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Building Semantic First HTML Email

Mark Robbins
Your instructor
Mark Robbins
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Workshop includes:

  • 🧑‍🏫 A full day of teaching in a small group
  • 🏅 Digital certificate
  • 🍵 Tea, coffee, snacks and drinks during the whole day
  • 🥪 Lunch
  • 📒 Paper and pen/pencil

Full-day in-person workshop • Tue, May 23, 2023.
For years HTML email has been the bane of many front-end developers' lives. As web technologies have moved on, email has seemingly been left behind, with many developers opting to “code like it’s 1999”. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this workshop, we’ll look at building HTML email from a different perspective, semantic first. Starting with basic unstyled semantic HTML, we’ll look at how we can build on that to create modern emails with beautiful designs, while maintaining accessibility. We’ll also look at how we can scale our work to cut down on build times, leaving more room to add some fun enhancements giving us a modern look and feel to our emails.

Who Is This Workshop For?

Front-end developers and email developers and looking to better understand HTML email code. All skill levels are welcome, from beginners to experienced developers. However, having an understanding of HTML and CSS is required.

In This Workshop, We Will Explore:

  • The concepts of semantic first email code.
  • How to make sure your emails are accessible.
  • How to deal with forced dark mode. Avoiding issues before they happen and fixing the ones that can’t be avoided.
  • How to debug email code. Tips, tricks and methods of working your way through a bug to a resolution.
  • How to scale your work by building components in an email design system.
  • How to enhance your email with modern CSS and interactive content.

What You Will Need?

A laptop and a text editor to work on. Also come with an email design and some content. This could be an email you’ve made previously, one you are planning on building or just grab something you like from

About Mark Robbins

Mark is a software engineer and #EmailGeek at working on tools to help developers build better emails.

He is also an admin at working towards better standards in HTML email markup and a member of the AMP4email working group bringing in a new generation of email markup.

Time & Location

This full-day workshop will be hosted at Fort Mason and will take place the day before SmashingConf. The workshop will be running from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.

Schedule for May 23, 2023

9:00 AM – Doors open, Registration
9:30 AM – Introduction & Kick-off
11:00 AM – Coffee Break
1:00 PM – Lunch
2:00 PM – Afternoon Session
3:30 PM – Coffee Break
5:30 PM – The End

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