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.





rates
Business / 26 Sep 2016

Project vs. Hourly Rates: What Should You Choose?

One of the things people always ask me when they realize I’m a freelancer is “how do you know what to charge?” Honestly, I don’t always have the right answer. As any seasoned freelancer knows, estimated rates can sometimes be a game of chance with some jobs bringing in handsome sums while others end up as a loss. (You hope it all evens out in the end.)

So how do you actually charge clients? How do you know what a job is worth so that you are priced competitively and adequately for the work? That’s where the discussion of hourly versus project rates comes in. Here’s a guide to help you make the choice that is best for your business.

ux-delight
UX Design / 21 Sep 2016

7 Tips for Delighting Users With Great UX

A great user experience starts with the designer. You have to imagine and create something that people will want to touch and engage with, time and time again.

Sounds easy, right? The key to delighting users is to think like one. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel with every new design project; use tools and techniques that users like and understand to make the process a little easier and give you more time to focus on other visual elements. Today we’re sharing a few tips to get you focused on this line of thinking!

corner-logo
Graphics / 19 Sep 2016

Design Trend: What’s Up With All Those Tiny Corner Logos?

Have you noticed how small logos seem to be increasingly popular on websites? For a while, it seemed the focus in design was to “make it bigger.” That has shifted — in terms of logo size and placement anyway.

The biggest trend in website design right now is the use of the tiny corner logo. We’re going to break down the trend and look at a few great examples. Maybe you’ll find the inspiration to shrink the logo in your next project. Or maybe you’ll decide to keep it big and bold!

experimental-design
Graphics / 14 Sep 2016

Experiential Design 101: Designing for VR

We may live in a world where many of our design and communication interactions happen via a screen, but information from screens is jumping into the live realm more and more often.

While it might almost sound like something out of a science fiction movie, you will create design elements that live in the space between screens and reality in this lifetime. It’s already starting to happen. Experiential design is the force that will shape how those projects come together and how you create and develop dynamic real-life design elements.

timeless-design
Graphics / 12 Sep 2016

How to Create a Timeless Design: 7 Tips

The best designs never really go out of style. These classics are often rooted deep in design theory and have that certain something that helps them withstand the test of time. You know some of them – brands such as Nike and Coca-Cola have logos, colors and overall design personalities that have stood for decades.

Thankfully, that timeless concept is something you can apply to almost any project. You might not have the same visual recognition as the Swoosh, but you can create an aesthetic that can work for you for years to come. Here’s how to do it.

resume-skills
Business / 5 Sep 2016

10 Skills Every Designer Needs on Their Resume

Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, your resume is an important piece of your digital portfolio. From sites such as LinkedIn to personal portfolio pages such as Behance that showcase your work, glimpses into your design career are everywhere.

You want to control that message to ensure that you are putting the right vibe out there about who you are, the work you do and why (quite frankly) you are a rock star designer. And while a stellar portfolio is a great way to start that conversation, your resume is equally important. It should highlight some of the skills that aren’t as apparent from looking at a few marquee pieces.

(As a bonus the images in this post are of great designer resumes, and templates, from Behance. Make sure to click the links and visit the designer sites to learn more.)

responsive-photo-gallery
Layouts / 31 Aug 2016

7 Tips for Better Responsive Photo Galleries

We all know and understand the importance of designing websites on a responsive platform, right? That applies to images and photo galleries as well.

There’s nothing worse than navigating to a beautiful website and seeing images that just don’t “lock” into place or size properly. It almost leaves you thinking that the designer forgot something, or missed a step.

Today, we’re going to look at seven things you can do in the design process to create better responsive photo galleries. (We’re not talking code here; these are design processes that can help you and the developer, whether they are one and the same or not.)

zoey
Reviews / 29 Aug 2016

Build Your Best Online Store With Zoey

Have you shied away from taking a client’s business online because you weren’t sure how to build the perfect e-commerce website? Were the available tools just not quite right?

Zoey solves those problems. The all-in-one e-commerce website design tool can help anyone – particularly agencies, designers or junior developers – get a complex store online with no coding knowledge required. The tools help you navigate all the ins and outs of creating a storefront, product listings and even secure checkout without having to invest a lot of extra time in training or specialized tools. With Zoey, it’s all included! Here’s a look at how Zoey works.

website-layout-ideas
Layouts / 24 Aug 2016

5 Website Layout Ideas That Never Get Old

There’s always that moment at the beginning of a website design project where you think “where do I start?” You’ll battle the desire to create something totally different and new versus something tested and reliable.

Realistically, there are a few layouts that just never get old. These patterns are generally accepted by users, easy to understand and provide a solid framework for pretty much any design and content type. Here, we’ll look at these five “timeless” website layouts and how to make the most of them for your next project.

site-building-tools
Business / 22 Aug 2016

Pros and Cons of Using Site Building Tools

Everywhere you look, there’s an ad for a different website building tool. These do-it-yourself options can be a quick and easy way to get a website online in no time, but they aren’t for every type of project.

Services such as Weebly, Squarespace and Wix (just to name a few) come with packaged website templates and tools that anyone can use to create a blog, online storefront, portfolio or any other type of website quickly and without having to hire a developer. There’s good reason these tools are growing in popularity, but they are not for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons today!

freelance-negotiations
Business / 16 Aug 2016

5 Tips for Better Freelance Negotiations

Every freelancer needs to master and practice the art of negotiation. From clients that want to haggle over process, to talking someone into a specific style of design or interface style for a project, working on your own involves constant negotiation.

Some of us are more adept at negotiating than others. But even if it is not a natural talent for you, there are some ways to beef up your skills so you feel more confident entering these discussions with clients.

web-design-courses
Inspiration / 15 Aug 2016

10 of the Best Design Courses for Beginners

Today, learning to code is easier than ever, thanks to all the courses you can find online. The problem is, there are so many learning platforms out there, finding good courses can be a little overwhelming! But, don’t worry, we’ve here to help.

One particularly helpful provider is Skillshare — a online learning platform where you can learn to code from high quality instructors, but still on a budget. It’s a community-based learning platform for creatives. With over 1.7 million students and over 7,000 courses, this platform has quickly grown up to be one of the best places to learn new skills in a short time.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an expert looking to learn new skills, we’ve collected 15 amazing web design courses on Skillshare that you can learn to take your design skills to the next level.

Plus, for a limited time, you can get three months of access to Skillshare Premium for just $0.99