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.





price-list
Business / 11 Jul 2016

Do You Need a Price Sheet? (Pros and Cons)

One of the biggest questions for any design freelancer is “what should I charge?” The second question is “should I publish a price list for potential clients?”

The answer to the first question includes a lot of variables, and only you can determine what a fair market rate is for the quality and scope of work you do in the market where you do business. In terms of the second question, a price sheet can provide a starting point between freelancers and clients. Today, we’ll look at the pros and cons of publishing a price sheet so you can decide if that’s the right option for you!

nike-logo
Business / 5 Jul 2016

How to Design a Minimal Logo That Works

It doesn’t get much more minimal than that classic Nike Swoosh. The design is simple, iconic and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t know what it stands for. The logo is the company.

And it’s so minimalistic. That same concept is trending again in logo design. Minimal logos are the “in” thing from brand marks to badges on website home pages. Whether you have a logo or not, there are plenty of great ways to incorporate this minimal logo style into your design work.

ui-mistakes
Mobile / 4 Jul 2016

Don’t Make These 10 Mistakes in Your App Design

No matter what type of app you are creating, have created, or plan to create, design mistakes can be lethal when it comes to adoption and usage. Users want to download apps that are fun, functional and offer value during multiple uses. Users also want apps that are aesthetically pleasing and don’t require a lot of effort to interact with.

The problem for designers is that sometimes we are so close to a project that we miss glaring mistakes in design and usability because we know how it works. Today, we’re going to help you make a mental checklist of mistakes to look for and avoid in app design.

rindle
Reviews / 28 Jun 2016

Stay Completely Organized With Rindle

Designers and freelancers of all types often have one thing in common: the need for tools to streamline workflows and stay organized. So there’s always a bit of excitement surrounding new tools that can help you do just that.

Rindle, which is currently in private beta, is one of those tools. What sets it apart from the pack is that it is built to work with many of the apps you are already using to streamline daily tasks and keep you on track. Here’s a look at how it works.

whimsy
Graphics / 27 Jun 2016

Design Trend: Incorporating Whimsy

Whimsy: capricious humor or disposition; extravagant, fanciful, or excessively playful expression. Adding a touch of whimsy to a project is an easy, and fun, way to lighten up the mood of the design.

From small elements to a full-scale whimsical design, these touches can draw in users because of their simple charm. Whimsy is most often associated with more feminine projects and common for designs that focus on children, but that’s not always the case. Many of the trendier retro styles that have been growing in popularity also incorporate a distinct sense of whimsy. Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate whimsy into your projects.

bushel
Reviews / 24 Jun 2016

Bushel: A Better Way to Manage Your Apple Devices

Managing devices is one of those business problems that you don’t hear a lot about. But how do you keep up with all your Apple devices across your agency or business? Do you know which users have what equipment and apps?

Bushel is a tool that makes this inventory process that much simpler. It is a cloud-based Mobile Device Management solution for the iPads, iPhones and Macs in your workplace. Bushel makes device management accessible and affordable for everyone, so businesses can support their users without help from IT. Here’s a look at how it works.

efficient-designer
Freelancing / 21 Jun 2016

How to Become a Faster, More Efficient Designer

It seems like the demand to get more work done (and in less time) is a constant battle. For freelancers, juggling client needs and deadlines can be tough. It can make you question whether it is possible to become a faster, more efficient designer.

Chances are that you can. There are time sucks lurking around every corner when you work as a freelancer and identifying these traps can help you avoid them and work more efficiently. You can also learn to better use available tools and shortcuts to maximize your time. Here are a few ways to do it.

design-school
Business / 13 Jun 2016

7 Things You Didn’t Learn in Design School (but Use Every Day)

So many of the skills that get you through a day on the job weren’t things you necessarily learned in the classroom. From working with other people, to tools, to listening to your gut, there are a lot of skills that you develop along the way.

Whether you came up through design school or are more of a self-taught designer, there are a lot of things you probably didn’t formally learn (but know and use every day). If you are still in school or thinking about going into a design-related field, you’re in luck because you can start thinking about these things now. It’s never too late to learn and expand your marketability. (As a bonus, this post is filled with every day projects from the Design Shack Gallery; go check them out.)

invoicely
Business / 9 Jun 2016

Billing Is a Breeze With Invoicely

While one of the best parts of the job for a small business or freelancer is getting paid, one of the worst parts is the paperwork you have to do ahead of that payment. If you are still creating manual invoices, it might be time to look at a cloud-based system that can help you keep track of clients and streaming invoicing.

Invoicely is a powerful online invoicing tool that many small businesses can use for free. The software has been used to send more than 2 million invoices in the past 30 days. Today we’re going to take a look at how it works, and decide if it’s a good solution for your freelancing business!

adobe-portfolio
Reviews / 8 Jun 2016

Showcase Your Work With Adobe Portfolio

Is updating your portfolio a chore? Is it one of those tasks you can never find time to do? Adobe Portfolio might just be the answer.

Adobe’s new portfolio tool – yes, the same Adobe behind industry standard graphic design and editing software – is easy to use and can help you get your work online in short order. Today we’re taking a look at how it works, why it’s a solid contender in this space, and how it can help you build a professional online portfolio.

micro-moments
UX Design / 6 Jun 2016

How to Create Memorable Micro-Moments

How many times a day do you look at your phone? Its a statistic that always amazes me, but the average person looks at their phone 46 times per day.

Every one of those glances is an interaction between the design and the user. These micro-moments are a vital part of the user experience. How an interaction such as a notification or alert works can make the difference between retaining a user and losing one. It’s your job to design these micro-moments in a way that is usable and memorable. Here’s how to do it.

style-guide
Business / 1 Jun 2016

What Needs to Be in Your Style Guide? (And How Do You Enforce It?)

Everyone with a website needs a style guide. It’s that simple. If you’re wanting to instil more consistency in your project, and get everyone on the same page, your style guide will become invaluable.

Now that we have that out of the way, what exactly do you put in that guide? And how do you make sure other people on the team follow the rules so that your visual presence maintains consistency? That’s a little more complicated. Let’s dive into the topic today.