Are you a member? Register or Login

  1. Authors
  2. Carrie Cousins

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.

Design Trend: Soft UI

Trends / 23 Jul 2021

Design Trend: Soft UI

There’s a website and app design trend that’s so subtle you almost don’t see it.

Soft UI creates a frost-style or glassy blur where elements sink and extrude from the background to create varying levels of depth and dimension.

Combine this effect with a softer, more pastel color palette, and the result is a light, “soft” interface with depth in shadows and subtle overall effects.

Here, we’ll look at the trend with examples.

7 Tips to Design and Sell Merchandise Online

Uncategorized / 19 Jul 2021

7 Tips to Design and Sell Merchandise Online

Have you ever started looking for a new shirt or gift and thought, “I could design something so much better than what I see here?”

With a little planning and some good ideas, you can design and sell merchandise online featuring your artwork. It’s gotten easier over time with so many marketplaces available as well as options that don’t require you to order and house a lot of inventory in advance.

If you’ve ever thought about designing and selling merchandise online, keep reading. (Note: The images in this article are from Envato Elements, which has a ton of graphic design assets to help you in the creation of one merchandise.)

7 Tips for a More Gender-Neutral Design

Trends / 15 Jul 2021

7 Tips for a More Gender-Neutral Design

Are your designs as inclusive as they could be? Do they appeal to all people of all genders equally?

While design theory can put a lot of emphasis on creating personas for better user experience and design journeys, they can sometimes not be as inclusive as you might like. Do you get so involved in the persona that you forget every other type of user that might visit your website?

The first step toward a more gender-neutral web, is recognizing common practices and changing the way we think about some of the things we design with every day.

The key to making it actually work is authenticity. You have to believe in gender-neutral messaging for it to actually resonate with website visitors.

Responsive vs. Adaptive Design: Everything You Need to Know

UX Design / 12 Jul 2021

Responsive vs. Adaptive Design: Everything You Need to Know

It’s a no-brainer for most website designers that your finished product needs to look and work on every type and size of device. Gone are the days of creating multiple designs to accomplish the same goal.

It all comes down to choosing a responsive or adaptive design model to achieve a consistent website design at any size.

But what’s the difference between responsive and adaptive? Are they really just the same thing? Let’s take a look and explain everything you need to know.

10 Crucial Elements for Any Website Design

Layouts / 9 Jul 2021

10 Crucial Elements for Any Website Design

While every designer may have a different plan when it comes to building a website, they do have a common checklist. No matter how you try to avoid it, there are a few elements every website should (and usually does!) include.

From plenty of whitespace and great images, to search functionality and clear calls-to-action, these common elements are the things that users expect when it comes to using a site with ease. Today we’re taking a look at ten elements you should prioritise on your website, perfectly designed examples of each, and tips on how to use each in your next website design project. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”

Design Trend: Gaussian Blur

Trends / 8 Jul 2021

Design Trend: Gaussian Blur

It’s the website design trend that you see everywhere but might not have a name for: gaussian blur.

It’s present in several other named trends that have been popular this year and for some time, including the frosted glass effect, creating image depth, bokeh backgrounds, and even for various other background techniques.

Here, we’ll look at this design trend, explore different reasons for deploying it (carefully!), along with examples to help you make the most of it.

Let’s dive in!

An Introduction to Horizontal Scrolling (+ Pros and Cons)

Navigation / 7 Jul 2021

An Introduction to Horizontal Scrolling (+ Pros and Cons)

Horizontal scrolling has come a long way from hero sliders. It’s now simpler to implement, somewhat more acceptable from a UX point of view, and offers plenty of creative opportunity.

A horizontal scrolling technique can be engaging and visually interesting. Conversely, some elements can be missed by users and it can present some accessibility challenges.

Here, we’ll look at everything horizontal scrolling, including pros and cons to help you figure out if this technique is right for your website design projects.

Procreate vs. Photoshop: Should You Make the Switch?

Procreate Brushes / 7 Jul 2021

Procreate vs. Photoshop: Should You Make the Switch?

Designers are in love with Procreate. The app built for creative professionals makes designing on an iPad easier and more efficient in a completely new way. But can a $9.99 app be a realistic Photoshop competitor?

For some, the answer is a definite yes.

Here are five reasons Procreate could become your go-to design app (and five reasons why it might not). Plus, an introduction to what Procreate is, and why it might be the perfect app for you.

How to Use After Effects Templates

After Effects Templates / 25 Jun 2021

How to Use After Effects Templates

Adobe After Effects is a video-based tool that’s used to add elements to moving pictures and animations. Designers use it to create titles, intros, and transitions between video clips to enhance the production value of animations and video projects.

After Effects is one of those tools that’s packed with goodies, including templates that you can use to speed up project workflows. You can create your own templates or find and download them from other sources.

Here, we have a guide to using After Effects so you have everything you need to get started or better use the software.

Looka: An AI-Powered Platform to Design Your Own Logo

Reviews / 24 Jun 2021

Looka: An AI-Powered Platform to Design Your Own Logo

Using artificial intelligence, Looka is an online design tool that can help you create anything from a logo to a full branding suite.

It’s designed to use keywords and a little machine-learning magic to help jumpstart your creative process when you are ready to launch a business or brand now, but don’t have the materials to get started.

Here, we’ll look at Looka and the set of tools that make it a pretty robust platform for quick brand building.

Design Trend: Abstract Art Compositions

Trends / 21 Jun 2021

Design Trend: Abstract Art Compositions

When you don’t know what to use to illustrate a design, the answer might be abstract art.

It’s a growing design trend that – when done well – uses interesting shapes, colors, and combinations to create something that means almost nothing but is visually interesting.

There’s no wonder that designers are using this concept.

For startup websites without photography to designs for companies that aren’t sure how to represent an almost-post-COVID world visually and everything in between, abstract can be a workable choice.

Brochure Design Software: 3 Options Compared

Brochure Templates / 18 Jun 2021

Brochure Design Software: 3 Options Compared

So, you need to design a brochure? Where do you start? We’re comparing three different pieces of brochure design software to see how they stack up.

For web and digital designers creating a printed brochure for the first time, to designers that have been making print pieces for a while, using the right tool can make brochure design a more efficient task.

Choosing the right software, and sticking with it over time, is a sure-fire way to speed up your design workflow.

Adobe tools are the common starting place. Today, we’ll compare using InDesign, Illustrator and Adobe Spark (a free offering) as different options creating a brochure design.

We’ll look at the pros and cons of each (including the cost), and suggest which options are best for different types of brochure design project.