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.





5 Ways to Network as a Remote Freelancer
Business / 5 Feb 2018

5 Ways to Network as a Remote Freelancer

One of the toughest areas of working as a freelancer is that there’s a sense of professional loneliness. Most of your work days are spent alone in a home office. While local networking opportunities exist, they may not be geared toward the creative industry. You need to get out!

You need to meet more creative workers. You need to develop a method to network as a remote freelancer, to create relationships that will help you grow in your career—and keep from feeling like you work on an island!

How (& Why) SVG Is Going to Take Over in 2018
Graphics / 31 Jan 2018

How (& Why) SVG Is Going to Take Over in 2018

2018 will be the year of SVG. The image file format has been growing in popularity and usage steadily over the last few years, but 2018 is when it will really break through.

You have the combination of users with high-resolution displays and the need for a lightning fast load time to thank. And while the switch to SVG might sound like a big deal; it’s not.

SVG is easy to use and implement, and you don’t really have to change existing files; just add new images as SVG. Here’s everything you need to be in the know when it comes to SVG.

30 Tips to Be More Productive in 30 Days
Business / 29 Jan 2018

30 Tips to Be More Productive in 30 Days

Whether you work alone or as part of a large team, everyone is looking for ways to increase productivity. You’ll feel less stressed and get more done each day. Let’s see just how much you can change in 30 days—you’ll be amazed.

So how do you do it? First, changing any habit takes practice. Doing something one time doesn’t make it part of a new routine. You have to do it repeatedly; make it part of who you are. Here, we’ve got 30 tips to help you be more productive 30 days from now.

You aren’t going to do all of these things at once. Start with one or two, once they are part of your embedded routine, add another change and slowly build until you are feeling like your most productive self. Good luck!

7 Ways to Jump Into UX Design From Graphic Design
UX Design / 24 Jan 2018

7 Ways to Jump Into UX Design From Graphic Design

There’s good news for graphic designers looking to make a career shift into UX design: You already have a strong foothold on the skills needed to get started. As someone who has a keen eye for pleasing aesthetics and a knack for solving problems, the change isn’t out of reach.

And there’s another bonus. The Interaction Design Foundation reports that UX designers have a higher average salary ($74,000 annually) than graphic designers ($41,000).

Are you ready to make the jump into user experience design? Here are seven ways to get there even faster.

Procreate vs. Photoshop: Should You Make the Switch?
Graphics / 22 Jan 2018

Procreate vs. Photoshop: Should You Make the Switch?

Designers are in love with Procreate. The app built for creative professionals makes designing on an iPad easier and more efficient in a completely new way. But can a $9.99 app be a realistic Photoshop competitor?

For some, the answer is a definite yes. Here are five reasons Procreate could become your go-to design app (and five reasons why it might not).

Design Trend: Open Concept Layouts
Graphics / 17 Jan 2018

Design Trend: Open Concept Layouts

If you watch any home improvement shows on television, the most repeated phrase might be “open concept layout.” Did you know you can DIY your way to an open-concept layout in website design as well? This design trend is more than just a home improvement idea.

Open concepts are a fun, and functional, visual pattern that can help users navigate your website while controlling digital clutter. Here’s how you do it with 10 mini case studies and examples!

7 Tips for Designing for Oversized Touchscreens
Mobile / 15 Jan 2018

7 Tips for Designing for Oversized Touchscreens

Touchscreens are everywhere. But they aren’t just on your phones and tablets. Designing for the oversized versions of touchscreens – think desktop computer size and larger – can present a unique set of challenges.

How do you design for something so big, when you are so accustomed to thinking about thumb regions for screen design? Here’s a guide to thinking about oversized touchscreens and how to create something that users with interact with on an even larger touch scale.

6 SEO Habits That Will Increase Website Traffic
Business / 10 Jan 2018

6 SEO Habits That Will Increase Website Traffic

Everyone wants more website traffic, right? But are you doing all the little things that help boost search engine ranking with every new image upload or content update?

Creating the right habits from the start will keep your website in tip-top shape and hopefully result in bonus points from the Google algorithm.

The good news is that this list is packed with actionable, everyday tips. Start with a solid website framework and then employ these techniques with every update to get on the path to creating great SEO habits that won’t be tough to maintain.

Pros and Cons of Personalization in Your Website Design
Accessibility / 8 Jan 2018

Pros and Cons of Personalization in Your Website Design

When it comes to website personalization, designers have a lot of opinions. Is the research and hassle of designing a personalized interface worth the reward?

For big companies such as Amazon and Netflix, personalization has been a game-changer. But what about for your website? Can you use personalization to a great benefit as well? Here, we look at the pros and cons of personalization in your website design.

5 Reasons to Move Your Website to HTTPS
Accessibility / 3 Jan 2018

5 Reasons to Move Your Website to HTTPS

Have you been putting off the move to HTTPS for your website? Even if this chore hasn’t yet made its way to the top of your to-do list, you should probably consider doing it sooner rather than later.

When a web giant such as Google makes a suggestion, website owners tend to listen. And that’s the case with HTTPS, which does get priority in search rankings and indexing. But that’s not the only reason to move your website to HTTPS.

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Designers
Inspiration / 1 Jan 2018

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Designers

Happy New Year! Today, we’ve got a nifty guide to resolutions that are specifically for designers. What changes do you hope to make in 2018?

Did you know that people have been making resolutions to improve themselves and their lives since the time of ancient Babylonians? I’ll admit to making a few of these myself… now if I could only manage to keep them all year! Good luck with your resolutions and have a wonderful New Year.

How to Optimize Your Website for Voice
Accessibility / 27 Dec 2017

How to Optimize Your Website for Voice

Chances are, you often ask your phone or computer to look things up for you. With voice assistants getting better and being more widely used, more people are interacting with their voice. But what does that mean for your website?

Google actually reported that 20 percent of mobile search traffic is prompted by voice command. And that’s a number that’s likely to grow as more people interact with voice interfaces. It also means that you need to design your website to work for the way people talk.