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hotjar
Software / 13 Aug 2014

Find Out How Visitors Use Your Website With Hotjar Insights

Having a website in today’s market is not enough. You also need see how your visitors are really using your website. This information can help you better plan, create content and design for the way your users interact with you.

That’s where Hotjar Insights comes in. The new service is launching later this month and will include lots of tools that really can help you understand your visitors better. The interface includes heatmaps, session playbacks, polling, surveys, chats and funnel analysis. Here’s a look at the new tool.

free101-trends
Freelancing / 11 Aug 2014

Freelancing 101: How to Stay on Top of Trends

One of the biggest challenges that comes with working from home is the loss of a day-to-day design trend network. Those informal chats about what’s happening in the design world and what’s new, emerging and different can be valuable time spent with coworkers. It can open your eyes to new things and ideas.

So how do you keep the fresh feeling to your design projects when you work alone? It can be easier than you think if you put forth just a little extra effort. Here are some tips for staying on top of trends when you don’t work in an office environment.

wid-aug8
This Week in Design / 8 Aug 2014

This Week in Design: Aug. 8, 2014

For many people vacation season, is in full swing.So this week in design we are having a little fun. From a great debate over the difference between a logo and symbol, to fun “commandments” for freelancers, to a typography contest, there’s a little something for everyone.

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.

Design Dilemma: Why Do Clients Love Bad Design?
Design Dilemma / 6 Aug 2014

Design Dilemma: Why Do Clients Love Bad Design?

It’s the bane of every creative. Why is it that clients seem to love bad design? Out of all the concepts presented to a client, why does almost every designer complain their “worst concept” is the one inevitably chosen by the client?

The dilemma “Cathy” has is a frustration with what she sees as mediocre designs around her at her job, as well as those chosen in design contests she enters (yes, we’ll cover the problem with design contests later on). So, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

code-lede
Business / 5 Aug 2014

Why Every Designer Needs a Code of Ethics

Many professions have codes of ethics, a common set of guiding principles that help you make fair decisions. Codes often protect both the worker and client from poor business practices.

Designers working in a team or individual environment should be working with a code of ethics. Many designers might even follow multiple codes – one set by an employer, one set by professional organizations and one that is a more personal set of rules and guidelines. One thing is certain: Every designer needs a code of ethics.

pixelsdaily
News / 4 Aug 2014

600+ Resources for $18 at PixelsDaily

We’ve recently been making some changes over at PixelsDaily, our sister-site containing hundreds of high quality web elements, graphics, icons, and resources for designers.

PixelsDaily now has an all-new responsive design, simpler ways to browse and search the library, straight-forward pricing, and a selection of fantastic new resources (that we’re adding to every week)! Read on to find out more, and get a 25% discount as a Design Shack reader.

wid-aug1
This Week in Design / 1 Aug 2014

This Week in Design: Aug. 1, 2014

So you’re living the dream. You always wanted to be a designer. And you are. And you are pretty good. But now you are bored or burned out. What’s next? This week in design, we’re looking at what’s next and a few things to get you motivated again.

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.

tell-story
Inspiration / 30 Jul 2014

How to Tell a Story With Design

Design is a method of expression. It communicates a visual message to those who see it. It also communicates a story, whether implied or clearly stated.

As a designer, it is your job to make sure that story is clear. The design story should fall in line with the story of the company, brand, website, game, bottled drink or whatever you are working with. Telling a story is important to create a lasting impression and make your “thing” more memorable than all the others out there.

free101-obstacles
Business / 28 Jul 2014

Freelancing 101: How to Battle Obstacles to Success

It took a while for me to get started, really started, as a freelancer. And I won’t lie; it was not always easy. There are so many obstacles on the path to becoming a freelancer. Whether you are writing, designing or taking photos, the key is not to let doubt sink in. If you want to be successful you have to put your mind to it.

Today, we’re going to look at some of the obstacles freelancers often face in their working life, along with various tips and suggestions for overcoming each one.

wid-july25
This Week in Design / 25 Jul 2014

This Week in Design: July 25, 2014

The word this week in design is “new.” From a new survey about new and young designers to a new typography experiment and a new “smellable” magazine cover, the hope is that you learn something new this week. And don’t forget to share your new items and news with us. We love hearing from readers and take your suggestions into consideration; so don’t be shy.

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.

ds.begging.featured
Design Dilemma / 23 Jul 2014

Design Dilemma: Using a Humorous Client Sales Pitch

“How do I find clients?” is the question I get the most from beginners, as well as experienced professionals (finding work is tough these days and getting harder for freelancers).

There are certainly steps one can take but, having received this message addressed to me via the Design Dilemma email account, I had to read it to see if there was a question attached. There wasn’t, but “Bob’s” plea presented an interesting conundrum — by being “humorous” did “Bob” show his human side in hopes that someone would want to work with him or should he have made a serious sales pitch, spotlighting his past work and abilities? Let’s take a closer look.

photos-lede
Graphics / 21 Jul 2014

10 Ways to Make Photos Work in Your Designs

Browsing through collections of websites, such as those from Awwwards or The Best Design, you often notice a common theme – great photography. A great image can make your website (or any design project for that matter) look amazing.

But what if your images are less than stellar or you have a limited number of images to work with? You can still create something with a lot of visual impact. With editing, creative use and a few design “tricks,” you can create something special with as little as a single image. Here are 10 techniques to try.

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