Articles Archive

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What Makes a Great Search Interface?

search

A search box is one of the essential pieces that is included in almost every website design. While sometimes the creation of this small element turns into an afterthought, there is no reason why the search box should not be designed as beautifully as the rest of a website.

The design of a search box should mirror that of the rest of the site, be functional and easy to use and be placed in a location that is obvious to users. Today, we are going to take a look at some great search boxes and a few tools to help you through your own design.

February 26th, 2014 Posted in Inspiration
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Creating Instagram-Style Photo Filters With jQuery

tutorial screenshot instagram filters photos jquery javascript

I’ve always been intrigued by the Instagram phenomenon and how quickly it rose to popularity. Photo filters are nothing new but dynamic use of these filters has not always been possible. Building the functionality into an iOS/Android application requires a lot of time. Thankfully developers have worked to replicate this process for the web using JavaScript.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how to build a simple Instagram-style filter webapp using jQuery. The library is called CamanJS which is easily extendable to create your own filter plugins. This doesn’t require jQuery but I’ve chosen to use it for a simpler development environment. Take a look at my live sample demo to understand the goal of this tutorial.

February 25th, 2014 Posted in JavaScript
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5 Online Portfolio Services & Tools Compared

portfolio

Whether you are designing for print, packaging or online, almost everyone wants a portfolio site that is easy to manage and maintain while providing a good visual experience. With so many different portfolio tools and services out there, though, how do you choose what works best?

Today, we are taking a look at five nice online portfolio tools. We’ll weigh the pros and cons and pricing for each in hopes that it will help you choose the right tool to display your work.

February 24th, 2014 Posted in Software
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This Week in Design: Feb. 21, 2014

week in design

PayPal has moved to video, jumping on something that we will likely see as a big web design trend this year. Because of this design update, creativity is on my mind as well as the overarching theme this week.

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.

February 21st, 2014 Posted in This Week in Design
vintage-lede

Making Vintage Design Work for You

vintage design

Vintage textures and palettes are in. They are popping up in a variety of uses from large-scale design projects to small details in a logo or background texture. This dated-style technique has really made a comeback.

Today, we will look at how you can create and establish a great palette for a vintage-style design from color to type to texture choices.

February 19th, 2014 Posted in Inspiration
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Design Dilemma: How Do I Become a Designer?

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I get several messages with questions on how to become a designer every month from varied social media sources, as well as through the Design Dilemma email link (listed at the bottom of this article). That’s it. No details or background. They just want to have me write an email instructing them how to become web designers.

It’s not really an easy answer… and some people get really upset when I won’t engage them in long email explanations of the steps they can take. The simple answer of “enroll in art school” doesn’t seem to be the acceptable answer. I gather that through their curt salutations…

February 18th, 2014 Posted in Design Dilemma
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2014 Will Be Year of Parallax

parallax

A somewhat bold prediction: 2014 will go down as the year of parallax. Before you downplay this reemerging trend, think about it. With developments in HTML, CSS and jQuery, and more people running on high-speed internet connections it is not a stretch to think this nifty technique will really explode this year.

Parallax scrolling effects are fun, user friendly and allow for new types of creative thought in the website design process. The end result is a technique that can be fun to create and can create a highly visual and interactive experience for users.

February 17th, 2014 Posted in Layouts
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This Week in Design: Feb. 14, 2014

week in design

We’re feeling the design love this week in honor of Valentine’s Day. So the roundup includes a few things to crush on, including an opportunity to write a love poem to the web and a few card designs for your sweetheart.

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.

February 14th, 2014 Posted in This Week in Design
depositphotos

Big Discounts on Stock Photos at Mighty Deals

depositphotos

Today, we’re excited to be featuring a special promotion from MightyDeals. Depositphotos offers one of the largest stock photo libraries on the web, and by taking advantage of this promotion, you can grab either 100 or 200 images of your choice for up to 90% off the regular price!

What makes this deal so spectacular is that besides a ginormous library to browse, you can select any size photo you want, including the much sought-after and generally pricey XXL and XXXL sizes. Over 20 million high-quality images. Less than $1 each. Read on to find out more.

February 13th, 2014 Posted in Deals
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Building HTML5 and CSS3 Anchor Link Tooltips

tutorial screenshot pure css3 anchor tooltips

There are many tutorials online discussing the idea of CSS-based tooltips. Yet many examples require HTML elements along with the anchor link. Visitors can get a basic tooltip message by using the default title attribute. I’d like to follow this method and update the process just a little bit.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how to build CSS3 tooltips which are contextually based on an HTML5 attribute. Using different classes we can incorporate unique color schemes along with CSS3 transition effects. This technique doesn’t require any extra HTML unless you attach the tooltips onto a different element (like a text field). Let’s get started!

February 12th, 2014 Posted in CSS
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