Coaching designers, Uber’s Outlook-crashing email, and good climate news. 
The Last 2 Weeks.
A fortnightly roundup of product design, email, and climate news.
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Welcome to the first issue, I’m so glad you’re here!

I’ve been an email designer for over 10 years, but have never been the one who actually sends the emails and manages the campaign. That’s always felt weird, so I decided learn what I can about the whole process with this newsletter.

My plan is to send one of these every two weeks, focusing on product design (my day job), email (my hobby), climate tech (my dream job 🤞), and some internet shenanigans.

In this issue: Coaching designers, Uber’s Outlook-crashing email, and good climate news. Enjoy.

Space city from Marko Stupic

Product Design

I love this piece Buzz Usborne wrote about being a principal product designer. He describes his role as part hands-on feature work and part “making everyone around him do their best work while not being a manager”. I found myself nodding as I read since it aligns so much with how I view my own role as a principal designer. Leading, coaching, creating processes, doing glue work, all while having no direct reports.

I’m in my 40’s and have little desire to be a manager, so I’m glad to see more folks talking about leadership roles for individual contributors. Though I still worry if that choice limits my upward mobility. Then I wonder if I need more upward mobility or if I’m content with what I have. Welcome to my daily inner monologue…

Email Geeks

A few weeks ago there were reports that Uber email receipts were crashing Outlook due to “complex tables”. Niven Ranchhod did a deep dive into the markup and what he found was dismaying but not surprising.

A screenshot showing the multiple layers of nested tables. Sadly predictable.

If you view source on many modern SaaS apps, you’ll notice a div-soup. This is often the result of how the page’s components and patterns are assembled by the codebase’s templating system. Usually developers focus on the pre-rendered code and don’t spend much time looking at the compiled markup.

Since this Uber email is a transactional email, I'm guessing it came from Uber’s codebase (rather than an ESP) and used a similar templating system… and no one noticed the table-soup inside the email.

I’d love to know if anyone has any insider info on how what really happened. Why is it just this one email from one company crashing one email client? Reminds me of the Janet Jackson song that crashed old Windows laptops. Truly Bizzare.


The Future Crunch newsletter puts a positive spin on climate news. With sections titled “Saving the world is cheaper than ruining it” and “The only home we've ever known”, the authors surface a bunch of good-news stories that usually get buried by the doom-and-bloom headlines.

Here’s an example from their latest issue:

Although it’s attracted little attention, the bipartisan CHIPS Act, signed into law just a few days before the IRA, contains an estimated $67 billion for clean energy R&D and climate resilience. On its own, that makes it one of the largest climate bills ever passed by Congress. Vibe shift anyone? Atlantic

Every email contains about 40 summaries like this. Bad news travels farther and faster than good news, so Future Crunch keeps me optimistic about our future. The newsletter has free and paid versions. Sign up here.


My friend just accurately described the Myers–Briggs test as "astrology for coworkers"
- Sophie Vershbow on Twitter

Whenever I’m asked to take a personality test for work, I never know what I’m supposed to do with the results. This made me chuckle.

Thanks for reading the very first issue! I had fun writing it and hope I can do this consistently every two weeks.

Until next issue ✌️
- Ted