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  2. Carrie Cousins

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.

How to Do a Giveaway on Instagram (+ Rules, Ideas and Tips)

Instagram Templates / 22 Feb 2021

How to Do a Giveaway on Instagram (+ Rules, Ideas and Tips)

Designing a giveaway or contest on Instagram can be fun, increase engagement, and help boost your presence online. But it’s more than just asking people to tag a friend to win a prize.

A great giveaway takes planning, a prize that’s worth people’s time, and an understanding of the rules to maintain the integrity of your social media account (that’s the really important part, to make sure you stay on the right side of the guidelines).

Here’s how to do a giveaway on Instagram!

SEO for UX Designers: Ideas to Incorporate Into Every Project

UX Design / 18 Feb 2021

SEO for UX Designers: Ideas to Incorporate Into Every Project

Almost everyone you talk to is interested in search engine optimization. And for good reason: You want as many people to see your website as possible and find it in relevant search results.

But did you know that user experience can be one of the most important factors that contribute to SEO and overall search rank? So, you have to start thinking about it at the design and development level or you’ll never get ahead of the SEO game.

Here, we’ve got a few ideas that UX designers can incorporate into every project to help boost search.

10 Tips for Presenting Designs to Clients to Keep Projects Moving Forward

Business / 16 Feb 2021

10 Tips for Presenting Designs to Clients to Keep Projects Moving Forward

It’s a common part of the job – presenting design work to clients. Practice doing it well so you can keep projects moving in the right direction and toward the finish line.

If you need a little push, these tips can help. We’ll be looking at how to lay the groundwork, approach challenging topics, clearly show your solution, and weave a narrative with your client.

Let’s dive in!

5 Tips for Boosting Your Domain Authority With SEO

Web Standards / 11 Feb 2021

5 Tips for Boosting Your Domain Authority With SEO

With so many factors contributing to search engine optimization and rank, there’s almost too many things to do. A strong domain authority can help you establish a better presence online with search and it starts with optimizations you can make on your website.

Before you get too excited, remember that boosting search rankings is a long-game, and domain authority is just one piece of the puzzle. But it can be quite relevant and is a part of website best practices.

Domain authority and SEO have a symbiotic relationship and boosting one is also good for the other. Here are five methods you can deploy.

How to Diversify as a Creative Freelancer

Freelancing / 8 Feb 2021

How to Diversify as a Creative Freelancer

If the last year has taught us anything as freelancers, it is that diversification is a good thing.

Different income streams can help mitigate losses in other areas and provide multiple avenues for leads and new work. And while most of us know we need to diversify, are you actually doing it?

Getting started with new projects or income streams does take some work and planning, but it can be a worthwhile investment in yourself.

Let’s look at some ways – and things you can do – to diversify yourself as a creative freelancer.

Design Trend: Text That’s Not Readable

Trends / 4 Feb 2021

Design Trend: Text That’s Not Readable

Let’s start with a definition. Readability is a measure of how easy a piece of text is to read. The level of complexity of the text, its familiarity, legibility, and typography all feed into how readable your text is. Readability is a key factor in user experience.

Why would we ever showcase a design trend that features text that’s not readable? Simply, because it is popular. Does it mean that it’s a good idea? It… depends!

You can read on, look at the examples, and decide if it is right for your projects.

Microinteractions Are Growing Up: How to Design Them in 2021

UX Design / 1 Feb 2021

Microinteractions Are Growing Up: How to Design Them in 2021

Microinteractions aren’t a new concept in UX design, but they keep getting more impressive. We’ve been talking about microinteractions here at Design Shack for a while because they are so vital to the overall success of web projects.

Microinteractions are those tiny details that turn an ordinary user experience into something more memorable and engaging. The little things that surprise and delight, adding a layer of enjoyable UX to your app or website.

Here’s a look at how designers are using microinteractions in 2021 with examples of how this design technique has grown up.

How to Use Website Personalization (Without the Creep Factor)

UX Design / 26 Jan 2021

How to Use Website Personalization (Without the Creep Factor)

Website personalization can help you create more amazing user experiences or turn into a total creep-fest. It’s all about how you use data, cookies, and other useful information to design something that’s of greater value to the person who sees it.

There’s a very fine line between outstanding and out of bounds, and most of it comes down to respecting your visitor’s privacy and expectations.

Here are a few ways to use website personalization and delight users without being (too) creepy.

8 Data Points That Will Make You a Better Web Designer

Business / 25 Jan 2021

8 Data Points That Will Make You a Better Web Designer

Website design is such a creative exercise that sometimes it is easy to forget all of the left-brain things that go into a stellar project.

A good design uses solid data and analytics to help shape decision making, map user journeys, and include just the right visual elements to make the most of the design for visitors. (Almost every new website project I take on begins with looking at the analytics of the current website.)

So what data points are important? And how do you use them?

These tidbits are extremely useful for new website projects, but you can also use them to help find and fix issues with existing designs. Data-powered visuals can make almost any project more impactful.

Fractal Art: A 101 Design Intro

Trends / 21 Jan 2021

Fractal Art: A 101 Design Intro

Art elements rooted in math and algorithms might seem like a futuristic idea, but it’s a growing and popular concept.

Fractal art has been around since the 1980s but it seems to be having a moment with more designers looking to this style for backgrounds and main art elements. Another reason for the growth in popularity? Use of this style as an interior design element for wall hangings and more.

This can be a fun design element to think about and incorporate into projects. Here’s everything you need to know to get started with fractal art.

5 Tips for Working With Design Influencers (Or Becoming One!)

Business / 17 Jan 2021

5 Tips for Working With Design Influencers (Or Becoming One!)

Who do you look to on social media when you need extra design inspiration? Those are the people that you see as design influencers.

Have you ever thought about working with designers, illustrators, and photographers with a strong social media presence (or becoming one yourself)?

There are things you can start doing online now that will make it easier to work with influencers and show that your accounts are on trend in the design space.

Here are a few tips, plus a tool for helping you get started.

9 Tips for a Successful Design Retrospective

Business / 14 Jan 2021

9 Tips for a Successful Design Retrospective

Sometimes the best way to inspire a creative team is by looking back at projects. A design retrospective can help you evaluate projects upon completion, look back at workflows and results, and take lessons learned to future work.

Too often there’s a negative association with a design retrospective, while constructive criticism should be welcome, there should also be plenty of opportunities to highlight wins, big and small, from a project.

Here, we’re going to look at tips for making your design retrospectives more successful. You want them to be a welcome experience.