Rules. They keep our designs clean, consistent, aligned, and focused. The core principles upon which good design is built are absolutely essential to the education of any designer.
The great thing about design rules though is that they can and should be broken, granted that you know what you’re doing. Read on to see some examples of effectively breaking design principles in order to improve a project.December 6th, 2013 Posted in Graphics
Many online shops and e-commerce websites use a small details panel to offer more information about a product. I remember this from the early days of browsing Template Monster, and it has grown into a common trend for modern web designers.
In this tutorial I’d like to explain how we can duplicate this effect using some very basic code. I’ve provided two different versions, one built on jQuery and another built using CSS3. There are benefits to each one and you can download a copy of my tutorial code to see which you would prefer.December 5th, 2013 Posted in CSS
Is nothing original anymore? It’s a concept we designers talk about all the time. All original ideas “have been used already”. But is that true? (I, for one, am not sure I actually believe it.) And if it is true are we all plagiarizing other designs on a daily basis?
All of these are ideas that are thrown around loosely, but have quite serious implications. So how do you know if your design idea was plagiarized? Or is a similar concept just the most sincere form of flattery? Let’s dig a little deeper today…December 3rd, 2013 Posted in Business
Website pagination is a crucial aspect to any layout with repeating content. Blogs are often a consideration, but also portfolio listings or related news/feed links or any other types of archive. Organizing a blog post into many pages helps to cut down on reading time – especially with particularly in-depth articles.
In this tutorial I want to demonstrate a collection of CSS techniques for designing pagination. Once you combine these designs with content systems like WordPress you can see how the interfaces really work in action. To get an idea of the final product take a look at my live sample demo below.November 28th, 2013 Posted in CSS
It doesn’t matter how fancy the iPad, or how realistic the e-ink, there’s something about a good quality pen and a thick, fresh pad of paper that’s impossible to replicate. Whether it’s for sketching, taking notes, or planning your to-do list, often paper is best.
We’re pleased to tell you about a fantastic partnership we have with Creoly for Design Shack readers, giving you the chance to win one of five exclusive notebooks, and save 10% on any order you place (with free international shipping!). Read on to find out more.November 26th, 2013 Posted in Competitions
Sometimes when a project fails, it can be hard to get back on your feet again. We all take the occasional confidence knock from time-to-time. But to see continued success in this tricky industry, it’s important to be able to regroup and recover gracefully.
Here, we’ll look at ten things you can do to gain confidence as a designer. These tips can work for experienced designers after a troubled project, or new designers looking to break into the market. It’s advice worth taking to heart.November 25th, 2013 Posted in Business
Today’s topic is a delicious one: restaurant and food websites. Small businesses pay the bills for freelance designers and local restaurants can serve as a major source of revenue. If you’re embarking on your first restaurant site design though, there are a few things that you should know.
In this article, we’ll learn by example as we take a look at lots of mouthwatering food and restaurant websites. By examining what these designers got right, you’ll help ensure your own success in this area.November 22nd, 2013 Posted in Graphics
HTML5 has made many things simpler in web development, one of which is using embedded audio. Today, we’re going to work through the process of completely customising the HTML5 audio player element, which can adapt to older browsers with fallbacks. It’s a simple method that’s easy to build upon and tweak.
The open source project MediaElement.js is wildly popular, and has even been built into the core of WordPress since version 3.6. It allows you to embed any HTML5 audio or video using a native player interface which can dynamically adapt into a Flash/Silverlight player when needed. I was really impressed to see all the features and it seems to be one of the more advanced solutions for handling legacy browsers. We’ll be using that as a starting point!November 20th, 2013 Posted in CSS
While every designer may have a different plan when it comes to building a website, they do have a common checklist. No matter how you try to avoid it, there are a few elements every website should (and usually does!) include.
From plenty of whitespace and great images, to search functionality and clear calls-to-action, these common elements are the things that users expect when it comes to using a site with ease. Today we’re taking a look at ten elements you should prioritise on your website, perfectly designed examples of each, and tips on how to use each in your next website design project. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”November 19th, 2013 Posted in Layouts
Today’s project is another exploration of the types of practical applications that you can achieve with a little ingenuity and some fairly basic CSS. You’ll be blown away by how much you can achieve with just a few lines of code.
The final result with be a great way to display a strip of small image thumbnails that the user can hover to see larger images. Let’s dive in and see how it works.November 15th, 2013 Posted in CSS