UX | Emailers
  October, 2014

How to and how not to design emailers

Hari Nallan

E-mailers need your attention too... and this is why:

I receive these statements every month and I use both of them. I find Standard Chartered Email message much more usable than that of Citibank's, and here are the reasons why:

1. Clarity in instructions:

Standard Chartered email wins hands down. By clearly segregating instructional message with rest of the content, they make life easier... I can right away open my statement just by glancing at how to type my password. With Citibank's, I have to zoom in text and read it, decode it in my mind (form an impression of password) and open the statement. There are several times I made mistake in typing password with Citi and hardly ever with StanChart.

2. Readability:

I seriously don't know why Citi has to use such a small font! It takes effort to read it and for the kind of vision I have. Think of people with lesser vision (you've got plenty of Indians there) and you are talking about a email message that's almost unreadable.

3. Branding:

I'm no expert at this, but does Citibank have two logos? Why else do they have to print Citibank on one end and Citi on the other? Any specific reasons? On the other hand, Stan Chart has document title and branding on the header, which makes much more sense.

4. Brand adaptation:

I know Citi people love that blue gradation, but aren't they forcing it on the user? I mean, blue gradation in the body content area forming a timid border? Why? This is the problem I have with brand enthusiasts: they smear color unreasonably at the users even when it adds no value to the message being communicated. On the other hand, Stan Chart has got a smarter alternative and it doesn't shout at the user!

I'm not sure if Stan Chart was conscious about making these choices or it just happened. In any case, most of the banks' digital interfaces suck (and big time)... they are quite unresponsive, arcane and unusable. Its high time Banks evolved their digital experiences or they may perish; Because, a user relates to your product or service with the quality of experience he has, with your interfaces... and they include emails, mobile apps, physical infrastructure, your forms, the way your people speak and behave, rules and regulations you subject them to and how all these compliment each other.

Hari Nallan

Hari Nallan

Founder and CEO of Think Design, a User Experience strategist, Designer, Speaker and Educator. Think Design is a Leading Design consultancy with offices in Denver, New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru; and collaborates with visionary organisations to identify, build and materialise innovative products and services.


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