Carrie Cousins

Carrie is the chief writer at Design Shack, with years of experience in web and graphic design. Sports fanatic. Information junkie. Designer. True-believer in karma.





4 Unique Placeholder Image Services for Designers
Software / 16 Jul 2018

4 Unique Placeholder Image Services for Designers

A placeholder image service is a quick and easy way to find images to insert into web projects so that a wireframe or prototype looks more real. It can help other people envision the project and help keep it moving forward.

Most designers try to do everything they can to help a client or non-visual team member see a project during the design, mockup and prototyping process. Often that means putting something together before the content itself is complete.

Here, we’re going to look at four different (and unique) placeholder image services for designers to help you move projects along as efficiently as possible. (Plus, we have a list of reasons why a tool like this might be helpful.)

80s Fonts: A Retro Typographic Trend (+ Examples)
Trends / 9 Jul 2018

80s Fonts: A Retro Typographic Trend (+ Examples)

Everything about my childhood seems to be cool again. The Netflix hit Stranger Things seriously evokes feelings of the 1980s, people are buying classic Nintendo game consoles again, and everything 80s is totally rad, even when it comes to design projects.

And what makes that 80s connection quickly? It’s typography. This decade definitely had a pretty distinct feel. We’re taking a look at the 80s retro font trend with plenty of great typographic options for your projects.

25+ Real-Life Tools for Web Designers and Developers
Inspiration / 9 Jul 2018

25+ Real-Life Tools for Web Designers and Developers

There are countless resources for web designers and developers on the market, but which stand out? We’ve tried to pick some that are new and interesting, based on our experience with web designers and developers.

Below you’ll find short reviews and recommendations of real-life tools for web designers and developers. There are WordPress themes, website builders, design bundles and many more links that we hope you’ll find useful for your next project!

How to Become a UX Designer
UX Design / 4 Jul 2018

How to Become a UX Designer

So you think you want to be a UX designer? But maybe you don’t know exactly where to start. Whether you are a student thinking about the future, or in the midst of your design career looking to make a change, the process is pretty similar.

If you put in the work and time, you can develop your skills and start doing more UX work. Today we’re exploring what a UX designer does, along with tips, ideas, and suggestions for how to start out on your journey to becoming a UX designer.

The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Mac (2018)
Software / 2 Jul 2018

The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Mac (2018)

You don’t have to use Adobe Photoshop on your Mac to edit images like a pro. There are plenty of Photoshop alternatives for Mac that you can download or use in-browser to create just the right images and graphics for your projects. And some of them are completely free!

None of these are necessarily one-size-fits-all solutions. Each tool tends to serve a specific purpose; Do you want to edit online or on a desktop? Are you editing photos or multiple file types? Is all the work for web or will images get printed?

Here’s a list of the best Photoshop alternatives for Mac in 2018, but not in any particular order. Have a read through to find the one that’s right for you.

7 Tips for Designing a Large Footer
Layouts / 28 Jun 2018

7 Tips for Designing a Large Footer

Not all website footers are made equal. While footer design might not be a sexy part of the web design process, a great footer can help users find information, contact you, and better engage with a website. Here’s how you design one that’s functional, and beautiful.

A large footer can also help organize information and make navigating a complicated website that much easier – think about the massive, multi-layer footer on Amazon’s website.

The trick to a large footer is content organization. Once you figure out what the footer design should help users do, it is easier to design a bottom-of-the-page element that you can be proud of. Let’s dive into some footer design tips.

Build a Website for Free With SITE123
Reviews / 28 Jun 2018

Build a Website for Free With SITE123

Whether you want to create a blog, showcase a business or organization or sell items online, one thing is certain. You need a great website. SITE123 is one example of a website builder. And it’s different than most of the other options you’ll find for one key reason – it’s completely free.

Getting started – or even redesigning an existing website – can be intimidating. A website builder can be the solution. Website builders are a set of tools that help anyone create a website without a lot of coding or design knowledge. It’s a quick and easy way to get a website online.

How to Write a UX Proposal
UX Design / 25 Jun 2018

How to Write a UX Proposal

Did you know that a great UX proposal can solidify client relationships and facilitate project management? Here’s how you write a UX proposal that will help you manage projects, and strengthen client relationships.

A UX proposal is a document that outlines a UX, app or web design project. It should note what the problem is – what the client wants – and how a solution will be developed digitally. The proposal sets an expectation of work, what will get done, and the timeline for milestones and launch. It is the guiding document for the project that developer/designer and client agree on before work starts so that everyone is on the same page.

If you are working without a UX proposal, you might want to make a change to that process right away.

How to Create a Color Palette Without Stressing Out
Graphics / 20 Jun 2018

How to Create a Color Palette Without Stressing Out

Picking the perfect color palette can be a little nerve-wracking. It’s something you’ll be committed to for some time, so you’ll want to get it right! Today we’re looking at how to create a color palette, with plenty of tips and advice.

There are a few things that designers who don’t sweat about color always do (and think about), to help ensure that their palettes will hold up over time. Here are some of their tricks of the trade, so you can create a color palette without stressing out!

Monday: The Ultimate Team Management Tool
Reviews / 20 Jun 2018

Monday: The Ultimate Team Management Tool

Almost every team, from the smallest group to the largest company, is looking for an efficient way to manage projects and tasks in a way that everyone can understand.

Finding the right platform to use as a team management tool can be tough, but monday can help. The tool is intuitive while helping you centralize everything so that your team can be successful. Here’s a look at how it works.

5 Tips to Use Instagram Creatively for Your Brand
Business / 18 Jun 2018

5 Tips to Use Instagram Creatively for Your Brand

It seems like every brand is on Instagram these days. So how do you create posts that generate engagement and help your images, video, and stories stand out from the pack?

The answer is to use your keen design eye. The same skills that you use as a designer—color balance, contrast, shape, and composition—can help you create Instagram posts that stand out. (It is a visual medium after all!)

Combine those skills with a little social media strategy and you’ll start building a loyal follower base in no time. Here are some tips to get you on the path to Instagram success.

5 Reasons to Use a Responsive Mockup Template
Graphics / 13 Jun 2018

5 Reasons to Use a Responsive Mockup Template

If you aren’t using responsive mockup templates to showcase your website and app design projects, you’re missing out! A mockup template provides a realistic or stylized shell to highlight a design, and choosing a responsive template can beautifully show your design’s versatility.

Most designers use a mockup template to place a website design into a computer screen, tablet, or phone to give clients or other stakeholders a preview of what a finished project will look like. The result is polished and easy for users to understand.

If you haven’t ventured into the world of using one of these tools yet, here are five reasons to use a responsive mockup template. All with some great examples to show you exactly how they work.