Litmus Live 2017 – 5 key learnings for developers

As a keen developer with many years’ experience, I like nothing more than staying ahead of the game and keeping up-to-date with the latest developments.  Always on the lookout for new ways of doing things to help save time, deliver quality results and provide an excellent user experience, that’s what it’s all about and why Litmus is such a great event.

Here are my 5 top key learnings taken from this year’s Litmus Live conference.

Litmus-dev-1  Accessibility in Action

Paul Airy from Beyond the Envelope.

Accessibility is important and Paul went through some quick wins that would help users out there. Here are three of them:

  • Instead of using ‘text-decoration’ use ‘border-bottom’ to increase the gap between the text and link underline.
  • Minimum mobile text size should be 16px;
  • Always left align text rather than make centered as it makes it far harder to read.

Litmus-dev-2  Using VW’s in email –

VW is one of the Viewpoint units to use instead of pixels and great for use with responsive emails. Now you can use them in email! They are widely supported on mobiles but always use a fallback for desktops according to Mark Robbins from Rebelmail.


Love this slide as I actually own a VW firebus!

Litmus-dev-3  New Webp and HEIF image formats

Mark Robbins also mentioned there are two new file formats to keep an eye on for the future:


Created by Google – pixel based and achieves 30% more compression compared to a JPEG.

Only supported by Chrome and Opera but is being pushed by ebay and Facebook to save their bandwidth.


Created by the MPEG group and pushed by Apple – pixel based, stores images with multiple image sequences within and with a reduced file size. Apple are replacing JPEG files in iOS 11 for this new image format HEIF which stands for ‘High Efficiency Image Format’. Only supported in iOS11 and Safari 11 on Mac but will certainly be followed by others.

So always in email we will have to wait a long time for full support but it’s worth trying them out and seeing if a fallback solution is workable.

Litmus-dev-4  Using a responsive email framework

We all know that old-skool tables are safer and more reliable to use when building emails but is this all changing? The talk from MJML the responsive framework (Mailjet Markup Language) was one option to move away from tables and to use their responsive email framework. The obvious bonus is that you have less code while using reusable components and therefore making the build process more efficient.

Litmus-dev-5  Litmus Checklists

Litmus has additional features that I was not aware about. When you create an email checklist there are six sections to approve by your team to complete the checklist such as what the email looks like, showing the alt tags with images switched off, has Litmus tracking and so on. You can also create your own custom checklist which I was interested in to tailor to our team’s workflow.

So another great Litmus event and lots of takeaways to go away and try out.

Watch out for future blog articles where we will be looking into these in more detail….