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Ugly E-mails Don't Stand a Chance

Advantages to Smart Design
 
In a study at the Heidelberg University Hospital, researchers found that information on prescribing medication was more likely to be read if the e-mails were well-designed and attractive. This also held true when important medical information was sent to a large user group.
 
The research was conducted by the Department of Clinical Pharmacology of Heidelberg University Hospital, and the findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.  The researchers determined that information on prescribing medication was used more often when it was not sent simply as a text e-mail with a link, but included graphic design elements as well.  The choice of an aesthetically pleasing font also had a positive effect.  
 
In a World of Spam, Design Is Important
 
"We naturally are very interested in having this information actually reach the user.  In view of the flood of e-mails, this is becoming increasingly difficult," explained Dr. Walter Haefeli of Heidelberg University Hospital. To determine if design would make a difference in whether or not staff read their e-mails, the hospital conducted a research study.
 
In the study, an e-mail about a pharmaceutical interaction was sent to all of the approximately 6,500 addresses of the Heidelberg University Hospital.  Everyone received the same content but one of five different formats with a link button. The e-mail consisted of either: Times New Roman font; Courier font; Arial shadow font; a graphically designed presentation; or an animated format.
 
Graphically designed e-mails were opened thirty-three percent more often than any of the other formats, with the animated ones in second place. Attractive e-mail was rewarded, noted the hospital's software specialist. Smart design, it seems, can help businesses create materials that will actually reach the intended audience.

By Adam Herschkowitz
Get Graphic Design Jobs, Contributing Editor

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