Ben Langhinrichs

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All your base are belong to IBM: HTML sigs

Sat 24 Jan 2009, 09:13 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
In Part 1, I showed how IBM's rendering of MIME messages could lead your customers to think you were still running Notes R5, and how our upcoming iFidelity (sign up for the beta) would allow you to send out more professional looking email, rendered as it is in Notes.  In Part 2, I showed how content rendered by Domino on the web was likely to make prospective customers think twice, or more, before buying Lotus Notes, and how CoexEdit could dramatically improve that default rendering.  In Part 3, I showed how rendering is made even worse when the rich text is edited on the web, and how CoexEdit can improve that process as well.

In this post, I am moving back to email, and specifically the issue of Signatures.

I have a confession to make.  I don't use a mail signature, so I was not really aware of the issues involved, but I sure heard an earful at Lotusphere.  I will probably make a longer post about email Signatures when I have a chance to fully research the topic, and it is even possible that I am missing something now, so please feel free to correct my impressions if you know something I don't.

I decided to make myself an HTML signature, as that should give me some real control over appearance.  (Unfortunately, I forgot we were dealing with Lotus Notes.  Whacks head with palm of hand.)  So, I created a nice little signature in HTML, using a single table with some nice borders and padding, then checked it in both Firefox and Internet Explorer to make sure it would look good.  Here it is, first as originally intended, then as inserted into a Notes 8.5 client, then finally as received by another Notes 8.5 client using the generally preferred Notes 8.5 client rendering.  Of course, complaining without proposing solutions is just annoying, so I suggest you try this with our iFidelity beta and see what a difference a professional signature can do for your image.

HTML signature in Internet Explorer as designed

HTML signature in Internet Explorer

HTML signature after inserting in Lotus Notes 8.5 using Other - Insert Signature

HTML signature in Lotus Notes 8.5

HTML signature as received in GMail after being rendered by Lotus Notes 8.5 client

HTML signature in Internet Explorer

HTML signature as received in another company's Notes 8.5 client after being rendered by Notes 8.5 client

HTML signature in Internet Explorer

Annotated comparison between original HTML signature and that received by other Notes 8.5 client

HTML signature in Internet Explorer

Copyright 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

765.1. Yancy Lent
(05/06/2009 10:39 PM)

Ben, you should what it looks like when you add images. Most mail clients have a big blue default border around the image, even when add border=0, Notes strips it. #fail.