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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.

Create Banner Ads Online With Bannersnack

Reviews / 1 Mar 2019

Create Banner Ads Online With Bannersnack

Building banner ads doesn’t have to be a chore. From static ads to animated HTML5 banner ads, Bannersnack is a tool that allows you to create quick and visually appealing ads for any application.

Here, we’re going to look at this tool and how you can make the most of creating stunning banner ads in just a few minutes with Bannersnack.

Forget firing up Photoshop, figuring out ad dimensions, and starting from scratch. This is a new way of approaching the whole process.

How to Create Your Own Stock Photos With Photo Creator

Reviews / 1 Mar 2019

How to Create Your Own Stock Photos With Photo Creator

The problem with stock photos has always been that they are never quite what you envision. The new Photo Creator tool from Icons8 solves that dilemma.

This neat tool actually allows you to create stock photos with elements that you can choose, move, and place inside a basic scene.

The result is a “semi-stock” photo that does exactly what you need to tell a story in your design project. Here’s how it works, and how to use it to create a stock photo that perfectly fits your needs.

10 Unique + Innovative Website Layout Ideas

Layouts / 27 Feb 2019

10 Unique + Innovative Website Layout Ideas

The idea has been floating around for a while – web design has a sameness that’s just kind of boring. Let’s dive into some unique and innovative website layouts that can break the mold!

Blame user patterns, too many projects for too few designers, or just the desire of clients to have their site looks like something they’ve already seen and understand. But all is not lost. Even though some people are snoozing at what’s out there, designers are still experimenting and having fun with website design.

Today, we’ll break the routine and dive into ten website designs that feature unique or innovative ideas. If nothing else, it should break you out of any creative rut you might be having.

Need a Logo Fast? Try Logobee

Reviews / 25 Feb 2019

Need a Logo Fast? Try Logobee

Rush jobs. We all know how they can sneak up on us as designers. The real pickle is one of those rush jobs includes a logo. Logobee provides a quick tool to help designers – and even beginners – create a quick, simple logo in just a few minutes.

Here’s a look at the tool so you can decide if it will work for you.

We’ll walk you through the features, how to use it, and explain where and when it can be helpful for designers and non-designers alike.

5 New CSS Techniques to Master in 2019

CSS / 25 Feb 2019

5 New CSS Techniques to Master in 2019

Web designers are fascinated with ways to try new CSS techniques and push the boundaries of what CSS can do. Well-planned CSS can control almost any aspect of a design, and contribute to better overall user experiences—with cleaner and more consistent code.

But what techniques are trending? What should you learn next? We have a few ideas for the latest developments to watch this year. Dive in, see what’s hot, and try some of these new CSS tips and techniques to give your next project an exciting edge.

15 Tips to Improve Your UX Writing

UX Design / 20 Feb 2019

15 Tips to Improve Your UX Writing

There are so many micro elements that are a big deal with it comes to user experience design. A lot of focus has been put on micro-interactions and engagements, but what about micro-copy?

UX writing is a big deal. The words, language, and composition of sentences and phrases throughout a design can make it or break it. (Think about how many times you’ve turned away from a website or app because directions were unclear, or a typo made you angry.)

Today’s the day you should vow to improve your UX writing. It’ll make your website or app better. And it’ll definitely make users happier. Here are a few ways to do it.

10 Web Design Trends to Watch in 2019

Trends / 18 Feb 2019

10 Web Design Trends to Watch in 2019

The average life of a website is three years. And design elements – such as color and typography – often get updated more frequently than that. That’s why it is so important to keep up with web design trends.

Doing this allows you to make small tweaks to your design today so that it won’t be out of date tomorrow. So which web design trends do you need to be on the look-out for this year?

This guide will help you create an on-point design plan for 2019!

50 Best Website Color Schemes of 2019

Trends / 13 Feb 2019

50 Best Website Color Schemes of 2019

Does it ever seem like certain website color schemes just get all the attention? As with every other aspect of web design, there are color schemes that tend to trend more than others. Bright colors, stark palettes, and even some mismatching schemes are elements of color that are trending.

Here’s a look at some of the best website color schemes of 2019 (in no particular order). For each, we’re also sharing the color codes that make up the key elements of the design, so it’s easy to play around with these color schemes yourself too!

8 Top Graphic Design Trends of 2019

Trends / 11 Feb 2019

8 Top Graphic Design Trends of 2019

What’s hot in graphic design? One of the things people always want to talk to me about is graphic design trends. Here’s a recap of the top graphic design trends of 2018, plus a little preview of what’s likely on the horizon for 2019.

It’s such an interesting topic because there are trends that change slowly over time – just look at the long evolution of flat design to where we are now – and others that seem to flip overnight. Should you always rush to use the latest graphic design trends in your work? Of course not. But it’s helpful to pick up new ideas, find inspiration, and see what types of techniques and styles are shaping your industry.

Portfolio Design Trends in 2019

Trends / 6 Feb 2019

Portfolio Design Trends in 2019

When was the last time you updated your design portfolio? (If you’re like me, it’s probably been a while.) Maintaining a fresh portfolio is a good way to show off your skills to potential clients and can be helpful when looking back on work for annual contest entries.

If you’ve fallen behind with your portfolio design, or just need a new portfolio in general, this is a great opportunity to create something using trendy techniques and visuals.

A modern portfolio using design trends can make a great impression. A portfolio is also a representation of your skills — so design wisely! Here’s a look at some of our favorite portfolio design trends for 2019.

7 Tips for Sending Better Email Newsletters

Business / 4 Feb 2019

7 Tips for Sending Better Email Newsletters

Email marketing is one of the top ways to communicate with an audience. You can inform users with stories and information, send discounts and coupons to encourage shopping, and help direct traffic back to your website.

But not every email newsletter is created equally. My inbox is just as full of poorly designed messages as ones that I’ll actually read. With so much inbox clutter, designing an email that will stand out—and is easy to read—increases your chances of success. (Open rates hover in the teens to 20 percent range for many industries, so you have to work hard.)

Starting with a well-designed email newsletter is the start. Here are seven tips for sending better emails, that more users (hopefully) will look forward to opening.

9 Tips for Speeding Up Your Website in 2019

Business / 30 Jan 2019

9 Tips for Speeding Up Your Website in 2019

It’s not a trick question: is your website fast enough? Page load times can impact everything from how long users stay on your site (or if they see the content), to search rank and overall conversions.

Speed matters on two fronts – for desktop and mobile devices – with mobile speed mattering more than ever. Not only does your website have to load fast; it needs to load fast everywhere.

So how do you do it? Start by running a Google PageSpeed test to see where your site ranks (you’ll get a few suggestions for speeding up your site there as well). Then, start making these tweaks to make your website lightning fast this year.