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Carrie Cousins

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.

Halloween Graphic Design: 10 Spooky Tips & Ideas

Inspiration / 15 Oct 2021

Halloween Graphic Design: 10 Spooky Tips & Ideas

Witches, goblins, and ghouls can make for some pretty amazing design projects. While Halloween might not be top of mind when it comes to design, it’s an opportunity to do something a little different with projects.

Halloween graphic design centers around something that will be around for a short time. It might be different than the typical vibe of a brand or project and often has a theme that’s fun and friendly.

Adding a spooky element to a design can delight users and show that the design is new and timely. It gives users reasons to come back to your projects because they know that it will change again after the holiday. You can use holiday-themed graphic design as a trick to keep users coming back!

Are QR Codes Making a Comeback? (+ How to Use Them Well)

Business / 14 Oct 2021

Are QR Codes Making a Comeback? (+ How to Use Them Well)

QR codes – once dead by all practical standards – are back in a major way. The little block of squares that link your mobile device to a website has become the new norm in the (post) pandemic world of “contactless” everything. Scan and buy. Scan and sign up. Scan to pay now.

So, what do you need to know to use QR codes well now that users are more readily accepting this web technology?

Let’s dive back into QR codes.

Indy: A Freelancing Platform With Everything in One Place

Reviews / 13 Oct 2021

Indy: A Freelancing Platform With Everything in One Place

Freelancers rely on tools to help make work-life easier. That’s especially true for tools that relate to running your business – the less creative part of the job.

Indy is an all-in-one freelancing platform packed with the tools you need to get work done. It helps you out with everything from contracts and invoices, to calendars, chats, and proposals. All with a slick interface, and a seamless way of working with clients.

Here’s a look at how it works.

20+ Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Graphic Designers

Inspiration / 12 Oct 2021

20+ Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Graphic Designers

The spookiest day of the year is right around the corner. Take your Halloween pumpkin game up a notch by showing off your graphic design skills with a custom carving, and get inspired with these Halloween pumpkin ideas!

It’s not too late to find the perfect pumpkin at a local patch and spend some quality time (along or with your family) crafting a carving that no one else on your street will have. Not sure where to start? Here’s we’ve collected 20 creative Halloween pumpkin carving ideas, from simple scenes to iconic graphic design elements to a few customized spooks.

7 Ways to Design for the Unexpected

Graphics / 11 Oct 2021

7 Ways to Design for the Unexpected

What just happened? Why doesn’t that work? Does this look funny to you?

These are all questions you don’t want users to ask when interacting with your website design. But inevitably, they will. The unexpected happens all the time online. From users changing settings on their devices to slow browsing speeds, your role is to expect these unexpected challenges and offer a design solution… before they happen!

From dark mode to people taking an unexpected path through your website or app, we’re exploring lots of unexpected scenarios so you can plan for them in advance!

7 Ways Your UX Needs to Extend Beyond Your Website (And How to Do It)

UX Design / 7 Oct 2021

7 Ways Your UX Needs to Extend Beyond Your Website (And How to Do It)

User experience is a conversation that’s part of every website or app design conversation. It’s likely one of the first things you talk about when making choices about functionality, customer journeys, and visuals.

But do you talk about UX in the greater picture of designing your entire brand?

Your website or app UX needs to extend beyond the website and to everything else you produce in order to create a more consistent and unified brand presence. Thinking about user experience for all designed elements can help users connect brand materials visually and impact how people feel about your organization.

It’s time to start thinking about UX as a visual (and functional) extension of customer experience. (The examples here provide a good UX as a starting point that can extend to other parts of the brand design that you might already know. Think about how you connect their web user experiences to other elements you know them for.)

Conceptual Design: The Tool You Need to Ideate Like a Pro

Business / 4 Oct 2021

Conceptual Design: The Tool You Need to Ideate Like a Pro

How does the design process start for you? If you want to take ideation and creation to another level, conceptual design may be the place to start.

Conceptual design can actually help you better design an idea so that when you start the process of creation, it is more developed and functional. It’s a great starting point for any project, and can help you lay a solid foundation on which to build.

Here, we’ll walk through conceptual design and how you can use it to ideate and create more effectively.

Design Trend: Voice UX – Are You Designing for It?

Trends / 27 Sep 2021

Design Trend: Voice UX – Are You Designing for It?

Voice interfaces and user experiences are a trending topic in the world of website design because user behavior is demanding it.

Just think of how often you ask Alexa, Google, or Siri for help on any given day. Think about the push for more accessibly designed websites that work more effectively with devices such as screen readers. Then think about whether these things are coming into play during the design and development process.

They should be.

It is more important than ever to integrate voice UX into your design process.

What Is Universal Design? Everything You Need to Know

Business / 23 Sep 2021

What Is Universal Design? Everything You Need to Know

Universal Design is not new, but the conversations around it are reinvigorated in an effort to create more accessible and equitable design projects.

The concept isn’t specific to websites or printed creative work, it extends to every field of design.

Universal design is rooted in a set of core principles that – when used as a foundation for creative work – can help you design in a way that helps minimize the need for assistive technology and makes products more usable by everyone, not just people with disabilities.

What Is a Web Design Proposal? (And How to Write One)

Business / 22 Sep 2021

What Is a Web Design Proposal? (And How to Write One)

The most successful design projects often start with a successful business foundation. Whether you work on an agency team with other creatives or are a freelancer trying to sell your own products and services a solid web design proposal can help you win clients and set expectations for work.

Here’s everything you need to know about creating a web design proposal that will help you land new clients. We’ll discuss what a web design proposal is, how to write one, and share some helpful templates to get you started fast.

The Design Anatomy of a Good Icon: 10 Tips

Graphics / 20 Sep 2021

The Design Anatomy of a Good Icon: 10 Tips

An icon is a picture, image, or representation of another thing. So if you are looking to create a great icon, it needs to have a visual presence that’s understandable.

There’s more to designing a great icon than just a quick visual element. You have to think about shape, color, usage, and even what device or operating system it might appear on.

Here, we have 10 tips to help you make the most of icon design.

What Is a Pitch Deck? (And How to Make One)

PowerPoint Templates / 17 Sep 2021

What Is a Pitch Deck? (And How to Make One)

It’s a tool that every startup business or entrepreneur needs – a great pitch deck. A pitch deck is a presentation that you’ll use to help explain or showcase your product or service and potentially drives sales or investment. It needs to be polished and professional to do the job well.

Today, we’ll take a look at what a pitch deck is, how to make one, and how to establish a design that will wow people who come in contact with your new business.

We’ll also feature a few stunning pitch deck templates along the way, to help you get started fast.