Articles Archive

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15 Great Gadgets and Gifts for Designers

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The holidays are quickly approaching, which means it’s almost time for the annual awkward tradition of giving and getting gifts. Whether you’re shopping for a designer or you are a designer working on your wish list, these fifteen gadgets and gifts are so awesome that you won’t want anything else.

Chopsticks, pens, gloves, these all sound like every day boring items but wait until you see the amazing high tech versions we found!

November 9th, 2011 Posted in Inspiration
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How to Design a Tour Page: Examples and Best Practices

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Tour pages are one of the most important components for websites advertising apps and/or services. The tour page is often where interested users will either make the firm decision to sign up or move on to something else.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of pressure as a designer to get this right! Fear not however, many talented designers have gone before you and we can learn a lot by looking at their examples. We’ll dive into tour pages from giants like Mozilla, 37Signals and Mint.com and see what common tricks they all use to win conversions.

November 8th, 2011 Posted in Layouts
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Design History: The Art of Playing Cards

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Great design inspiration is all around us. Sometimes the best examples are so common that we see them all the time without a second thought. The cars we drive, the advertisements in our mailbox, the cover art on that new album you just downloaded, all of these are teaching their own little design lessons and if we would but listen, we just might learn something.

Today’s subject is playing cards. At least one pack can be found in almost every home in America, which means they’re a perfect example of ubiquitous design that we take for granted. We’ll take a fresh look at why they’re so perfectly designed and learn a little history along the way.

November 7th, 2011 Posted in Layouts
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Web Design Critique #67: StyleJam

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 StyleJam, a site that hosts web designer portfolios. Let’s take a look and see what we think!

November 4th, 2011 Posted in Critique
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Weekly Freebies: 30 Free Christmas Photos for Your Holiday Designs

In the design world, holidays come early. We know you have to start working on your holiday projects well before launch date so we wanted to help out by providing a list of thirty awesome photos that will be perfect for any Christmas designs you may be starting.

Each image is licensed for commercial use so you can use them pretty much however you want, just be sure to check for attribution as many authors simply want you to give them credit in some small way. Enjoy!

November 4th, 2011 Posted in Freebies
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101 Delightful Dribbble Character Illustrations for Inspiration

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It’s no secret that we here at Design Shack are huge fans of Dribbble and the awesome community of designers that actively upload their work to the site.

Today we tip our hats to some of the wonderful illustration artists in the Dribbble community with a showcase of over one hundred amazing and quirky character illustrations. In this post you’ll find everything from angry monsters to beloved cereal mascots and beyond (Apple fans will find a special treat at the end of the post!). Let’s take a look!

November 3rd, 2011 Posted in Inspiration
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Get 422 Amazing IconDock Icons for Only $19!

IconDock is one of the best icon providers around and today we’re offering you a chance to save over 70% on two incredibly useful IconDeck icon sets. Read on to learn more.

November 3rd, 2011 Posted in Deals
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A Designer’s Introduction to Programming

Designers are often quite hesitant to venture beyond the realms of HTML and CSS into the territory of scripting and programming languages, and for good reason. Programming requires a very different set of skills than mocking up web pages. Further, there are so many different things to learn that most designers don’t even know where to begin: JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Rails, how can you possibly keep up?

However, in practice, programming turns out to be much less scary than designers imagine it to be. Today I’m going to show you how programming is a skill that you can learn once and then apply to each new language that you pick up. We’ll take a look at three different programming constructs in three different languages to see how similar they really are. If you’d like to get started in programming but don’t know a single thing about it, this article is for you.

November 2nd, 2011 Posted in JavaScript
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Mastering User Attention With Feng-Gui

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Today we’re going to discuss the importance of intentionally directing user attention to the portions of the page merit it most. We’ll discuss how people are prone to read a page and how we can bend that tendency to our own will.

We’ll also take a look at an awesome product that will enable you to get a quick snapshot of how a typical user will view your designs so that you can begin to improve your layouts right away.

November 1st, 2011 Posted in Design Shack
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Practical Design Considerations for Responsive Sites

Responsive design is our current best solution to the phenomenon of the ubiquitous web. The Internet is being accessed by people everywhere on countless incredibly varying devices and responsive pages provide an easy and functional way to account for these differences.

Today we’re going to take a step back from discussions of media queries and technical jargon and focus on the core aspects of how responsive techniques affect your design process. What major points do you need to keep in mind when approaching a responsive web design project? Read on to find out.

October 31st, 2011 Posted in Layouts
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