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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.

7 Website Design Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts

Layouts / 7 Jul 2015

7 Website Design Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts

Sometimes websites make me grouchy. I click with anticipation and then… design disaster. Admit it, you have grumbled at the screen more than a few times, too.

From poor type to missing links to usability issues, I am going to share the mistakes that just drive me absolutely bonkers. Take heed! These are things to address and fix on your own site, before someone else comes across them!

How to Create a Google+ Cover Image: Examples and Best Practices

Inspiration / 6 Jul 2015

How to Create a Google+ Cover Image: Examples and Best Practices

A Google+ cover image is more than just a photo. It is the first impression you are giving a potential customer or user about your business or website. The photo should represent who you are, what you do, and why users should engage with your page.

It should also serve as a gateway to other actions. Google+ is a business gateway and social media platform. The information you provide and share goes into search rankings and helps more users find you online. It all starts with a great cover photo.

Power-Up WordPress With the Bridge Multi-Purpose Theme

Reviews / 2 Jul 2015

Power-Up WordPress With the Bridge Multi-Purpose Theme

Whether you’re a beginner or expert when it comes to building and working with websites, WordPress is a great option as a framework and content management system. Pair it with a great theme and you can get a site up and running in to time with a level of customization that works for your project.

Today, we’re going to take a look at Qode Themes and how you can use these tools to your advantage when building a website. Qode is one of the top sellers on Envato Market, with plenty of great premium WordPress theme options to choose from, including the popular Bridge Multi-Purpose Theme.

15 Tips to Make Your Designs Feel More Human

Layouts / 29 Jun 2015

15 Tips to Make Your Designs Feel More Human

What makes something on a screen or canvas feel real? The answer is simple. It’s human connection. People want to interact with and use designed elements that work in the physical world in a way that mimics reality.

It’s the case study for human-centered design and why it matters so much in every project every design takes on. This human connection is more than physical, it also creates an emotional bond between the user and the design. That’s where you begin to create things like loyalty to a brand and a connection to users that goes beyond the screen. Here are a few ways you can use design techniques and tools to help you get there.

20 Inspiring TED Talks for Designers

Inspiration / 25 Jun 2015

20 Inspiring TED Talks for Designers

Here’s your rainy-day game plan: Grab your laptop, find a comfy chair and get ready to be inspired about design. From how to think more creatively, to finding happiness in work, to learning something new, there are a plethora of great TED Talks just waiting for you to discover.

And we are making it easy for you with a roundup of 20 completely inspiring TED Talks here in one list. While some of the talks are newer, others have been around a while – TED has been around since 1984 – but all are sure to help you find a little design inspiration. (So bookmark this page, so you can find a new talk every time you are starting to feel a creative rut coming on.)

10 Popular Trends in Newsletter Signup Forms

Inspiration / 23 Jun 2015

10 Popular Trends in Newsletter Signup Forms

The art of the newsletter signup form is one that you may interact with more often than you think. Email marketing is one of the best and most-used ways that brands interact with customers. And it all starts with a simple sign up.

From pop ups to full-page forms, newsletter signups are everywhere. Many of us click through without consciously thinking about the design, but a well-designed form encourages that action in the first place. Some of the best-designed forms in the email signup landscape are from retailers, which are using emails to sell to customers directly. So how can you create a signup that looks fresh? Here are 10 ideas.

A Look at Divi 2.4: Smarter, More Flexible, More Elegant

Software / 17 Jun 2015

A Look at Divi 2.4: Smarter, More Flexible, More Elegant

WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms on the planet. But not everyone has the development chops to get a site up and running and with the aesthetics they want. That’s where themes – specifically Divi – come in!

A theme can help you design, manage and use the latest technology when getting your new (or revised) site online. Today, we’re going to look at Divi, which recently rolled out a ton of great updates, and how a theme like this can work for you.

Can You Fix a Bad Design? Here’s Where to Start

Graphics / 16 Jun 2015

Can You Fix a Bad Design? Here’s Where to Start

It’s an hour before deadline and your boss just handed you a design project to finish up. And it’s bad. Very bad. It has problems ranging from poor images to crazy color, typography choices to general sloppiness. What should you do? Can it be fixed?

There are a few things you can do to help salvage a bad design with the understanding that it won’t be perfect. But making it passable as a design project for your company might well still be an option. Here’s how!

Minimalist Design Is Taking Over: Here’s Why

Minimalist Graphic Design / 15 Jun 2015

Minimalist Design Is Taking Over: Here’s Why

Everywhere you turn, another designer is releasing a project featuring a minimalist design style. This focus on space, simplicity and beautiful typography is refreshing. And it’s a great option for a number of design projects. That might be one of the reasons minimalist design is so popular.

But the trend is not brand new. Minimalism has been around almost as long as design itself. It’s a technique that ebbs and flows, but always remains as one of the classic styles, making it a design choice that almost always works.

How to Make the Jump From Employee to Full-Time Freelancer

Freelancing / 10 Jun 2015

How to Make the Jump From Employee to Full-Time Freelancer

So you’ve been doing a little freelance work on the side and are toying with the idea of making it your primary gig. But how do you know if you are actually ready to make that leap? Can your freelance job support you financially?

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to switching jobs — of any kind — and freelancing is no different. You just need to think about some of the numbers and considerations a little more closely than you would if an employer was handling all of the details for you.

Interaction Design: What Is It, and How Can You Use It?

Graphics / 8 Jun 2015

Interaction Design: What Is It, and How Can You Use It?

Interaction design might be the most talked about design concept of 2015. It’s something you should be thinking about and planning for in all of your digital projects.

But how can you make the most of interaction design? How can you design something people want to interact with? While some of those answers are changing with technology, one element remains the same – people want to use design that is intuitive, functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Asymmetrical Design: Creating Beautiful, Balanced Layouts

Layouts / 3 Jun 2015

Asymmetrical Design: Creating Beautiful, Balanced Layouts

How do you feel about asymmetrical design? That simple question can sometimes spark a lot of debate among designers. Asymmetrical design can be one of the more complicated techniques to pull off, but when done well results in beautiful and eye-catching designs.

While the definition of asymmetry is the lack of symmetry or equality between two halves; it is not a lack of balance as some wrongly assume. Designers can use asymmetry to create balance and harmony even though two sides of the design do not mirror one another. Here’s how to get started.