Articles Archive

little-lede

10 Ways Designers Solve Problems

problem solving

Designers, by nature, are problem-solvers. Every project is a problem or challenge that involves helping other people understand something. Designers have to see through all the fog and clutter to create a solution.

This creative type of problem solving comes naturally in part, but some of the actions are learned. Have you ever stopped to think about how you work to solve problems? Here we will examine 10 ways that designers do just that with a collection of abstract images to inspire some of that problem-solving thinking.

February 2nd, 2015 Posted in Business
wid-jan30

This Week in Design: Jan. 30, 2015

week in design

A typography algorithm, the Super Bowl, key performance indicators, “normal” design and neon lights – what do they all have in common? Each seemingly different element is part of a design trend that you should be thinking about. And this week in design we’ll take a look at each one.

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.

January 30th, 2015 Posted in This Week in Design
Design Dilemma: What Constitutes A “Rush Design Job”?

Design Dilemma: What Constitutes A “Rush Design Job”?

Loneliness concept - one broken pencil and new pencils in cup

A recent article of mine on why you should charge more for those last minute calls that demand you work overnight, all weekend, or on holidays, brought up several questions from readers. One of them became a back-and-forth Twitter conversation. While the article pointed out that requests for rush jobs with quick deadlines were an opportunity to demand higher rates, one designer asked the definitive question… sort of.

Apparently the concept of “rush” was questionable to one designer. So, join us as we delve into another shocking explanation to a Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

January 28th, 2015 Posted in Design Dilemma
prototyping

How & Why Prototypes Are Mandatory for Good Design

prototyping

Nothing brings you closer to the functionality of the final product than prototyping. While wireframes sketch out the blueprint and mockups show the feel and texture of the design, it is the prototype that brings to life the “experience” behind “user experience.” That beautiful call-to-action may look great on the screen, but you won’t know if it works on end users until the clickable prototype. Not only do prototypes help provide proof of concept, they more importantly expose any usability flaws behind the wireframes and mockups.

So how do we actually put into the practice this safeguard against emergency stakeholder meetings, endless revisions, and painful late nights in the development phase? While we previously touched upon proper prototyping in the Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation, let’s dive deeper into how prototyping can make or break a product’s success. In this piece, we’ll begin by looking at the most compelling reasons to prototype and how prototypes improve collaboration, design, and usability testing.

January 26th, 2015 Posted in Business, Graphics
wid-jan23

This Week in Design: Jan. 23, 2014

week in design

Most of what you do as a designer probably starts digitally. The design is drawn with a tool such as Photoshop or InDesign or Illustrator. There aren’t many ways around it. So this week in design, we are looking more at digital and web design … and a bit of what’s next.

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.

January 23rd, 2015 Posted in This Week in Design
chickin

10 Tips for Designing Static Ads

ad design

Designing the perfect static ad is no easy feat. It might even be impossible. Designing ads can go against many of the things you think as a designer. Many companies want to cram as much information into a space as possible and many users put up roadblocks when it comes to viewing ads.

The catch is creating something that people want to interact with, despite the fact that it’s an ad. The advantage of a static ad is that is seems less obtrusive than some animated, audio or video options. They also have a classic style about them that makes designing fun. Here are 10 tips for creating an ad that people will look at, with some ads as they actually appear on popular websites.

January 21st, 2015 Posted in Graphics
bigstock-lede

Find the Ideal Image or Video With Bigstock

bigstock

Almost every designer has a need for a good catalog of images. From photos to vectors to video, stock art is a tool that is commonly used in a variety of projects. Having a good go-to place to find these images is vital for every designer.

That’s where Bigstock comes in. The stock image and video site has more than 22 million images, video, vectors and illustrations that you can download and use in design projects. Here, we’ll take a look at the service and even give you the chance to get started and download up to 35 images or videos for free.

January 19th, 2015 Posted in Graphics
wid-jan16

This Week in Design: Jan. 16, 2014

week in design

Welcome to the new age of design. This week in design we are thinking ahead with technology that may impact our lives from the recent Consumer Electronics Show to posters that make you want to travel to the moon.

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.

January 16th, 2015 Posted in This Week in Design
17hats

Get to Know the New 17hats Tool

17hats

If you are a freelancer or self-employed professional, you are probably always on the lookout for tools that can make life easier. There’s just not enough time to get all your work done and then follow up with paperwork.

17hats, a new cloud software tool, takes a lot of the work out of that paperwork. It integrates contracts, invoices, questionnaires, e-mail, to-do lists, time tracking, bookkeeping, calendars and more into a single login. Here’s a look at the tool, some of the key features, pricing and information on how to try it out.

January 13th, 2015 Posted in Business
ds_wrong

Design Dilemma: The Wrong Way to Force a Client to Pay

ds_wrong

A designer was recently relaying a story about a client who didn’t pay for his website and logo — so she took them both down. If you’ve ever seen the movie, Single White Female, Bridget Fonda is a business app programmer who implants a bug in client’s business software so if they don’t pay on time, the site automatically goes down and there’s a message that if payment is not made within 24 hours, all of the information will be unretrievable. A non-paying client goes over to confront Fonda, and is killed by her insane roommate.

While death may be a bit too much for a non-paying client, in this case the client put up the site again with the logo, and the designer was about to pull it down again. Unfortunately, this action can get you into huge legal trouble. So, what can you do when the client doesn’t pay and you feel the only recourse is to deny them of your design work? Join us as we delve into another murderous Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design.

January 12th, 2015 Posted in Design Dilemma
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