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.





Business / 29 Nov 2017

Get Your Merchandise Online Today With SpreadShop

Do you have an idea for a great shirt or coffee mug that you know is destined to sell? Do your social media followers want to see your images or messaging on their gear?

The problem with merchandise sales isn’t always coming up with an idea or design; it’s picking items and dealing with inventory. SpreadShop takes a lot of that hassle and worry out of the equation, so that almost anyone can create an online merchandise storefront and start selling right away — free!

Here’s a guide to SpreadShop and how you can start selling merchandise online in no time at all.

Business / 27 Nov 2017

4 Ways a CDN Can Speed Up Your Website

Is your website moving fast enough for users? Speed is a primary factor when it comes to keeping a user who visits your website for the first time.

Chances are your website could be faster. One way to accomplish that is by using a content delivery network (CDN), which helps deliver static content to users faster. A CDN can be an efficient way to increase page speed and user engagement all at once.

Here’s a look at four ways a CDN can speed up your website. (But before you read on, you can check your website page speed with this Google tool).

Deals / 22 Nov 2017

Get 67% Off Depositphotos This Month

Today, we’re excited to be featuring a special promotion from MightyDeals. Depositphotos offers one of the largest stock photo libraries on the web, and by taking advantage of this promotion, you can grab either 100 or 200 images of your choice for up to 75% off the regular price!

You can download any image, at any size (including XXL images), there’s no monthly limit, and no expiration date. It’s a great deal to get your hands on hundreds of high quality images. Read on to find out more!

Graphics / 20 Nov 2017

Design Trend: Obstructed Text

Some websites look great, even if they defy conventional wisdom or tenets of design theory. A new design trend is showcasing that very idea with elements that cover or obstruct some of the text in the design.

It’s an interesting trend because it goes against everything we commonly talk about with design – that it must be readable to connect with users quickly.

Needless to say, this can be a tricky technique to pull off effectively, but the designs are striking and impactful when done well. Here’s a breakdown of the trend and some ideas for how you can try it yourself.

Typography / 15 Nov 2017

Every Design Needs Three Levels of Typographic Hierarchy

One of the most important elements for people looking at anything you design is the type. It needs to be clear and readable and it should direct users through a design, from most important elements to least.

And that, in a nutshell, explains typography hierarchy. But to really master the art of type, you need to understand how to layer type throughout a design to achieve maximum impact. Read on to learn how to master typography hierarchy and create effective type in every project.

Layouts / 13 Nov 2017

Parallax Effects Compared: 5 Choices to Consider

Parallax effects remain one of the hottest web design trends. This animated scrolling technique happens when background and foreground move at different speeds while the user scrolls so that there are two independent layers moving at the same time.

This effect can be used for any number of website types and is a fun way to create – and increase – user engagement. The nice thing about parallax effects is that you don’t have to use them on every page of a design; parallax scrolling is a great homepage technique to help drive users to calls to action or other content.

Parallax effects create an element of depth and distance and a greater sense three-dimension than some other techniques, making users feel like part of the design.

The downside to parallax effects is that they don’t always work on mobile devices. (But there are some workarounds for that as well in the tutorial at the end of this article.)

Here are five parallax effects and styles to consider. (Make sure to click through the links to see exactly how each animation works.)

Typography / 8 Nov 2017

10 Rules for Perfect Type Design, Every Time

Do you ever notice that some projects just seem to glow with great type? Some designers have a certain knack for designing perfect typography for every project.

You can do it too. With a handful of simple rules, you can improve the look and design of typography in all your projects, digitally and in print. If you struggle with picking typefaces and pairing fonts, these rules will help you design perfect type, every time. (Just make sure to follow them.)

UX Design / 6 Nov 2017

7 Steps to Creating a Solid UX Strategy

Everyone knows that the first step in any business venture is research on the path to creating a strategy. This strategy determines how you’ll function and guide the decision-making process.

A website project – whether it is for a business or not – should follow the same concept. Without a solid user experience strategy, the design is likely to lack the features, elements and overall usability that make the website popular among visitors.

While the idea of creating a UX strategy might not sound like a lot of fun, it’s a valuable exercise. And when done well, and with purpose, can definitely be enjoyable!

Graphics / 1 Nov 2017

Design Trend: Dark Color Palettes & Animation

Have you taken note of all the super dark design patterns lately? Designers are experimenting with some funky, dark design patterns that feature animation in the same color scheme.

These animations include everything from simple movements that happen on their own, to hover effects and full cinematic experiences. Let’s dive into this website design trend and explore a few ways to make it work for your projects.

Mobile / 30 Oct 2017

The Anatomy of a Perfect Push Notification: 7 Tips

One of the top reasons users uninstall an app is because push notifications are annoying. You’ve probably done this yourself a time or two.

But one of the top reasons users love an app is also because of push notifications. So how do you create a push that users will love? That’s easy – you make it all about them.

Mobile / 25 Oct 2017

5 Design Tricks to Make Your Mobile UX Shine

Have you looked at your website analytics lately? Chances are a significant portion – maybe even more than half – of your users are coming to your website via mobile device.

Whether you are focusing mobile efforts on a website or app, you need to ensure that the design creates a stellar user experience for every one of those mobile users. You don’t have to start from scratch to do it either. Thinking about the mobile user and how they interact with the design will help shape the way your interfaces look and function.

Here are five design tricks you can use to help make your mobile UX one that users love.

Business / 23 Oct 2017

Is the Static Logo Dead?

There’s a bit of disruption happening in the world of logos. The single static logo isn’t enough to carry your brand anymore. You actually need a library of logos to meet all the needs of your brand.

This idea has been evolving for a while; just think of the variations for a website, social media and even that tiny favicon in web browsers. It can be a lot to think about. So let’s try to organize those logo thoughts.