Creating accessible emails for Destination Bristol

Back in 2015 Flourish was asked to design and build email templates for Destination Bristol. And lovely they were too. Fast forward to 2018 and our templates were in need a bit of a refresh, particularly as Desination Bristol’s website had been re-designed, and the emails no longer reflected the website creative.

Three years is a long time in email development. A lot has changed with new email clients and advanced new ways to fix bugs. And, as ever, we wanted to add value rather than simply replicate an existing design.

First up we made sure we stuck to best practise, including the use of live text, keeping imagery to a minimum and responsive design.Then we looked at incorporating some progressive enhancements. For instance we included background images to better reflect the website design in our emails.

The next element we focussed on was accessibility, in both design and build. It’s important that all of your email recipients are able to access your message.

Design wise we kept fonts legible and used ALT text, to ensure the reading structure is clear and logical. We also looked at the colours that Destination Bristol were using on their website, and updated them to make them easier to read. For instance there was a lot of white out text used, so we changed the tone and hue of the background colours to increase the contrast and make the text easier to read.

But it’s with the build that we got clever. We’ve still built in tables, but we coded them so only their content is read by screen readers, not their structure i.e. ‘table’ or ‘column’ – making the message uninterrupted and therefore much easier to understand.

The changes we made mean that Destination Bristol’s emails now meet AA standards.

If you’d like to learn more about improving the accessibility of your emails, or you’d like Flourish to help you with your emails, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop Ian Reeves, our general manager, a line. Email ian.reeves@flourishworld.co.uk or call him direct 0117 317 7629.