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Here our editor Jon Schubin has a conversation with lead designer Adriano Nunes about the thought process behind it and what it means for others thinking about a redesign. 

Jon Schubin: We knew that we wanted the newsletter to be more visual, but at the same time we are fundamentally delivering a text-based product. How did you go about figuring out the principles for design? 

Adriano Nunes: It is important to understand that an effective email newsletter is not just defined by the way it looks. It’s also determined by the quality of its content and how accessible it is to the reader. You must have the perfect symbiose between these two – always!

With that in mind it was important to update Cognition emailer to better support the content we want to share and simultaneously be visually engaging to the reader – it needed more personality. The redesign of the header was one of the most important elements to consider. It now displays a fresh look and punchy colours with its foundation on Cognito’s ID and a clear understanding of what it conveys since that’s where our brand is featured and helps readers to instantly identify the email resulting in an increase of levels of engagement and deepening our brand awareness.

Jon: One metric we are interested in – as our many of our clients – is time spent reading a communication. How can a redesign change this? Any specific examples from what we’ve done here? 

Adriano: Articles and/or communications full of text can be boring to look at and read, therefore it is important to define certain design parameters which will then help readers to engage with the text and ultimately improve their readability experience. A well-structured and consistent layout that takes into consideration both desktop and mobile platforms, effective typographical hierarchy and font style, and size, alongside with colour contrast can create a sense of importance within the body of an email. Images also play an important role in making the layout visually appealing, however these should be used to reinforce or support the idea of the article - rather than to make the article aesthetically pleasing. And finally, always keep in mind that “less is more”.

Jon: What will success look like? How do you evaluate whether we’ll need to make further changes?

Adriano: In my opinion a brand should constantly be evolving and adapting to its customer needs. Therefore, it is vital to regularly measure and analyse our readers' opinions and choices and consequently iterate our brand system and positioning to better create a sense of community with them. In practice, we use a set of platforms that can provide data insights as to how our stories are relevant to our audiences and if these are driving traffic to our digital platforms.

Jon: Adriano, thanks for your time. For anyone who is reading this, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what we've done here, and thoughts about what a newsletter should look like in general. Please get in touch.