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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.

What Makes a Great 404 Error Page?

Accessibility / 17 Nov 2014

What Makes a Great 404 Error Page?

No one wants to think website visitors are spending time on error pages, but it happens. The 404 error page is one place that these interactions happen rather frequently. Design it in a way that speaks to users rather than encouraging them to leave your site.

More memorable and less frustrating 404 error pages are the most successful. They can also be the most fun to design. So what can you do to create the best 404 page for your site? Here are a few tips, tricks and gallery of great examples.

This Week in Design: Nov. 14, 2014

This Week in Design / 14 Nov 2014

This Week in Design: Nov. 14, 2014

Designing for the web can be a common assignment for almost any designer. What should you be thinking about when planning such a project? That’s what we are looking at this week in design, from wireframing on your tablet to lessons in lettering.

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].

Empathy and Design: What You Should Consider

Layouts / 10 Nov 2014

Empathy and Design: What You Should Consider

Do you need to think about empathy when you design? (The answer is yes.) It may seem like a pretty common sense answer, but too often we get caught up in the design and message and not the user.

Who are you creating the design for? How will they connect with it? That’s where empathy comes in. Thinking about it from the start of the process can help you put together an even more successful project. (As you read through this post, look at the examples and think about the emotions these sites make you feel.)

This Week in Design: Nov. 7, 2014

This Week in Design / 7 Nov 2014

This Week in Design: Nov. 7, 2014

What’s next? What’s trendy? What’s cool? It can be incredibly hard to answer these questions, but we often try. This week in design, we will look at a few potential trends for the coming year and some bits of the past that influence classic and contemporary design styles.

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].

The Designer’s Guide to Visual Punctuation

Graphics / 3 Nov 2014

The Designer’s Guide to Visual Punctuation

Punctuation is more than just periods and exclamation points. In terms of design, punctuation can be anything that causes a reader or user to stop or pause. It can happen while reading text or as the eye moves from one element to another. These bits of visual punctuation are everywhere and are vital parts of any design concept.

The key elements of visual punctuation include common readable punctuation marks as well as space, lines, rules, icons and color.

This Week in Design: Oct. 31, 2014

This Week in Design / 31 Oct 2014

This Week in Design: Oct. 31, 2014

Ideas. They are everywhere. And sometimes can’t be found anywhere. This week in design, we hope to bring some ideas to you while thinking about this big, creative concept. Where do they come from? Why do they fall apart? How can they be executed?

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].

Do You Have a Design Checklist?

Business / 29 Oct 2014

Do You Have a Design Checklist?

While every project is unique, every project also has a set of things and processes that are always part of your workflow. That’s where having a good design checklist comes in. This guide can help you manage projects and workflow, delegate tasks among team members and ensure that everything is complete before a design project is handed over. A good design checklist can help keep you from going astray during a project.

You may need several types of checklists in your toolkit: project design (print or digital), planning, execution, and printing and delivery. These lists can have overlap or not and can serve as starting points for you to create a checklist tailored to your design work.

This Week in Design: Oct. 24, 2014

This Week in Design / 24 Oct 2014

This Week in Design: Oct. 24, 2014

Most weeks, we head into our “Week in Design” recap with a theme in mind. This week that theme is lacking, but hopefully this mix of resources about logos, type design, photography and even beer as a team motivational tool will inspire 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].

Freelancing 101: When to Say ‘No’

Freelancing / 20 Oct 2014

Freelancing 101: When to Say ‘No’

Sometimes, you will find that the best answer as a freelancer is “no.” It’s not always the easiest thing to say, but it is necessary at times. There are going to be days or projects that just don’t work for you. But how do you know when to say no?

It can be a situational answer, and a project you turn down this week might be something you consider again in a year. What’s important is to find the balance in your schedule to take on projects that you feel good about, will derive a benefit from and can handle in the time allowed.

This Week in Design: Oct. 17, 2014

This Week in Design / 17 Oct 2014

This Week in Design: Oct. 17, 2014

This week I am thinking about flow. Design flow. Work flow. Creative flow. What makes it call come together? This week in design we have a collection of ideas to help you think about design and creativity as a whole, from a look at what makes design good to a history of colors of the year to a fun and creative project you can do at home.

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].

Readymag Can Help You Build a Portfolio Website

Reviews / 13 Oct 2014

Readymag Can Help You Build a Portfolio Website

If you are anything like me, you are always looking for tools that make your work easier and faster. Readymag is a tool that allows you to create websites, specifically microsites, presentations, magazines and portfolios in a responsive digital format without coding.

The platform is designed for creative professionals who don’t have the knowledgebase or time to create a site from scratch. It is further made for creative because of the format options – microsite, magazine, photo stories, portfolios, presentations – that come with Readymag. And you can create a site and publish it quickly using included design tools. Here’s a look at Readymag and how it works.

This Week in Design: Oct. 10, 2014

This Week in Design / 10 Oct 2014

This Week in Design: Oct. 10, 2014

We all like new things, right? This week Adobe released some major new tools and upgrades to its Creative Cloud suite. (There’s got to be a new trick in there that you will enjoy.) We are also looking ahead to Halloween with a few goodies 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].