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 Steps to Creating a Solid UX Strategy
UX Design / 6 Nov 2017

7 Steps to Creating a Solid UX Strategy

Everyone knows that the first step in any business venture is research on the path to creating a strategy. This strategy determines how you’ll function and guide the decision-making process.

A website project – whether it is for a business or not – should follow the same concept. Without a solid user experience strategy, the design is likely to lack the features, elements and overall usability that make the website popular among visitors.

While the idea of creating a UX strategy might not sound like a lot of fun, it’s a valuable exercise. And when done well, and with purpose, can definitely be enjoyable!

Design Trend: Dark Color Palettes & Animation
Graphics / 1 Nov 2017

Design Trend: Dark Color Palettes & Animation

Have you taken note of all the super dark design patterns lately? Designers are experimenting with some funky, dark design patterns that feature animation in the same color scheme.

These animations include everything from simple movements that happen on their own, to hover effects and full cinematic experiences. Let’s dive into this website design trend and explore a few ways to make it work for your projects.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Push Notification: 7 Tips
Mobile / 30 Oct 2017

The Anatomy of a Perfect Push Notification: 7 Tips

One of the top reasons users uninstall an app is because push notifications are annoying. You’ve probably done this yourself a time or two.

But one of the top reasons users love an app is also because of push notifications. So how do you create a push that users will love? That’s easy – you make it all about them.

5 Design Tricks to Make Your Mobile UX Shine
Mobile / 25 Oct 2017

5 Design Tricks to Make Your Mobile UX Shine

Have you looked at your website analytics lately? Chances are a significant portion – maybe even more than half – of your users are coming to your website via mobile device.

Whether you are focusing mobile efforts on a website or app, you need to ensure that the design creates a stellar user experience for every one of those mobile users. You don’t have to start from scratch to do it either. Thinking about the mobile user and how they interact with the design will help shape the way your interfaces look and function.

Here are five design tricks you can use to help make your mobile UX one that users love.

Is the Static Logo Dead?
Business / 23 Oct 2017

Is the Static Logo Dead?

There’s a bit of disruption happening in the world of logos. The single static logo isn’t enough to carry your brand anymore. You actually need a library of logos to meet all the needs of your brand.

This idea has been evolving for a while; just think of the variations for a website, social media and even that tiny favicon in web browsers. It can be a lot to think about. So let’s try to organize those logo thoughts.

30 Beautifully Designed Ghost Themes
Inspiration / 20 Oct 2017

30 Beautifully Designed Ghost Themes

Are you ready to jump into the world of web design with Ghost? This simple and powerful platform is designed for bloggers (and other websites) that are looking to create using a simple platform and structure.

The framework could be roughly compared to something such as WordPress, because of the number of options and amount of flexibility available with this system. And Ghost is gaining popularity. Publishers such as Square, Envato, NASA and Bitcoin are using it to power their websites. Today, we’ll round up 30 great themes (including free and paid options) for Ghost so you can get started in no time. And these are more than just themes that work great; we focused on themes that are beautifully designed.

Design Trend: Vivid Rainbow Colors
Graphics / 16 Oct 2017

Design Trend: Vivid Rainbow Colors

If nothing else, 2017 has been a year of color in website design. Color trends have dominated the conversation about design, with brighter, bolder hues as a large part of the landscape.

There’s a new color trend that combines a lot of those bright options into bigger color palettes that you might now expect – rainbow color patterns. That’s right, more designers are taking a change with a lot of color and incorporating vivid rainbow, gradient colors into design projects. And it’s pretty cool!

Here’s a look at the trend and some ideas for how to use vivid color that aren’t garish.

Coming Soon Landing Pages: Tips and Best Practices
Layouts / 11 Oct 2017

Coming Soon Landing Pages: Tips and Best Practices

What do you do when your website is under construction and you aren’t quite ready for launch?

Whether you’re generating buzz to release a new product or app, or just waiting for a new website project to be ready, a coming soon page can be the fix.

When used well, coming soon pages can help generate leads (with an email signup form) and drum up some interest for your website.

Tips for Creating a Modern Monochrome Color Palette
Graphics / 9 Oct 2017

Tips for Creating a Modern Monochrome Color Palette

A monochrome color scheme isn’t always the first idea that comes to mind when starting a new design project. But single-color design projects can have a lot of impact and give the opportunity to branch out and try some new techniques.

Monochromatic projects, which consist of a color palette with just one color, can be striking because they aren’t as commonly seen as projects with more color variances. This alone can make your project stand out.

DPI vs. Pixels: What Do I Use?
Graphics / 4 Oct 2017

DPI vs. Pixels: What Do I Use?

You hear these phrases tossed around by everyone today – from amateur photographers, to the iPhone salesman, to some of the world’s most acknowledged visual creators and designers. But what do image size specs really mean? And what should you use?

Simply, it all depends on your project. Knowing what medium you are creating for and how your images will be used is key to sizing and picking the right number of pixels or DPI. Before you begin your next project, though, make sure you are familiar with all the image-quality jargon.

5 Tips for Creating a Memorable Logo Design
Business / 2 Oct 2017

5 Tips for Creating a Memorable Logo Design

A logo might be the single most important visual connection a brand makes with users. It identifies the company or organization and sets a basic tone for interactions with users.

From color to shape to words, every element in a logo design says something. (That’s why such a small element is so important to your brand.)

Logo design takes a lot of planning and thought and it is important to create a mark that represents your business and is something that users can identify and remember. It’s doubtful that you’ll develop the next Nike swoosh, but with the right approach you can create a memorable logo design.

How & Why Faces Increase User Engagement
Graphics / 28 Sep 2017

How & Why Faces Increase User Engagement

There’s a lot of science and psychology that goes into design. Even if you don’t consciously think about it, choices that you make when selecting imagery and user interface elements can establish a connection with users (or not) and even lead to higher engagement rates.

Using actual human faces in the design is one way to do this. Seeing a face can make people more likely to engage with a design because it makes the app/website/poster feel more human. It creates a more distinct emotional connection.

Here, we’re going to look at designs that use faces in different ways and how you can up user interaction with some of the same design techniques.