I'm sure most of us here get daily update emails from g.d.o. and I'd guess many of you are, like me, mildly irked at trying to read them. I thought I'd take a stab at trying to lay them out so they're more readable.
In the long run, I'd like to see beautifully crafted HTML emails, but thought some small spacing and layout changes would be a lot quicker and easier to do than full-blown HTML.
Here are my main critiques of the email as it stands:
- The updates read as a river, nay, a veritable flood of text. Some spacing could help separate topics.
- Comments on a topic duplicate the title, leading to long lines with the title duplicated many times.
- "Read more" before a link is often unnecessary.
- For a comment on content, the comment's title is the most important/relevant information, so this should be front-loaded (i.e. come at the start of the line).
- "Updates for $content_type" is redundant; it's an update email, so it's already apparent that it's an update.
I've had a go at laying the content out again in a text editor, adding simple spacing and making minor changes that should be absolutely do-able within the email template. I'm not entirely happy with the outcome (because my fixed-width text editor doesn't match the variable-width font used in my email client), but I think it's a good starting point for discussion.
I've attached the text of the initial email content, my first revision, and screenshots showing how they appear in OS-X mail. I've also added the text to a gist - https://gist.github.com/manarth/5123481
If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them…and if anyone else is working on this, or can suggest who is, I'd really appreciate a nudge in the right direction :-)