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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.

Favicon Examples, Best Practices and Techniques

Graphics / 11 Nov 2019

Favicon Examples, Best Practices and Techniques

Do you ever pay attention to those tiny icons at the tops of browser tabs? How about when you save a shortcut to a website or page online? Those tiny images, or favicons, are designed especially for that purpose.

There’s a pretty distinct difference between what makes for a good or bad tiny icon. You’d be forgiven for thinking that design decisions at the tiny scale matter less. But a poorly designed favicon can reflect badly on your brand.

Today we’re looking at what these icons are, basic design techniques for them, and the specs you’ll need to follow.

How + Why to Use a Website Wireframe Template

Graphics / 6 Nov 2019

How + Why to Use a Website Wireframe Template

Wireframing is one of those design processes that happens organically and intentionally. How many times have you sketched an idea during a meeting? How many times have you created a presentable wireframe for a client meeting?

Both types of wireframes are equally important parts of the design and iteration process.

The latter takes a little more effort to create, and that’s where a wireframe template comes in. Here’s everything you need to know about using them effectively, and how they can help to save you time, improve the quality of your wireframes, and help you get your ideas down in a physical format.

Designers, Get Your Custom Domain at Hover

Reviews / 5 Nov 2019

Designers, Get Your Custom Domain at Hover

Looking for a way to make your design portfolio – or any other website, for that matter – stand out? A custom, top-level domain is the start.

Hover is a leading provider of domains and mailbox services for you or your small business.

You can snag a new domain or transfer an existing one to their platform.

Not sure how to get started? Here’s everything you need to know about Hover and the services and tools they provide for individuals and businesses.

Adobe XD vs. Sketch: Pros + Cons

Software / 4 Nov 2019

Adobe XD vs. Sketch: Pros + Cons

Get a bunch of designers in one room and one of the biggest topics of conversation is tools. What are you using to create, mockup, and showcase your work?

Two of the most popular options for digital projects are Adobe XD and Sketch. While Sketch has been around for almost a decade, Adobe’s offering is newer to the market, but quickly gaining favor among designers.

Today, we’re going to look at both tools with a comparison of Adobe XD versus Sketch and the pros and cons of each.

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

Business / 31 Oct 2019

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.

What Is Modern UI Design? 10 Tips & Examples

Trends / 30 Oct 2019

What Is Modern UI Design? 10 Tips & Examples

Chances are that you might not be able to list the aesthetics of a modern user interface, but you sure know when you land on a website that doesn’t use one. It just feels dated.

Modern UI design helps establish credibility for your website or brand because it has a style that fits what most people to be a current visual aesthetic. This might include visual trends, adapting to usability standards and patterns, and using development techniques that are appropriate for today’s users.

Here, we’re going to look at elements that you’ll find in modern user interfaces. Hopefully, most of these examples seem pretty familiar, but if not, it might be time to plan a little web refresh.

Serpstack: Search Result Data Made Easy

Reviews / 28 Oct 2019

Serpstack: Search Result Data Made Easy

Collecting real-time and accurate search results just got a whole lot easier with the serpstack API. The lightning-fast JSON REST API pulls search data.

serpstack was built by parent company apilayer out of an in-house need to keep track of search engine positioning with ease. That grew into what is one of the most trusted SERP APIs on the market.

Here’s a look at the tool and how you can make it work for you?

The Art of Website UI Button Design: 10 Trends & Tips

Trends / 28 Oct 2019

The Art of Website UI Button Design: 10 Trends & Tips

Great button design is something that most website users never think about… because when it works well, it’s almost invisible. The best buttons are easy to click or tap, have an obvious function, and help users interact with the design without thinking.

It’s a fairly simple formula, but it can be hard to design if you leave it as an afterthought.

Today, we’re looking at trends in button design, plus a few tips to help you design a UI button that people click over and over again. Give your button design a boost with these tips, trends, and ideas to spark inspiration.

Passive Income for Designers: 5 Tips to Get Started

Business / 23 Oct 2019

Passive Income for Designers: 5 Tips to Get Started

Passive income is money that you keep earning on a product or service with little or no maintenance. While it takes some work to get started, a plan for generating passive income can be a great supplement to a designer’s revenue stream.

There are plenty of things you can do – create an e-book or t-shirt design; sell UI kits, themes, or design elements; develop an online course; join an affiliate program, or provide hosting services for website clients.

But how do you get started? Here are five tips to help you turn your passive income idea into a revenue-generating reality.

8 Trends for Pairing Fonts in 2019

Trends / 21 Oct 2019

8 Trends for Pairing Fonts in 2019

Trends in typography seem to evolve more quickly than many other design trends. For a long time, website designers stuck to font palettes packed with sans serif typefaces. But that feels like ancient history now!

Today’s range and variety of web fonts make for much more interesting design possibilities, font pairings, and visual themes.

We’re taking a look at eight trends for pairing fonts with a beautiful example of each, covering a wide range of font families and aesthetics.

How to Make a Flyer for an Event (Using a Template)

Graphics / 16 Oct 2019

How to Make a Flyer for an Event (Using a Template)

Event flyers can be fun projects that give you a little more freedom with your design. Many events come with a design style of their own, providing ample opportunity to bend or break some of your brand rules.

The downside to event flyer design is that it often comes with tight turnarounds. So how do you make a flyer for an event quickly, that is designed well?

Start with a template. Here, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to create an event flyer from a template, from thinking about content to preparing the file for printing. We’re going to use a template from Envato Elements.

10 Tips for Using (And Choosing) an Email Newsletter Template

HTML / 14 Oct 2019

10 Tips for Using (And Choosing) an Email Newsletter Template

You probably know that email newsletters can be one of the most effective methods of reaching people who want to connect with your organization or brand.

An email newsletter template can help you jumpstart the process with a semi-custom design with a visual dynamic that will keep subscribers clicking.

If you’ve never used an email template, they aren’t difficult to get to grips with. The toughest part might be choosing a design that you can customize easily and effectively.

Here are our tips for getting started!