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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.

Freelancing 101: How to Collaborate When You Work Alone

Freelancing / 9 Sep 2014

Freelancing 101: How to Collaborate When You Work Alone

One of the biggest misconceptions of working as a freelancer is that it means working alone. It’s actually very much quite the opposite. How would you ever expect to do business if you don’t work with anyone?

The reality is the more people you work with, the more successful you are likely to be as a freelancer. And just like when working for a firm or agency, freelance designers should make a point to collaborate with others regularly. Here are 10 ways you can put your head together with other designers (or clients) to better get the job done.

This Week in Design: Sept. 5, 2014

This Week in Design / 5 Sep 2014

This Week in Design: Sept. 5, 2014

I’ve been bouncing all over the place this week, and this week in design reflects that. From a list of ways to develop more effective media queries to a great look at design contest winners to the evolution of the beacon and design, there’s a design smorgasbord in store for you.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

This Week in Design: August 29, 2014

This Week in Design / 29 Aug 2014

This Week in Design: August 29, 2014

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you just feel like you need some career advice? The end of summer always feels like the right time. There’s no upcoming vacation to look forward to and the end of the year is often busy. So this week in design, we have varying bits of career advice to help you make the most of the last months of 2014.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

This Week in Design: Aug. 22, 2014

This Week in Design / 22 Aug 2014

This Week in Design: Aug. 22, 2014

Be inspired. Get a raise. Learn something new. Have fun. Those are the goals of every designer at some point in their careers. Lucky for you, we are taking on each one of them this week in design.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

Layouts / 20 Aug 2014

How to Create Patterns in Design Projects

Think of how many patterns you follow in your daily routine. From waking up and getting ready for work to falling asleep each night, the day is filled with these small repeating elements that create order and calm. Patterns in design do the very same thing: These repeating elements can bring order to a project and create a sense of calm (or chaos) to set a tone.

That’s the true appeal of a pattern. It helps direct users through an aesthetic by following the pattern or series of objects and tells users how to interact with something. Designers can create patterns in a number of ways – with backgrounds, objects, color, words, panels or by using a combination of these elements.

Designer’s Guide to Printing Book-Style Items

Layouts / 18 Aug 2014

Designer’s Guide to Printing Book-Style Items

One of the most complex jobs you can take on as a designer is getting something ready for book-style printing. Not only will this type of project include a lot of pages, it can also come with options not available for other types of design projects and its own set of terms and lingo.

What are the terms you need to understand when getting something ready to be printed book-style? We’ve got the answers so you can tackle your first book-style or bound printing job.

This Week in Design: Aug. 15, 2014

This Week in Design / 15 Aug 2014

This Week in Design: Aug. 15, 2014

Do you ever stop to think about what’s beyond the things you are designing today? What’s next in design and publishing? Where does the inspiration come from and what will inspire you tomorrow? Those are the things we are thinking about this week in design.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

Find Out How Visitors Use Your Website With Hotjar Insights

Software / 13 Aug 2014

Find Out How Visitors Use Your Website With Hotjar Insights

Having a website in today’s market is not enough. You also need see how your visitors are really using your website. This information can help you better plan, create content and design for the way your users interact with you.

That’s where Hotjar Insights comes in. The new service is launching later this month and will include lots of tools that really can help you understand your visitors better. The interface includes heatmaps, session playbacks, polling, surveys, chats and funnel analysis. Here’s a look at the new tool.

Freelancing 101: How to Stay on Top of Trends

Freelancing / 11 Aug 2014

Freelancing 101: How to Stay on Top of Trends

One of the biggest challenges that comes with working from home is the loss of a day-to-day design trend network. Those informal chats about what’s happening in the design world and what’s new, emerging and different can be valuable time spent with coworkers. It can open your eyes to new things and ideas.

So how do you keep the fresh feeling to your design projects when you work alone? It can be easier than you think if you put forth just a little extra effort. Here are some tips for staying on top of trends when you don’t work in an office environment.

This Week in Design: Aug. 8, 2014

This Week in Design / 8 Aug 2014

This Week in Design: Aug. 8, 2014

For many people vacation season, is in full swing.So this week in design we are having a little fun. From a great debate over the difference between a logo and symbol, to fun “commandments” for freelancers, to a typography contest, there’s a little something for everyone.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].

Why Every Designer Needs a Code of Ethics

Business / 5 Aug 2014

Why Every Designer Needs a Code of Ethics

Many professions have codes of ethics, a common set of guiding principles that help you make fair decisions. Codes often protect both the worker and client from poor business practices.

Designers working in a team or individual environment should be working with a code of ethics. Many designers might even follow multiple codes – one set by an employer, one set by professional organizations and one that is a more personal set of rules and guidelines. One thing is certain: Every designer needs a code of ethics.

This Week in Design: Aug. 1, 2014

This Week in Design / 1 Aug 2014

This Week in Design: Aug. 1, 2014

So you’re living the dream. You always wanted to be a designer. And you are. And you are pretty good. But now you are bored or burned out. What’s next? This week in design, we’re looking at what’s next and a few things to get you motivated again.

Every week, we plan to a look at major product releases and upgrades, tools and tricks and even some of the most popular things you are talking about on social media. And we’d love to hear what’s going on in your world as well. Have we missed anything? Drop me a line at [email protected].