New Design for Web Tools Weekly

Since July 2013, I’ve curated a weekly newsletter called Web Tools Weekly. It’s been my primary side project which, admittedly, has taken time away from this blog. I’m planning to be more active on Impressive Webs again this year, but I felt it was time for a fresh new design for the newsletter. The new design launches in this week’s issue.

The redesign was done by a local friend of mine, Priscilla Di Carlo. Although I could have put something together myself, I don’t consider myself a true designer, so I preferred to pay someone to give it a fresh look. Priscilla is mostly a print designer, but since this is email design, I feel like that’s an advantage more than anything.

To help with the coding of the site, I tried out a relatively new project called MJML app, which is an HTML email editor that uses MJML, a markup language preprocessor that compiles to email client compatible code (tables for Outlook, inline styles, etc). My experience with MJML was generally good, but I made a number of edits to the compiled HTML, so if I intend to use the original MJML markup as my template for future changes, I’ll have to rework it. But overall, it was a decent way to start because it does a lot of the dirty work for you in terms of HTML email.

Since HTML email is so finicky with fonts and responsiveness, there might still be a few problems to iron out. It’s definitely not responsive (but that’s been a problem for a while now). And I’m pretty sure a big chunk of people won’t see the custom fonts being used. But hey, the archives will look nice, right?

You can view the newest issue live in the MailChimp archives, and I’ve included a mega-screenshot of the new design below.

Screenshot of Web Tools Weekly New Design

If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can do so at webtoolsweekly.com. Most issues include:

  • A quick coding tip (usually JavaScript or DOM stuff – all previous tips are sold in e-books: Volume 1 and Volume 2)
  • 3 categories worth of new and recently-discovered tools. Categories include JavaScript Libraries, Utilities/Modules, RWD, Mobile, HTML/CSS, Sass, Productivity Tools, and more
  • An interesting developer-related tweet and another final interesting link, sometimes related to web development or tech in general

For now, the Web Tools Weekly website still has the old design. Integrating the new design and new logo into the full website will be next on the list, after I fix the problems on some mobile email clients.

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