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  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.

Level Up With a Free .design Domain Name!

Reviews / 9 Mar 2021

Level Up With a Free .design Domain Name!

Stand out with a domain name that tells people exactly what you do. Free .design domain names are available now from Porkbun, and can help set your brand apart.

Grab one of these top-level domains today – pair it with your name or business name to make it easy to remember.

Here’s how to get started for free, and pick up your first .design domain in just a few easy steps!

10+ Tips for Modern, Pro Page Layout Designs in Microsoft Word

Software / 8 Mar 2021

10+ Tips for Modern, Pro Page Layout Designs in Microsoft Word

If you are ready to amp up your designs in Microsoft Word, this is the right place. Here – with templates as examples – we are going to look at a variety of ways you can create more modern, professional-looking page layout designs using this common tool.

Microsoft Word is capable of so much more than you might expect with page layout. You can build modern, on-trend documents, and push the software further than ever before.

Forget the old days of Word Art and choosing between six fonts. Let’s take Microsoft Word into a new world of improved design and typography!

20 Stylish PowerPoint Color Schemes

PowerPoint Templates / 1 Mar 2021

20 Stylish PowerPoint Color Schemes

Color is an element that can make or break a design, and that rule holds true for presentation design as well. Choosing the right PowerPoint color scheme is super-important.

But there’s one extra thing to consider – where your presentation will be given. A PowerPoint presentation can look quite different on a computer or tablet versus on a projected screen.

When it comes to selecting a PowerPoint color scheme, this is an important consideration. Today we’ve rounded up more than 20 stylish PowerPoint color schemes as inspiration. While darker color schemes might look great close-up on screens, opt for lighter backgrounds (for enhanced readability) for projected presentations.

Note: The last color in each scheme is for the slide background.

What Is Affinity Publisher? a 101 Intro (+ vs. InDesign Comparison)

Affinity Publisher Templates / 26 Feb 2021

What Is Affinity Publisher? a 101 Intro (+ vs. InDesign Comparison)

Designers working with desktop publishing may want to take a look at Affinity Publisher. The tool, which is now available for Mac and Windows platforms, is emerging as a powerful and flexible design option.

The tool is part of the Serif line of graphic design products, which also includes Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer, both super-capable platforms in their own right.

Here’s a look at Affinity Publisher and how it compares to a tool you may already be familiar with – Adobe InDesign.

How to Do a Giveaway on Instagram (+ Rules, Ideas and Tips)

Instagram Templates / 22 Feb 2021

How to Do a Giveaway on Instagram (+ Rules, Ideas and Tips)

Designing a giveaway or contest on Instagram can be fun, increase engagement, and help boost your presence online. But it’s more than just asking people to tag a friend to win a prize.

A great giveaway takes planning, a prize that’s worth people’s time, and an understanding of the rules to maintain the integrity of your social media account (that’s the really important part, to make sure you stay on the right side of the guidelines).

Here’s how to do a giveaway on Instagram!

SEO for UX Designers: Ideas to Incorporate Into Every Project

UX Design / 18 Feb 2021

SEO for UX Designers: Ideas to Incorporate Into Every Project

Almost everyone you talk to is interested in search engine optimization. And for good reason: You want as many people to see your website as possible and find it in relevant search results.

But did you know that user experience can be one of the most important factors that contribute to SEO and overall search rank? So, you have to start thinking about it at the design and development level or you’ll never get ahead of the SEO game.

Here, we’ve got a few ideas that UX designers can incorporate into every project to help boost search.

10 Tips for Presenting Designs to Clients to Keep Projects Moving Forward

Business / 16 Feb 2021

10 Tips for Presenting Designs to Clients to Keep Projects Moving Forward

It’s a common part of the job – presenting design work to clients. Practice doing it well so you can keep projects moving in the right direction and toward the finish line.

If you need a little push, these tips can help. We’ll be looking at how to lay the groundwork, approach challenging topics, clearly show your solution, and weave a narrative with your client.

Let’s dive in!

5 Tips for Boosting Your Domain Authority With SEO

Web Standards / 11 Feb 2021

5 Tips for Boosting Your Domain Authority With SEO

With so many factors contributing to search engine optimization and rank, there’s almost too many things to do. A strong domain authority can help you establish a better presence online with search and it starts with optimizations you can make on your website.

Before you get too excited, remember that boosting search rankings is a long-game, and domain authority is just one piece of the puzzle. But it can be quite relevant and is a part of website best practices.

Domain authority and SEO have a symbiotic relationship and boosting one is also good for the other. Here are five methods you can deploy.

How to Diversify as a Creative Freelancer

Freelancing / 8 Feb 2021

How to Diversify as a Creative Freelancer

If the last year has taught us anything as freelancers, it is that diversification is a good thing.

Different income streams can help mitigate losses in other areas and provide multiple avenues for leads and new work. And while most of us know we need to diversify, are you actually doing it?

Getting started with new projects or income streams does take some work and planning, but it can be a worthwhile investment in yourself.

Let’s look at some ways – and things you can do – to diversify yourself as a creative freelancer.

Design Trend: Text That’s Not Readable

Trends / 4 Feb 2021

Design Trend: Text That’s Not Readable

Let’s start with a definition. Readability is a measure of how easy a piece of text is to read. The level of complexity of the text, its familiarity, legibility, and typography all feed into how readable your text is. Readability is a key factor in user experience.

Why would we ever showcase a design trend that features text that’s not readable? Simply, because it is popular. Does it mean that it’s a good idea? It… depends!

You can read on, look at the examples, and decide if it is right for your projects.

Microinteractions Are Growing Up: How to Design Them in 2021

UX Design / 1 Feb 2021

Microinteractions Are Growing Up: How to Design Them in 2021

Microinteractions aren’t a new concept in UX design, but they keep getting more impressive. We’ve been talking about microinteractions here at Design Shack for a while because they are so vital to the overall success of web projects.

Microinteractions are those tiny details that turn an ordinary user experience into something more memorable and engaging. The little things that surprise and delight, adding a layer of enjoyable UX to your app or website.

Here’s a look at how designers are using microinteractions in 2021 with examples of how this design technique has grown up.

How to Use Website Personalization (Without the Creep Factor)

UX Design / 26 Jan 2021

How to Use Website Personalization (Without the Creep Factor)

Website personalization can help you create more amazing user experiences or turn into a total creep-fest. It’s all about how you use data, cookies, and other useful information to design something that’s of greater value to the person who sees it.

There’s a very fine line between outstanding and out of bounds, and most of it comes down to respecting your visitor’s privacy and expectations.

Here are a few ways to use website personalization and delight users without being (too) creepy.