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free101-cost
Freelancing / 9 Dec 2014

Freelancing 101: What Does It Cost to Be a Freelancer?

Working as a freelancer is not all cash profit. There are a lot of costs that are associated with working for yourself that you need to be aware of from the start. From one-time expenses to taxes and insurance, understanding how much freelancing can cost can be just as important as landing clients.

Costs associated with freelancing that impact almost every worker (regardless of location) include equipment and tools, taxes and insurance, marketing and promotion, legal and accounting, training and development and a few additional hidden costs. Today we’re going to be exploring some of the costs to watch out for, so you don’t find yourself facing an unpleasant surprise!

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This Week in Design / 5 Dec 2014

This Week in Design: December 5, 2014

Design innovation sounds like a scary concept to some of us. And it can be. But design innovation is what drives us to create better things and tackle new experiences. That’s what we are thinking about this week in design – from innovation in thinking about designing for screens, to innovative workplaces, to creative thinking at a world-class restaurant.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

free101-forget
Freelancing / 3 Dec 2014

Freelancing 101: 10 Things People Forget to Tell You About Freelancing

I have been freelancing for the last decade and there are plenty of days when the words “I quit” slipped through my lips. (Although I took it back pretty quickly.) Life as a freelancer isn’t just working from home and flexible schedules and being your own boss when things are easy. It is sticking with it when those things are tough too.

As a career choice, freelancing comes with plenty of ups and downs. It takes a certain personality to withstand those changes and find success. (Personally, I have found much more success the older I get; freelancing was no fun right out of college.) There’s a lot that I have learned along the way. Here are ten things people forget to tell you about freelancing!

freddie
Business / 1 Dec 2014

How to Design a Brand Persona for Your Product

They’re on hundreds of websites, in advertisements, and fill the airwaves – fictional characters that help you relate to a brand or company. These personas are representations of the type of people who use products or services, and are designed to relate to potential users or buyers.

A persona is more than just a face in the design. It is a well-planned and thought-out part of the design process. Designers have to think about the persona during all aspects of a project so that the personality matches the brand and design. From copy and how the persona “talks” to color, typeface choices and other design elements, creating a persona can be an important part of design projects.

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This Week in Design / 28 Nov 2014

This Week in Design: Nov. 28, 2014

The holiday season has officially arrived! And with that, this week in design focuses on something a little new (material design), something old (usability) and something to gift (a new book on responsive web design).

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

crocs
Graphics / 26 Nov 2014

7 Tips for Designing a Better Checkout Page

With the holiday season right around the corner, many of us will be doing some shopping online. (OK… maybe a lot of shopping!) The checkout page of a website can make that experience one to remember, or one you wish you could forget.

If you are designing a checkout page, there are so many considerations – functionality, usability, security and design. The last element is something every designer can have impact on. A checkout page should not be designed as an afterthought; it is arguably the most important page in the online shopping experience.

treehouse
Accessibility / 24 Nov 2014

Website Design for Kids: Tips and Advice

Designing a project for children is a rather common assignment. From websites to packaging to other images, creating something that is kid-friendly will likely be asked of most designers at some point. But how can you make something kids and adults will appreciate?

That’s the real trick. Kids and adults have to feel engaged by what they are seeing. There are some things that you can do in the design process. Consider elements such as color, typography, gamification, language, animation, storyline and age group for the best success. Today we’re offering some advice and insight into this very topic!

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This Week in Design / 21 Nov 2014

This Week in Design: Nov. 21, 2014

Challenges and solutions. These are the essence of what a designer does in a visual format. And it’s what we are looking at this week in design, from better ways to design responsive websites to a typeface for dyslexics to presenting complex information in an award-winning way.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

bootstrap-bay
Software / 19 Nov 2014

Getting Started With BootstrapBay (Plus 3 Theme Giveaways)

BootstrapBay is a new theme marketplace where you can buy and sell premium themes and templates. Every theme on the site is packed with features, customization options and features a fully-responsive design.

Here we’ll take a look at BootstrapBay, and what you can find on the site from available themes to pricing to selling your own designs. Plus, BootstrapBay is giving away three themes to three lucky winners. Read on to find out more!

404
Accessibility / 17 Nov 2014

What Makes a Great 404 Error Page?

No one wants to think website visitors are spending time on error pages, but it happens. The 404 error page is one place that these interactions happen rather frequently. Design it in a way that speaks to users rather than encouraging them to leave your site.

More memorable and less frustrating 404 error pages are the most successful. They can also be the most fun to design. So what can you do to create the best 404 page for your site? Here are a few tips, tricks and gallery of great examples.

wid-nov14
This Week in Design / 14 Nov 2014

This Week in Design: Nov. 14, 2014

Designing for the web can be a common assignment for almost any designer. What should you be thinking about when planning such a project? That’s what we are looking at this week in design, from wireframing on your tablet to lessons in lettering.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at carrie@designshack.net.

jotform
Competitions / 13 Nov 2014

Form Building From a Designer’s Perspective

When people think of beautiful web design, form building isn’t usually the thing that comes to mind. But for the crafty designer, form design creates a unique opportunity to show off some serious skills. Executed well, it can singlehandedly elevate your site’s look and feel.

JotForm has always allowed users to create custom form designs using CSS, but their new Form Designer feature hands web designers their time back with incredibly simple functionality. Starting from basic black on white, your form can be fully customized using dozens of preset click options, with changes appearing in real time. The only thing required is your artistic touch, and just a few minutes to spare.

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