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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 Golden Ratio in Design: Examples & Tips

Layouts / 28 May 2021

The Golden Ratio in Design: Examples & Tips

This might feel like a math lesson but hang in there. The golden ratio combines a little bit of math, a little bit of nature, and a lot of practical application for designers. Let’s take a look at what the golden ratio means for design, and a few tips for using it in your design projects.

The golden ratio has been used throughout history to create design elements that have an ideal visual appeal. Because the shape is rooted in nature and mathematics, it’s the perfect combination of balance and harmony. And it’s a superb tool to have up your sleeve as a designer.

Pros and Cons of the “No Code” Movement

Business / 27 May 2021

Pros and Cons of the “No Code” Movement

There are a lot of people touting the value of “no code” website design right now.

Some of these people are companies that have built no code or low code website builders that are designed for small businesses and those that want a quick website.

Bigger platforms are starting to show some no code/low code elements. You could even argue that WordPress blocks are in this style of website design. Depending on your needs, you might be aligned with a no-code website build.

Here, we’re going to examine the no code movement and the pros and cons that come along with it.

SlideSalad: A Marketplace for Premium Presentation Templates

Reviews / 25 May 2021

SlideSalad: A Marketplace for Premium Presentation Templates

Why create a PowerPoint from scratch when you can jumpstart projects with a stellar presentation template?

SlideSalad offers a wide selection of premium templates in an online marketplace that you can browse and find just what you need.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of the different premium presentation templates you can find to see if this tool can work for you.

Read on!

8 Ways to Design Clever Error Messages

Accessibility / 24 May 2021

8 Ways to Design Clever Error Messages

Question: What happens when someone gets lost on your website or when someone stumbles upon a bad link or missing content?

Answer: They get to see your 404 page.

Now here’s the real question: Is that 404 page a well-designed Easter egg that will help users on their journey or did you forget to add design or informational elements?

Clever error messages and 404 pages are a website design art form. Some designers sneak these little nuggets in, to surprise and delight users. One thing is common, good error microcopy and design can actually help users connect with the content when they might otherwise bounce, making it important to use this element to your advantage.

Border Design: 8 Tips & Modern Examples

Graphics / 21 May 2021

Border Design: 8 Tips & Modern Examples

Graphic designers have been using borders for as long as they have been designing things. And they’re a fun element to play with. We’re taking a look at eight border design concepts (most of them you can actually download as project starters), along with tips for usage and some examples that you can try in projects.

Sometimes a great border can help separate your design for other elements, such as around the perimeter of an ad. Other times, a border can serve as an element to help break up different parts of a design, or frame messaging or content.

While borders are most frequently thought about in terms of print design, they can be a valuable digital design tool as well. A good border defines a space so that users know where a design begins and ends. (Pretty simple, right?)

7 Elements of a Highly Usable Landing Page

UX Design / 17 May 2021

7 Elements of a Highly Usable Landing Page

A highly usable landing page design is one that compels visitors to act in some way.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

Many websites include multiple landing pages for different audiences with different conversion goals. Here are seven elements that almost every successful landing page includes.

Just for fun, we are using examples of landing pages from different music streaming services for you to compare.

How to Install & Apply a Lightroom Preset

Lightroom Presets / 14 May 2021

How to Install & Apply a Lightroom Preset

Whether you are a photographer or designer with a need to edit photos, Adobe Lightroom can be a great tool. Designed for photo editing, it allows batch work that can be cumbersome in programs such as Photoshop.

One of the most popular elements of Lightroom are the number of presets available. These tools within the tool are super filters that allow you to enhance photos, add creative effects and add functionality to your design workflow. If you’ve used any Adobe product, the feel of Lightroom is familiar and easy to learn. Get started by installing and using a few cool presets. Here’s how to do it.

25+ Stylish Resume Color Schemes for 2021

CV & Resume Templates / 10 May 2021

25+ Stylish Resume Color Schemes for 2021

Resume design can be a funny thing. Where’s the line between too little color and too much? We’re featuring 20+ resume color schemes (with stunning examples) to help give you some ideas.

Personally, I believe it is a balance between showing off your personality and design style in relation to the job you are applying for. So, you might have a couple of resume designs, depending on who you are sending them to.

Another factor is printing. Are you going with a design that requires professional printing or are you doing it yourself? Think about all these things as you peruse these stylish resume color schemes for inspiration. (Note: Mixes are provided in HEX, but if you plan to print, make sure to use CMYK color.)

30+ Inspiring Personal Portfolio Websites in 2021

Inspiration / 7 May 2021

30+ Inspiring Personal Portfolio Websites in 2021

I just love digging around portfolio websites for design inspiration. You can learn so much about the personality of a designer from the way a portfolio looks, and the interactions therein.

A portfolio site is also a great playground because it gives you the creative freedom you can’t always express with a normal client project.

Here, we have a roundup of personal portfolio websites that can impart a dose of instant inspiration. Explore new ideas, design trends, and themes that you can take and use in your own projects.

The New Rules of Minimal Design: Best Practices, Examples, and Tips

Minimalist Graphic Design / 6 May 2021

The New Rules of Minimal Design: Best Practices, Examples, and Tips

While there is nothing new about minimalism as a design trend, the application and techniques are ever-evolving.

Some of the most notable changes with modern minimal designs are the use of space, color, and typography treatments. These design elements can make the overall aesthetic seem new and fresh or show a more dated style.

Here, we’ve put together a guide on how to do minimal design right with some best practices, examples, and tips for creating a modern feel.

Let’s dive in!

IPWhoIs: A Fast IP Geolocation API

Reviews / 4 May 2021

IPWhoIs: A Fast IP Geolocation API

Geolocation features are a growing element in website and app design, providing a more robust user experience.

IPWhoIs is a geolocation API that can help you deliver the right content to the right users by determining their location.

The API makes it easy for you to add this feature and create more relevant and customized options for website visitors. Here’s a look at the tool and how you can make it work for you.

10 Things Every Email Newsletter Design Needs: Best Practices

Web Standards / 3 May 2021

10 Things Every Email Newsletter Design Needs: Best Practices

There’s an art to crafting the perfect email newsletter design.

It’s a combination of visual presentation and just the right words. It’s delivering quality content in a way that resonates with subscribers and generates opens so that your messages avoid the spam box.

A few email design best practices can help you find inbox success and generate greater conversions for this type of targeted messaging.

And if you need some help, each of the email design examples here is available as a downloadable template.