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Modular Email System

Stakeholders: This system was self-initiated, and I partnered with the campaigns team who requests the emails and the business operations team who codes and schedules the email sends, I also created templates and trained our design team on how to use the templates and design for the modules.


Problem: With the on-boarding of a new more robust emailing tool, I recognized the potential for an inundation of requests for custom email sends as our web team was for web pages prior to migrating to our Drupal-based CMS. This was a concern for me because our design team would get drawn into designing these bespoke sends which would not be scalable, and it would increase the difficulty of maintaining brand standards.



Solution: I thought it would be a good opportunity to not only better align to our corporate website, but to also follow the modular model of it. This was interesting to navigate because of our marketing team’s structure. The email team reported into a different organization than the branding team to which I belonged, and the designers who normally created the email graphics reported into my colleague, the other design team lead.


Working with the email team, we asked the campaigns team for their pain points and for suggestions of modules they wished they had in the past, in addition to researching best practices on my own.




In XD I created modules that would be flexible enough to accommodate different content lengths and made a few “top-used” basic layouts for people who didn’t need a lot of customization. Working with the email team, we iterated until the Knak templates matched the XD mock-ups and I adjusted the mocks as necessary when we reached some limitations in Knak.



In Google slides, I recreated a library of components for business users like the campaigns team, to be able to pick and choose templates or build their semi-custom template using the modules. They could then drop in their content to validate text length as well as convey to the design team which the name of the image-types that were needed.



In Illustrator, I created an image template that had all the sizes, image names, examples and formatting notes for the team of designers to use. I then trained them on how to design for it and kept an updated guide in our slack channel when modules were added or deprecated.


The templates could also be further adapted and easily adjusted for our events which require a different visual language than our day-to-day brand.




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