How Does a User See Design?

There’s often a disconnect between the way a designer looks at a website or brochure or package and the way users see it. As a designer, you can appreciate trends and attention to typography and details in a way that the common user might not.

Users only know whether they understand something when they interact with it. The details of how that interaction happens or why it is pleasing are often lost. It’s a pretty harsh reality.

But there’s a nugget of wisdom in understanding that disconnect. If you think about what users are thinking, you will be a better designer. (Even if you don’t particularly like their thoughts on design.)

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New landing-page-templates
Inspiration / 29 Nov 2016

15+ Clean & Minimal Landing Page Templates

You may already know about the power of landing pages. It’s one of the greatest online marketing strategies many businesses use. Instead of directing your traffic to a website homepage, sending traffic to a landing page is a great way to increase conversions.

Did you know that 48% of marketers build new landing pages for each of their marketing campaigns? Unfortunately, building and testing landing pages isn’t easy. Fortunately, we’ve collected a selection of great landing page templates, that will have you up and running within a few minutes (all for less than $20).

New gift-guide
Inspiration / 28 Nov 2016

2016 Gift Guide for Designers and Creatives

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Holiday shopping! Where do you start? Sometimes finding the perfect – and perfectly unusual – gift for the designer in your life can be a challenge.

We’ve found 15 great gifts for designers or the design-minded so you can check shopping off your list early this season. Prices range from stocking stuffer items to a few more expensive gifts, but nothing on this list is too extravagant.

design-thinking
Business / 23 Nov 2016

Thinking About Design Thinking: Is It Important?

Design thinking is the biggest buzzword in the design world since flat design. Everyone is talking about it… even non-designers. So what is design thinking? Is it important? Should you care?

Here’s the good news: design thinking is something that’s probably part of what you “just do” even if you didn’t have a name for it. Design thinking is another way to think about problem-solving. Let’s take a closer look, and delve into what it means, and why it can be useful!

long-form-content
Layouts / 22 Nov 2016

How to Design for Long-Form Content

Forget what you think about user attention spans. Long-form content can be a valuable part of your design strategy (and doesn’t have to be a boring block of ongoing text). Users love a good story and long-form content is a great way to create an immersive and engaging experience.

To keep users interested – and scrolling – you have to design interactions that are visually pleasing and create a consistent experience from the first glimpse to the final act. Here are a few ways to design long-form content that meets those goals with a few examples that are anything but boring.

apple-watch-mockups
Inspiration / 21 Nov 2016

50+ Apple Watch Mockups & Graphics

watch-dribbble

The Apple Watch is the latest gadget in Apple’s ever-growing product line-up. If you’re looking to display your latest application or web interface on the watch, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve gone through and updated our collection of Apple Watch mockups with dozens more beautiful graphics, mockups and vector designs for you to use in your next project. These are mixed templates with photograph-based PSD mockups as well as fully scalable vector packs. Some of these mockups contain all the three versions of Apple Watch, including the ‘Sport’ and ‘Edition’ versions. Some sets are free, while others cost a few dollars.

better-logo-design
Business / 16 Nov 2016

Design a Better Logo: 5 Key Concepts to Consider

Logo design is tough. There’s so much pressure to come up with a perfectly iconic symbol. It has to be original, fresh and interesting. And it’s probably going to be around for a while.

Before you break out in a cold sweat trying to develop the next Nike Swoosh, stop and breathe. While some of the most successful logos of all time did come with a little luck, most follow a few key concepts that you can apply to your thought process.

Take a minute, think it through and you can design a better logo using these five key concepts (with examples from the Design Shack gallery).

macbook-mockups
Inspiration / 15 Nov 2016

100+ MacBook PSD & Vector Mockups

macbook-mockups

Whether you’re looking for a mockup of the MacBook, MacBook Air, or the new MacBook Pro, we have you covered today. We’re featuring a mix of photo mockups, realistic illustrations, and flat/stylised versions of these Apple notebooks.

Totalling over a hundred different MacBook mockups, in all shapes and sizes, these are great for dropping in your own work, applications, wallpapers or examples to give them a unique look-and-feel. Some are free, some cost a few dollars, but we really like them all!

depositphotos
Reviews / 14 Nov 2016

Depositphotos Takes the Guesswork Out of Stock Photography

One of the toughest things about working with stock images is actually going through the process to buy them. Not with Depositphotos.

Depositphotos, a stock image provider, has a new flexible plan with straightforward pricing and downloads. (Each download is counted by the image, not confusing credits.) Today we’re taking a look at how the new plan works, and why this might be a great solution for your stock photography needs!

bitcatcha
Reviews / 9 Nov 2016

Is Your Website Up to Speed? Bitcatcha Can Help

We talk a lot of about design, development and user interfaces and experience and how they contribute to a successful website. These are all givens for designers and developers. We know an interface that looks nice and is highly usable will be popular among users.

But did you know that something such as server speed is just as important? No matter how great your website looks, if it is slow to load, users will turn away. That’s why a tool like Bitcatcha is so important. The server speed checker can help you see if you have hidden issues that you need to address.

christmas-design-resources
Inspiration / 8 Nov 2016

70+ Christmas Mockups, Icons, Graphics & Resources

Christmas is on the way! Whether you’re designing festive party flyers, looking for Christmas mockups, or a holiday icon set, we have a great collection for you today!

We’ve pulled together a fantastic collection of Christmas flyers and templates, mockups, icons, vectors, and much more. Some of them are completely free, some cost a few dollars, but all of them will get you in the festive spirit. Have fun looking through this selection of resources, and we hope you find a few that help out with your holiday design work!

copy-writing
Business / 7 Nov 2016

Content Strategy & Web Design: Connecting the Dots

What comes first? The chicken or the egg? The website or the content? Developing a cohesive content strategy during the web design process can present quite the conundrum.

Designers want content to start work on the design, while many copywriters want a preview of the visuals to develop content. So how do you come to a resolution? With a solid content strategy that involves the whole team.

photos-and-illustrations
Graphics / 2 Nov 2016

5 Tips for Mixing Photos & Illustrations in a Single Design

Ready to take a design risk? Try mixing photos and illustrations in the same design project. A hand drawn element can add whimsy and interest to a design that includes photography. Conversely, a photo can make a more lighthearted illustrated design seem more real or important.

This technique can be a little difficult to imagine until you see a few examples of how it can work beautifully. Today’s we’re looking at this trend and providing tips and examples to help you develop creative ways to come up with a design of your own.