And we’re all tired of content grifters 
The Last Few Weeks.

A monthly roundup of product design, email, and climate news.
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Welcome to issue #11.

Instead of talking about Ai or blue checkmarks, I want to share a few small things that have been bringing me joy lately:

  • Going for a run in the cool, morning air
  • Kombucha instead of booze
  • NHL playoffs (Let’s Go Rangers!)
  • Monospace fonts on websites
  • Reading paperback books at night
  • Using my bicycle for short errands
  • Chatting with neighbors

What’s a small thing that’s been making you happy lately? Reply to this email, I’d love to hear about it!

In this issue: Outlook is growing up, newsletters > social, and ESGs.

Product Design

For over a decade Twitter was my go-to to keep up with the design industry. The site was a wonderful mix of design and tech news, comedy, news, and entertainment.

But Elon changed all that over the last few four months and my outlook on Twitter now is pretty bleak. Maybe I’ll join Mastodon or Posts at some point, but I’m not yet confident they’ll form diverse, lasting communities. From what I can see, it’s only tech nerds that are on these new sites.

As a result, I’m starting to rely more on newsletters to find stuff to read and keep up with industry news. I listed some newsletters I read in Issue #7 but have been slowly adding more like Design Debt.’s newsletter. An interview with Jenny Wen also introduced me to George Kedenburg III’s newsletter.

So for now, email is my go-to. Email is slow, non-intrusive, easy to curate, and has a high signal-to-noise ratio. What’s old is new again. If you have a favorite newsletter, I’d love to hear about it!

I am giving Bluesky the ol’ college try. If you're on it, HMU and let's get our little community going.

Email Geeks

(Blink 182 voice) "Well, I guess this is growing up."

Microsoft Outlook, that is.

Microsoft announced that future versions of Outlook on Windows will use Edge instead of Microsoft Word to render HTML and CSS. Outlook, aka the only reason email developers write all those tables, is finally getting a proper rendering engine.

Using divs instead of tables isn’t the only benefit we get with this switch, but it’s certainly the biggest. Folks like Mark Robbins have been advocating for table-less design for years, but most email devs haven’t made the jump since folks on our mailing lists use Outlook in numbers too large to ignore.

Microsoft Word versions of Outlook will continue to hang around for a while, but the end is now finally in sight. Any web developers remember what it was like going from testing in four versions of Internet Explorer to one?

Imagine if everything in the first two columns suddenly turned green:

A screenshot from CanIEmail comparing versions of desktop Outlook with CSS features they support, with the Windows versions not supporting almost every CSS property and the Mac version supporting every CSS property.

I’m also looking forward to using more modern CSS, as Ollie Williams notes.

Looks like Gmail will now be the biggest headache for email developers. You know, Google’s email client that doesn’t support Google web fonts? Yea, that one.


I closed my last issue mentioning how sustainable design is good for business. On that topic, Important, Not Important notes that businesses in ESG (the E stands for Environment) are also good for investors.

The longer your company continues to invest in, loan to, subsidize, get energy from, or require products made from fossil fuel infrastructure, the more likely climate impacts will continue to grow, and the more your investments are at threat from, say, melting or drowning or both, to say nothing of the people who live and work there.

The longer it takes companies to adapt to upcoming regulatory changes — even literally just disclosure rules — the more likely climate impacts become.

Basically it means companies in these funds are prepared for impending climate disasters, which reduces negative incidents that cause share prices to drop. As a result, it makes the business more attractive long-term investors.

I’m not the savviest investor, but putting money is a Vanguard fund is usually a good bet (and they offer ESG funds). Robo-advisors like Betterment also offer socially responsible investment options.

So if you’ve got some money in the market, consider investing it in funds like this. Buying electric cars and solar panels aren’t the only ways to back sustainable businesses.


A cartoon comic with Ned Flanders as an IA grifter saying 99% of people don't know how to use GPT-4 and Homer Simpson closing the garage door as him as Ned talks.

Just because Ai is here doesn’t mean we have to talk about it all the f*cking time. We’re sick of content grifters.

Thanks for reading, see you in a fortnight ✌️