3 reasons never to use in-line images for art feedback

Hi all! Quick tip — don’t use in-line images for art feedback! Ever. Seriously. This shows the correct way to Attach images instead of embedding them as inline images. Again, this applies to art feedback, not general emails. The primary reason is that they’re annoying to save and they make searching for attached images later very difficult, when they really don’t need to be. Think of this in the context of working on a project with thousands of emails spanning hundreds of contacts. Being able to come back to an attached image later becomes a hell of a lot more important when you’re operating at scale. Fortunately, this is an incredibly simple process tweak anyone can do. 🙂

Here are three reasons why you should never use in-line images for art feedback:

  1. It makes Gmail’s search vastly less effective. It prevents searching by filenamekeywordattachment in Gmail.

    Example: If I’m looking for Art_Pasta_paintover_14.jpg and it’s an Attachment, I can search Gmail for it. However, if it’s embedded as an in-line image, it cannot be searched for, so I have to remember who was on the email, what the subject was, what some of the key words were, etc. I get ~150 emails a day and I can’t expect myself to remember absolutely everything.

  2. It strips filenames. If you have to use the images, it requires manually saving them. Since it doesn’t store the original filename, it’s dependent on the end user to adhere to naming conventions and place the file appropriately. If you save the file and ever need to find it again, now it only exists as whatever you thought to name it, or in an email you can’t easily search for.
  3. It breaks formatting. Large images completely obliterate formatting by stretching out the horizontal scroll bar, which makes ALL email replies span multiple pages. This makes emails unreadable and is a great way to kill a thread, if that’s what you’re trying to do.

I’d initially considered JPG artifacting and re-saving images degrading image quality, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in my limited testing. Here’s an interesting tutorial on checking for JPG artifacting in Photoshop.

Thoughts? Agreedisagree? I’d like to hear your comments!

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