Category: Articles


Business / 10 Oct 2011

Establishing a Hierarchy of Goals for Everything You Design

What one thing above all else makes for a great design? Where should your focus lie? More importantly, is it possible or even desirable to focus on a single goal at the expense of others?

Today we’ll take a look at why goal-oriented design is good design and discuss how being a designer means weighing several competing factors. We’ll also discuss how to decide which goals are the most important and how establishing a hierarchy for each project will make for a better experience for the client, the user and the designer.

HTML / 10 Oct 2011

What Is HTML? The Anatomy of an HTML5 Document

This is the second article in our series on the absolute fundamentals of web development. Our first article explained in detail what HTML is on a conceptual level. We looked at what a markup language is, what tags are and how HTML compares to other important pieces of the web development puzzle such as CSS.

Join us today as we move on and take a look at each basic piece of an HTML document. I’ll explain all that stuff at the top of an HTML file that confuses you and outline the basic structure that you’ll follow for creating your own HTML files.

HTML / 8 Oct 2011

What Is HTML? Back to Basics

Since I have a background in print, I’m always eager to help designers from other areas get a start in web design and basic development. I know from experience that the transition is an extremely intimidating one that many people simply don’t think they can manage.

Fortunately, I can also attest to the fact that it’s probably not as difficult as you might imagine. In the world of hardcore coding, HTML and CSS rank pretty low on the barrier to entry scale.

Today we’re going to start a series that examines the basic building blocks of web development. HTML, CSS, JavaScript; if you’re a complete and utter beginner who might not even have a basic grasp of what these technologies are much less how to wield them, then this series is for you.

Freebies / 7 Oct 2011

Weekly Freebies: 25 Awesome Free jQuery Image Sliders and Carousels

No matter what type of site or page you’re building, a jQuery carousel or image slider is an indispensable tool that allows you to put tons of information and content in a relatively small and user-friendly space.

Every web designer should have a full arsenal of jQuery sliders to choose from. Bookmark this page of 25 awesome free plugins and come back the next time you need one on a project.

Graphics / 5 Oct 2011

Five Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Famous Car Logos

Automobile logos represent some of my favorite emblems. I recently became curious as to the origins of several of these popular icons and came across some incredibly interesting facts!

Join us as we look back at some of the most well known logos around and uncover some of their unbelievable secrets!

Doing More With Less: Tips for Designing With Limited Resources
Layouts / 3 Oct 2011

Doing More With Less: Tips for Designing With Limited Resources

Today we’re going to tackle some common issues that arrive not with having too much scattered content but with too little. How can you flesh out a design when your client has barely given you anything to work with?

We’ll go over some quick and easy tips for crafting gorgeous designs that don’t feel empty despite using very few resources.

Weekly Freebies: 20 Free T-Shirt Design Templates
Freebies / 30 Sep 2011

Weekly Freebies: 20 Free T-Shirt Design Templates

T-shirts have long been the source of clever and attractive designs. If you’re looking to get started in shirt design, you’ll need a few templates to show off your work.

We’ve scoured DeviantArt and come up with the twenty very best free t-shirt templates. They come in a side variety of formats form vector to PSD, so you’ll be sure to find exactly what you’re looking for!

How to Crank Out a DIY Mobile Site in Minutes Flat
Mobile / 30 Sep 2011

How to Crank Out a DIY Mobile Site in Minutes Flat

Huge strides are being made in professional web design in the mobile arena. More than ever, the web is a place that’s quite friendly to devices of all shapes, sizes and operating systems. If you’re not a professional designer, this news can be unwelcome and even overwhelming as you wonder how you’re going to afford or create your own mobile site.

Today we’re going to take a brief look at how mobile websites are becoming ubiquitous, why turnkey DIY services are a necessary part of the web design world and a few of these services for you to check out. We’ll even walk you through the process of using one of these services so you can see how easy it is to have your own mobile site up and running in minutes.

Save 90% on Over 400 Must Have Design Resources
Deals / 29 Sep 2011

Save 90% on Over 400 Must Have Design Resources

We’ve teamed up with to bring you an unbelievable deal on a huge selection of design resources.

We’re talking $380 in textures, backgrounds, brushes and vectors for only $24. If it sounds too good to be true, read on or hit up our deals page for more info!

CSS Button Tutorial: How to Code Buttons in 5 Simple Steps
CSS / 28 Sep 2011

CSS Button Tutorial: How to Code Buttons in 5 Simple Steps

Here at Design Shack we like to feature a full range of tutorials, from expert PHP projects to very simple CSS tips. Today’s tutorial is targeted at those still in the beginner stages of CSS.

One of the most frequent questions I get from CSS beginners is, “How do I create a button?” It’s a simple question with a complicated answer. There are quite a few ways to go about it and unfortunately there are also quite a few ways to go wrong. When I first started out in CSS, figuring out all the button syntax was one of the most persistent troubles I faced, it seemed like I was always doing it wrong. Today we’re going to walk through a very simple and flexible process that you can apply to any button you create. More important than the end result is the in-depth explanation at each point outlining why we do it that way.

25 Extremely Useful Google Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers
Software / 26 Sep 2011

25 Extremely Useful Google Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers

Google Chrome was a fairly latecomer to the browser wars but was an overnight success that instantly became the favorite of Mac and Windows users alike. Everything about Chrome, from its minimal and highly practical interface to its solid Webkit Core and robust extension system, makes it hands down one of the best ways to access the web.

For all you Chrome lovers out there, we’ve got an awesome collection of 25 extremely useful Google Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers. Whether you’re looking for a quick way to validate your page or create a custom grid overlay, we’ve got the tool for you.

Web Design Critique #66: Matthew Coughlin
Critique / 23 Sep 2011

Web Design Critique #66: Matthew Coughlin

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is the portfolio of photographer Matthew Coughlin.

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