when embedded. I prefer linked images that are hosted on website–that reduces the size, too. The problem is most people don’t know how to do that.

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