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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.

Responsive vs. Adaptive Design: Everything You Need to Know

UX Design / 12 Jul 2021

Responsive vs. Adaptive Design: Everything You Need to Know

It’s a no-brainer for most website designers that your finished product needs to look and work on every type and size of device. Gone are the days of creating multiple designs to accomplish the same goal.

It all comes down to choosing a responsive or adaptive design model to achieve a consistent website design at any size.

But what’s the difference between responsive and adaptive? Are they really just the same thing? Let’s take a look and explain everything you need to know.

10 Crucial Elements for Any Website Design

Layouts / 9 Jul 2021

10 Crucial Elements for Any Website Design

While every designer may have a different plan when it comes to building a website, they do have a common checklist. No matter how you try to avoid it, there are a few elements every website should (and usually does!) include.

From plenty of whitespace and great images, to search functionality and clear calls-to-action, these common elements are the things that users expect when it comes to using a site with ease. Today we’re taking a look at ten elements you should prioritise on your website, perfectly designed examples of each, and tips on how to use each in your next website design project. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”

Design Trend: Gaussian Blur

Trends / 8 Jul 2021

Design Trend: Gaussian Blur

It’s the website design trend that you see everywhere but might not have a name for: gaussian blur.

It’s present in several other named trends that have been popular this year and for some time, including the frosted glass effect, creating image depth, bokeh backgrounds, and even for various other background techniques.

Here, we’ll look at this design trend, explore different reasons for deploying it (carefully!), along with examples to help you make the most of it.

Let’s dive in!

An Introduction to Horizontal Scrolling (+ Pros and Cons)

Navigation / 7 Jul 2021

An Introduction to Horizontal Scrolling (+ Pros and Cons)

Horizontal scrolling has come a long way from hero sliders. It’s now simpler to implement, somewhat more acceptable from a UX point of view, and offers plenty of creative opportunity.

A horizontal scrolling technique can be engaging and visually interesting. Conversely, some elements can be missed by users and it can present some accessibility challenges.

Here, we’ll look at everything horizontal scrolling, including pros and cons to help you figure out if this technique is right for your website design projects.

Procreate vs. Photoshop: Should You Make the Switch?

Procreate Brushes / 7 Jul 2021

Procreate vs. Photoshop: Should You Make the Switch?

Designers are in love with Procreate. The app built for creative professionals makes designing on an iPad easier and more efficient in a completely new way. But can a $9.99 app be a realistic Photoshop competitor?

For some, the answer is a definite yes.

Here are five reasons Procreate could become your go-to design app (and five reasons why it might not). Plus, an introduction to what Procreate is, and why it might be the perfect app for you.

How to Use After Effects Templates

After Effects Templates / 25 Jun 2021

How to Use After Effects Templates

Adobe After Effects is a video-based tool that’s used to add elements to moving pictures and animations. Designers use it to create titles, intros, and transitions between video clips to enhance the production value of animations and video projects.

After Effects is one of those tools that’s packed with goodies, including templates that you can use to speed up project workflows. You can create your own templates or find and download them from other sources.

Here, we have a guide to using After Effects so you have everything you need to get started or better use the software.

Looka: An AI-Powered Platform to Design Your Own Logo

Reviews / 24 Jun 2021

Looka: An AI-Powered Platform to Design Your Own Logo

Using artificial intelligence, Looka is an online design tool that can help you create anything from a logo to a full branding suite.

It’s designed to use keywords and a little machine-learning magic to help jumpstart your creative process when you are ready to launch a business or brand now, but don’t have the materials to get started.

Here, we’ll look at Looka and the set of tools that make it a pretty robust platform for quick brand building.

Design Trend: Abstract Art Compositions

Trends / 21 Jun 2021

Design Trend: Abstract Art Compositions

When you don’t know what to use to illustrate a design, the answer might be abstract art.

It’s a growing design trend that – when done well – uses interesting shapes, colors, and combinations to create something that means almost nothing but is visually interesting.

There’s no wonder that designers are using this concept.

For startup websites without photography to designs for companies that aren’t sure how to represent an almost-post-COVID world visually and everything in between, abstract can be a workable choice.

Brochure Design Software: 3 Options Compared

Brochure Templates / 18 Jun 2021

Brochure Design Software: 3 Options Compared

So, you need to design a brochure? Where do you start? We’re comparing three different pieces of brochure design software to see how they stack up.

For web and digital designers creating a printed brochure for the first time, to designers that have been making print pieces for a while, using the right tool can make brochure design a more efficient task.

Choosing the right software, and sticking with it over time, is a sure-fire way to speed up your design workflow.

Adobe tools are the common starting place. Today, we’ll compare using InDesign, Illustrator and Adobe Spark (a free offering) as different options creating a brochure design.

We’ll look at the pros and cons of each (including the cost), and suggest which options are best for different types of brochure design project.

How to Design a Captivating Web Questionnaire

Layouts / 17 Jun 2021

How to Design a Captivating Web Questionnaire

We’ve all run across them – web questionnaires or surveys that were so simple and delightful that they were actually fun to fill out.

Sadly, that’s the exception to the rule. More often than, surveys are clunky and cumbersome.

You can design a captivating web questionnaire with the right thought process. It’s a mix of question planning with visual elements and cues to make the process user-friendly and somewhat seamless.

Here’s how you do it.

How Do You List Freelance Work on Your Resume? (We Have the Answer)

CV & Resume Templates / 16 Jun 2021

How Do You List Freelance Work on Your Resume? (We Have the Answer)

Congratulations, your freelance business is proving successful. But how do you handle talking about it or explaining freelance work to potential employers, or on your resume? It can be a hard subject to explain as a single entry on paper, and you don’t want freelance work to look like an employment gap.

There are some things you can do to on paper (and on LinkedIn) to help present freelance work in a way that is more understandable to others. The key for many freelancers – especially those working part-time – is remembering to include freelance work as part of your resume and design portfolio. Sometimes those jobs can be just the thing you need to help land the next big gig!

An Introduction to Animation in Web Design

CSS / 14 Jun 2021

An Introduction to Animation in Web Design

Animation is not just for cartoons anymore. From full-screen moving images to small hover effects, touches of animation are popping up everywhere. Animation is trendy, fun, and user-friendly.

And the obstacles to using animation have started to fall. With most users on high-speed connections and the ease of creating anything from simple movements or a silly gif to several minutes of action, animations have become practical and useful web design tools.

Let’s dive in!