Articles Archive

plagiarism-lede

Was My Design Plagiarized (or Is That Just Flattery)?

design plagiarism

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
preview-pagination-css3-demo

Building a Custom CSS3 Pagination User Interface

tutorial screenshot css3 pagination styles 5 examples preview

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
creoly

Grab a Free Dot Grid Book and Save 10% at Creoly

creoly

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
tips

10 Tips to Gain More Confidence as a Designer

tips

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
foodsites-00

Learn by Example: 6 Lessons for Designing Restaurant & Food Websites

screenshot

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
featured-html5-audio-player-ui

Creating a Custom HTML5 Audio Element UI

tutorial screenshot customize html5 audio user interface css3 mediaelement

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
elements-lede

10 Crucial Elements for Any Website Design

website elements

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
dsthumbslider-0

Build a Super Easy CSS Slider With Thumbnails

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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
everythingwrong

Design Dilemma: When You Just Can’t Do Anything Right

everythingwrong

Have you ever worked at a place where no matter what you do, whatever you design, or whatever you suggest, you’re wrong, but they don’t fire you? There’s a good reason why, and here are some funny (but odd) reasons, along with advice no one would think of to ease the tension.

An interesting email was sent to me from a young designer who is ready to quit design because her boss keeps putting down her design abilities, and it’s making her very depressed. It’s a very common problem in the design industry, so, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

November 13th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma
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How to Create Unique Block-Style Radio Inputs With jQuery

tutorial screenshot digg block radio input links howto jquery

Input buttons are used in web forms where a user needs to select one option from a larger collection. This often happens with unique values like newsletter subscriptions, profile settings, and submission categories. I have always liked the old-school Digg-style input buttons where you click a link to choose your story category.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build a similar interface using CSS3 and jQuery. All of the input radio buttons are still present within the form itself, but they are hidden on the page. Instead we update the selected choice using JavaScript and even have the possibility to display this value in HTML (or return it to a backend script). Check out my sample demo to get an idea for what we are building.

November 11th, 2013 Posted in CSS
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