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.





Build a Website for Free With SITE123
Reviews / 28 Jun 2018

Build a Website for Free With SITE123

Whether you want to create a blog, showcase a business or organization or sell items online, one thing is certain. You need a great website. SITE123 is one example of a website builder. And it’s different than most of the other options you’ll find for one key reason – it’s completely free.

Getting started – or even redesigning an existing website – can be intimidating. A website builder can be the solution. Website builders are a set of tools that help anyone create a website without a lot of coding or design knowledge. It’s a quick and easy way to get a website online.

How to Write a UX Proposal
UX Design / 25 Jun 2018

How to Write a UX Proposal

Did you know that a great UX proposal can solidify client relationships and facilitate project management? Here’s how you write a UX proposal that will help you manage projects, and strengthen client relationships.

A UX proposal is a document that outlines a UX, app or web design project. It should note what the problem is – what the client wants – and how a solution will be developed digitally. The proposal sets an expectation of work, what will get done, and the timeline for milestones and launch. It is the guiding document for the project that developer/designer and client agree on before work starts so that everyone is on the same page.

If you are working without a UX proposal, you might want to make a change to that process right away.

How to Create a Color Palette Without Stressing Out
Graphics / 20 Jun 2018

How to Create a Color Palette Without Stressing Out

Picking the perfect color palette can be a little nerve-wracking. It’s something you’ll be committed to for some time, so you’ll want to get it right! Today we’re looking at how to create a color palette, with plenty of tips and advice.

There are a few things that designers who don’t sweat about color always do (and think about), to help ensure that their palettes will hold up over time. Here are some of their tricks of the trade, so you can create a color palette without stressing out!

Monday: The Ultimate Team Management Tool
Reviews / 20 Jun 2018

Monday: The Ultimate Team Management Tool

Almost every team, from the smallest group to the largest company, is looking for an efficient way to manage projects and tasks in a way that everyone can understand.

Finding the right platform to use as a team management tool can be tough, but monday can help. The tool is intuitive while helping you centralize everything so that your team can be successful. Here’s a look at how it works.

5 Tips to Use Instagram Creatively for Your Brand
Business / 18 Jun 2018

5 Tips to Use Instagram Creatively for Your Brand

It seems like every brand is on Instagram these days. So how do you create posts that generate engagement and help your images, video, and stories stand out from the pack?

The answer is to use your keen design eye. The same skills that you use as a designer—color balance, contrast, shape, and composition—can help you create Instagram posts that stand out. (It is a visual medium after all!)

Combine those skills with a little social media strategy and you’ll start building a loyal follower base in no time. Here are some tips to get you on the path to Instagram success.

5 Reasons to Use a Responsive Mockup Template
Graphics / 13 Jun 2018

5 Reasons to Use a Responsive Mockup Template

If you aren’t using responsive mockup templates to showcase your website and app design projects, you’re missing out! A mockup template provides a realistic or stylized shell to highlight a design, and choosing a responsive template can beautifully show your design’s versatility.

Most designers use a mockup template to place a website design into a computer screen, tablet, or phone to give clients or other stakeholders a preview of what a finished project will look like. The result is polished and easy for users to understand.

If you haven’t ventured into the world of using one of these tools yet, here are five reasons to use a responsive mockup template. All with some great examples to show you exactly how they work.

Design Trend: Sliced Text & Typography
Trends / 11 Jun 2018

Design Trend: Sliced Text & Typography

Purists say that you should never alter typography. Lettering should appear as intended by the type designer, or you should select a different font altogether. While this is mostly true, the exception is in the sliced text trend.

The nifty effect makes type elements look like they’ve been cut with a precision tool and can add visual interest to logotypes, headlines and simple text blocks. Sliced text effects can vary from super subtle (such as a small bit of a letter that’s missing) to major parts of words missing altogether.

The thing to keep in mind when using sliced text is that words must always be readable – what point is there otherwise? – and you should pay close attention so that unintended letter combinations or words don’t appear due to slicing. Here’s a look at how to make it work for you with some examples of designs that do it well.

Background Design Trends & Styles for 2018
Trends / 6 Jun 2018

Background Design Trends & Styles for 2018

One of the most important early design decisions you will make is what kind of background will carry a project. Should it be a single color, colorless, use trendy elements such as geometric shapes, gradients or wood grain patterns? Or would a solid background design can help make a project shine?

Staying on trend with background design styles is important as well. A trendy background choice shows that a website design is modern and the content is new. A modern visual framework can even signal a user that you are thinking about their needs and making the most of tools that will make their experience better.

So how do you do it? Here’s a look at eight background design trends and styles for 2018, with a great option to try from each style.

Wedding Monogram Logo Ideas, Tips & Advice
Graphics / 4 Jun 2018

Wedding Monogram Logo Ideas, Tips & Advice

A classic wedding monogram is a design element that almost any couple can incorporate into their wedding design and stationery. From use in invitations and mailings to a shared post-nuptial monogram, creating a classy wedding logo or monogram element can be a great touch.

Here are a few tips to help you make your own wedding logo or monogram including templates, ideas, and graphics to help you get started fast.

10 Tips for Writing Great Microcopy
UX Design / 30 May 2018

10 Tips for Writing Great Microcopy

The tiniest bits of text on your website can have the biggest impact. Microcopy includes all of the instructions, labels, navigation, tooltips, error messages and call-to-action language that helps users actually use a design.

Microcopy can aid navigation, and be the final element a user reads before clicking a button. (It’s easy to understand why these words are so important.)

Microcopy is often neglected though, in the website design process. Often “click here” is just slapped on a button and it’s done. But well-thought-out microcopy can make your website better. Great microcopy can even help boost retention and conversion rates among users—and that’s something every website owner can appreciate.

So how do you do it? Here are ten tips for getting started down the road to writing great microcopy.

Isometric Design & Illustration: An Eye-Catching Trend
Trends / 28 May 2018

Isometric Design & Illustration: An Eye-Catching Trend

Icons form an integral part of any website design. From use in informational and navigational elements, to eye-catching parts of a larger design, icons and icon-based elements can be an attractive and interesting way to draw in users.

While icons have used a dramatically flat aesthetic for a while, more projects are shifting to isometric icon usage. This trend is appearing on websites and print projects across plenty of different industries.

It’s gaining popularity because isometric icons have a more realistic look while still using flat layers. It’s an almost perfect mix of flat and depth. Here’s a more in-depth look at this design trend and how you can make the most of it.

What Is Holistic Web Design?
Trends / 23 May 2018

What Is Holistic Web Design?

Google “holistic web design” and you’ll see a lot of results that encompass health and wellness. But that’s not really what designers and developers usually mean when they mention holistic web design.

In the most simple of explanations – we’ll dig deeper after this – holistic web design is a process of thinking about all the parts of a project, and understanding and accounting for how they connect. Great content will fall apart if the visuals are poor. And equally, the best-looking website in the world doesn’t do anything if it isn’t highly usable. These are the issues that holistic web design solves before they even become problems.

Here’s how it works (and can work for you), with examples from the Design Shack Gallery.