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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.

The Best Black Friday Deal Yet: UX Design Education

Reviews / 27 Nov 2019

The Best Black Friday Deal Yet: UX Design Education

There’s a trend this holiday season to opt-out of a lot of the chaos and consider alternative gifts that have more meaning or create greater experiences. To choose something that can benefit yourself, serve a bigger purpose, and not just be another gadget that’ll wind up in the trash six months from now.

The gift of a UX education fits perfectly for anyone with a design background. The Interaction Design Foundation is offering a stellar Black Friday deal with 25% off UX courses for Design Shack readers.

It’s the perfect way to choose to spend money on something meaningful, that will bring you long-term value.

Want to know more about what you can give (or get) with this deal? Read on.

How to Add Music & Audio to Google Slides

Google Slides Themes / 25 Nov 2019

How to Add Music & Audio to Google Slides

Spice up presentations in Google Slides by adding audio or music files to your deck. Audio can be an engaging way to connect with the audience and keep them interested in the information on the screen.

The biggest consideration when it comes to using music or audio files for a presentation is to make sure you have permission to use sound files. You can create your own, buy licensed sound, or find audio with an open, creative commons license.

That’s not what we’re going to focus on here. This guide is to help you, step-by-step, add music or audio files to Google Slides.

What Is Figma? a 101 Intro

Figma Templates / 20 Nov 2019

What Is Figma? a 101 Intro

Figma is a cloud-based design and prototyping tool for digital projects. It’s made so that users can collaborate on projects and work pretty much anywhere.

While this tool looks a lot like other prototyping options, the key differentiator is the ability to work with teams on projects. To date, Figma is probably the best-suited option available.

Here’s a look at Figma, and how this tool might be beneficial for your projects and workflows.

What Is an Icon Font? (And How to Use One)

Font Collections / 18 Nov 2019

What Is an Icon Font? (And How to Use One)

Icon fonts are a popular solution to a common CSS problem; how to incorporate web icons into your website design in an efficient, fast-loading way.

With plenty of services available to make choosing and using an icon font easy, you don’t have to create your own from scratch. Icon fonts are all over the internet.

But what exactly is an icon font? And how do you use them? Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about icon fonts.

How to Make a Brochure on Microsoft Word (Using a Template)

Brochure Templates / 13 Nov 2019

How to Make a Brochure on Microsoft Word (Using a Template)

Did you know you can make a brochure using a common tool such as Microsoft Word? It’s actually a really capable tool for brochure design, for creating a high-quality, professional outcome.

With a good template, you can turn a simple Word document into a carefully designed brochure that you can get printed or push as a PDF online.

Here, we’ll walk through the steps using a template that you can download from Envato Elements.

You can use what you learn for any type of brochure, using Microsoft Word – a tool you’re already familiar with! Whether you’re looking for a tri-fold, A5, or larger brochure, these steps will work for any type of design.

What Is Adobe XD? a 101 Intro

Adobe XD Templates / 13 Nov 2019

What Is Adobe XD? a 101 Intro

Adobe’s UX design tool seems to be picking up speed. Have you tried Adobe XD yet? The tool is part of the design giant’s suite of software. It meets a need that was being filled by other tools such as Sketch and Figma. But thanks to Adobe’s large customer base, XD is proving itself a viable option.

Here, we’ll look at what Adobe XD is – and isn’t – to help you figure out if this tool might be worth exploring.

Whether you’re already sold on Adobe XD and want to learn more, or you’re weighing it up against the pros and cons of other tools, we’ll give you a helpful introduction to make the decision easy.

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

Sketch Templates / 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 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?