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Going with the flow

...it depends
...it depends
As you may (or may not!) know, I spend a lot of my time designing and coding emails. If you’ve had any experience in this realm of email marketing, it’s a bit like coding websites around 2010 - there are very few standards in place, with each email client doing a bit of their own thing. Responsiveness mostly works, yet you’ll still find times where media queries aren’t allowed (Android 6.0 and GANGA, anyone?).
This is one of the reasons why I love email design and development. The challenge is unlike anything else I’ve done in my career thus far. And wow, am I feeling the defeat and elation, as I just finished a personal email project.
Enter: Flow Free.
This particular level took about 10 minutes to figure out. I thought the solution was so simple, and it wasn't!
This particular level took about 10 minutes to figure out. I thought the solution was so simple, and it wasn't!
Flow Free is a “connect the dots” game, where you need to connect the same color bubbles to each other while avoiding the other color connectors. I find the game relaxing, yet at times, challenging. And it makes me think about email marketing a lot. I actually think it’s making me a better problem solver.
The thing about this game, is that sometimes the solutions are simple. You start with smaller 5x5 blocks and work your way up to 9x9 and beyond. Those higher level can get tricky! Sometimes, the solution looks simple, yet it’s not. I’ll find myself refreshing over and over and over again, looking to open up new paths.
This happens to me sometimes with email development. I’m hours into digging through a design (usually one I made, so I put myself through this pain!), and something isn’t right. It’s not working, Outlook is a mess, and I don’t know where to go in that moment. I can’t see the solution.
So I take a deep breath, and walk away. Or close the app.
When I get back, I start working on things again, bit by bit. I fix one little section of the email. I move a few lines forward in Flow Free and see how the parts fit together. Slowly, deliberately. Refresh a few times. Pivot. Pivot. Pivot. Until…
It snaps into place. The path forward opens up. Sometimes we get so absorbed in the tiny things that we miss the big picture.
The lesson I’ve taken from this is to take a step back when I feel like I can’t see where something is going. I need to remember to breathe. To look at the big picture. To move the pieces bit by bit until everything fits back together.
They always fit back together, somehow. The level in Flow Free is completed. The email is developed and works everywhere…until the next challenge arrives.
Talk to ya later, emailgeeks,
Megan
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