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.





Reviews / 9 Aug 2017

What’s Your Website’s Rage Grade? (Find Out Right Now)

Do you ever find yourself frustratedly clicking around a website, unable to find what you’re looking for? It happens to all of us sometimes.

User frustration from website errors, dead clicks, abandoned forms and mouse-thrashing movement all contribute to your “Rage Grade” — a new metric available from FullStory’s platform.

Today, we’re going to help you figure out your FullStory Rage Grade, and provide a little insight on how to improve your website with this nifty service from FullStory.

Reviews / 8 Aug 2017

Simbla Website Builder: What’s Changed in 2017

With so many website builders on the market, it can be tough to decide what to use. Not anymore.

Simbla is making the decision easy with a full-featured website builder and complete business suite and database. The tool includes everything you need to run pretty much any type of website or online store you can imagine.

We originally took a look at Simbla last year, but a lot has changed since then! Let’s take a look at the tool and some of its features.

Graphics / 7 Aug 2017

8 Ways to Use Hand Drawn Icons & Elements

While there’s often a focus on pixel-perfect design elements, they aren’t suitable for everything. Sometimes you want something with a little more… whimsy. Something a little more authentic!

Hand drawn icons or elements can be just the right design technique to add something special to a project. While most designers won’t go crazy with elements that appear to be hand-drawn, a few touches can add a personal feel that users are drawn to.

It’s something that’s trending in web design as well. From a squiggle in an icon, to a full-experience that’s equal usability and art, hand drawn elements are a popular design option. Here are eight fresh ways to use this trend!

Business / 2 Aug 2017

15 Must-Ask Questions When Taking on a Website Project

The beginning of any new website design project can be a little nerve-wracking. Trying to determine if your style will match the client’s demands is often a challenge.

Add on trying to decide what to charge, and taking on a new client can be a freelance web designer’s biggest nightmare. When you do it right, the relationship and the project can be rewarding, but a miscue can make your life pretty miserable for the duration of the project.

Doing your homework at the start can help. Do you know what questions to ask a client to get the best information you need for a project? Don’t worry if you said “no,” we’ve got a checklist here for you!

Graphics / 31 Jul 2017

7 Tips for Creating a Website Header That Wows

A website header is often the first thing that a user sees. It can make or break the user experience, your branding, and much more!

To help retain users and keep them moving through the design, you need to create a website header that wows. And not just on the homepage. On every single page of the design. (Remember, a significant number of users don’t go to your homepage first.) Here’s how you do it.

UX Design / 27 Jul 2017

7 Ways to Adapt Content for Better Mobile UX

The beginning of a great design starts with content. To make the most of a stellar mobile UX, the content might need to undergo a few tweaks and changes.

But where do you start? How should content be adapted to work seamlessly on mobile devices? It starts with thinking about the way users interact with smaller screens, and how that impacts what (and how much!) they’ll want to read.

Typography / 24 Jul 2017

Tiny Text: 6 Ways to Use It Effectively in Web Design

One of the biggest trends in web design right now is super small. “Tiny” text elements have become a popular idea, but it’s a design trend that has spurred some debate.

There’s no doubt that small text sizes can cause some readability concerns. But when done well, a small block of tiny text can actually help create a point of visual emphasis and draw users into certain parts of the design.

Join us as we take a look at the tiny text trend, with examples to provide some design inspiration.

Inspiration / 18 Jul 2017

30 Stunning Desktop Wallpapers From Unsplash

Need a little extra design inspiration? Start with your Mac or Windows desktop background. A stunning desktop wallpaper can provide an extra little spark every time you fire up your computer, and browsing through great photos is a sure fire way to get the creative juices flowing.

Unsplash, a free stock photography website, is packed with amazing images that you can use in any way you want… including as a desktop wallpaper! Here’s a list of our favourites that we’ve put together to help you feel a little more inspired. Whether you like a minimal, patterned, or stunning photographic wallpaper, we’ll have something for you!

Inspiration / 17 Jul 2017

Logo Design Trends of 2017

Logo design can be one of the most fun (and frustrating!) design tasks you encounter. But watching the key logo design trends each year can help you ensure your logo design is current and relevant.

Every person and every client has a different style that you’ll want to put front-and-centre in your design. But many popular, on-trend styles have a simple style with clean lines, minimal color and focus on typography rather than art elements.

Let’s take a look at four stellar logo design trends of 2017!

Inspiration / 10 Jul 2017

Top 5 Design Trends of 2017 (So Far!)

If you take a close look, you can almost see the evolution of web design happening. A few design trends have emerged as the must-have elements of 2017 (so far) with interesting typography, color and navigation patterns leading the way.

So now that we are midway through 2017, let’s focus a little on design inspiration, and take a look at of the top trends of the year so far. Should you incorporate all these? Absolutely not! But one of two, chosen carefully, can really help give your design a current, up-to-date feeling.

Software / 5 Jul 2017

10 Design Tools You Aren’t Using (But Should Be!)

It seems like a flood of new design tools hits the market almost every day. How many times have you downloaded software with promise only to find you quit using it after a couple of logins?

That’s not the case with the tools in this list. We’ve collected some of the best design tools around – some free, some paid – that you’re going to love to use. And we’d bet good money that you’ve never heard of several of them!

Typography / 3 Jul 2017

Back to Basics: Beautiful Typography in Web Design

A great website starts with beautiful typography. And while breaking the occasional rule is great, sometimes it’s good to get back to the principles of what makes great typography — and how to create it.

It’s a vital refresh that can help you rethink projects, consider a new approach or just get back to a simpler, more streamlined design.

So today, we’re ignoring trends and ways to break the rules to focus on typography theory and how the “rules” can be a great guideline for creating phenomenal type.