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.





Design Trend: Using Watercolor Patterns in Web Design
Graphics / 1 Oct 2018

Design Trend: Using Watercolor Patterns in Web Design

Add a little art to your web design with the watercolor trend. Watercolor techniques are a popular design option because they are fun, easy to use and work with a variety of different types of content.

Watercolor styles can be used in a number of ways to emphasize your content. Whether you are considering a watercolor look for your website framework or just want to experiment with the style, we have a collection of ideas, examples, and resources to help you get started.

Portfolio Design Trends in 2018
Trends / 26 Sep 2018

Portfolio Design Trends in 2018

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. Not only can a good portfolio design show off your work and what you do, but the portfolio itself is also a representation of your skills—so design wisely! Here’s a look at some of our favorite portfolio design trends for 2018.

Infinite Scrolling: Pros and Cons
Layouts / 26 Sep 2018

Infinite Scrolling: Pros and Cons

One-page websites are a major design trend. Especially when it comes to one-page designs packed with content, thanks to infinite scrolling techniques that allow designers to continue a webpage indefinitely.

This technique is great for some sites and content types, while for others it can be cumbersome and frustrating. Like any other design technique, you shouldn’t do it just because you want to try something new; it should be a strategic part of your design framework. So how can you decide? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of infinite scrolling websites.

The Golden Ratio in Design: Examples & Tips
Layouts / 24 Sep 2018

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.

Stay on Top of Website Feedback With Hotjar
Reviews / 20 Sep 2018

Stay on Top of Website Feedback With Hotjar

By now you probably know that if you have a website, you need a way to monitor how it is working. The problem with many of these feedback channels is that they can be complicated to set up or difficult to understand.

The incoming feedback tool from Hotjar is different. It gives you all the feedback you need to manage and grow your website in a visual format. (So you don’t have to be a data scientist to understand it all.) Here’s a look at Hotjar and how it works.

Split Screen Design: The Trend That Keeps Growing
Trends / 19 Sep 2018

Split Screen Design: The Trend That Keeps Growing

Website design with a split-screen aesthetic is a trend that keeps evolving and growing. A split-screen design can be good for a number of reasons, including mobile compatibility and user-friendliness. Plus, many of these designs just look great!

Shifts in the trend show that there are so many different ways to create an effective split screen design that users will love. Consider this your introduction to split-screen design in the new and improved era!

Drag and Drop Your Way to a Website With WP Page Builder
Reviews / 13 Sep 2018

Drag and Drop Your Way to a Website With WP Page Builder

Do you ever find yourself looking for an easier way to build a website? WP Page Builder is a drag-and-drop plugin for WordPress to help you create a website quickly without a lot of coding.

It’s made for designers who want to get a website finished fast or beginners that want to play with a website but don’t have design or coding experience. Here’s a look at the tool and how you use it.

Design Trend: Bubble & Blob Backgrounds
Trends / 12 Sep 2018

Design Trend: Bubble & Blob Backgrounds

Have you noticed all the fluid, boundless shapes in design projects recently? The use of bubbles and blobs is trending. From simple circles to interconnecting loops, to full-screen blobs that move and shift, to simple “blobby” animations, this trend is popping up everywhere.

The nice thing is that while using bubbles and blobs is a trendy design element, there are so many different ways to do it, and you won’t end up with a design that looks like you are just trying to add a fashionable element. Here, we have a collection of mini case studies of website designs featuring the bubble and blob design trend.

7 Tips for Better Contact Form Design (With Examples)
UX Design / 10 Sep 2018

7 Tips for Better Contact Form Design (With Examples)

Better contact form design starts with usability. The goal of a form is obvious: you need information from the user. The form has to be intuitive enough so users know exactly what to do and don’t get sidetracked in the process of completing that action.

The best contact forms are easy to look at and include highly usable elements that users can engage with without thinking about them. (It sounds a little easier than it is sometimes.) But thankfully, we have a selection of tips to help you design better contact forms.

10 Tips for Perfect Poster Design
Inspiration / 6 Sep 2018

10 Tips for Perfect Poster Design

Almost everyone has designed a poster or flier at some point. Whether it was for self-promotion or a client, posters can be a fun way to present a message and do some interesting things with design.

Poster design starts with a common canvas. Common poster sizes are 8.5 by 11-inch letter (or A4), 11 by 17 inches and 22 by 34 inches. Large format poster sizes are commonly 24 inches by 36 inches. Posters can be designed vertically or horizontally, but are most commonly designed with a vertical orientation. Today we’re taking a look at ten useful tips for improving your next poster design!

5 Quick Tips for Fixing a Bad Logo Design
Graphics / 5 Sep 2018

5 Quick Tips for Fixing a Bad Logo Design

How many times have you walked into a project where the logo is a mess? Bitmap designs. Poor color choices. Lack of contrast. Inappropriate typography. A shape that doesn’t work anywhere. Here’s how to fix a bad logo design.

There are so many issues when it comes to bad logo design. And you’ll know one the minute you see it. These poor instances of design tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

But is there anything you can do? If the client isn’t in love with the miserable mark, you can make some quick fixes to at least turn the logo into something a little more usable. Here are a few tips (starting with a collage of bad logos!) and examples of quick fixes that can help improve a logo.

What’s That Font? Find Out With WhatFontIs
Reviews / 5 Sep 2018

What’s That Font? Find Out With WhatFontIs

Do you ever get stuck spinning your wheels on a project because of missing font information? From elements with missing source files to clients that want a font that “looks like (insert company name here)”, you need a font identification tool.

WhatFontIs is the best identification service to help you find the fonts you need. Today we’re diving in to see how it works, and what you can accomplish with it.