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Learn how to run your design business, work with clients, manage expectations, and handle your finances.

7 Tips to Improve Your E-Commerce Website Design

Business / 1 Apr 2020

7 Tips to Improve Your E-Commerce Website Design

When it comes to selling online, you probably know that security and quality items are key components of your shop. The design of your online store can matter too.

You want to create a design aesthetic that’s easy to navigate and leads users to items they want to buy with the ability to check out quickly.

A solid e-commerce website design can actually help you increase sales because it makes shopping easy. Here are seven tips to help you create an even better online store, with examples of online stores that rock.

7 Tips for Developing a Website Redesign Strategy

Business / 23 Mar 2020

7 Tips for Developing a Website Redesign Strategy

With the average lifespan of a website being somewhere between 3 and 5 years, chances are that you’ll have a website redesign project soon (if you aren’t already working on one.)

The foundation of a solid redesign is strategy. What do you (or your client) hope to get out of the redesign? Why is the change being made? What does success look like?

Answer these questions and it will help bring the design together. Plus, we have a few more tips for developing a website redesign strategy. (Take note of the images in this post, they are pretty nifty website designs from the Design Shack gallery.)

How to Book, Plan + Attend a Design Conference Like a Pro

Business / 12 Feb 2020

How to Book, Plan + Attend a Design Conference Like a Pro

A design conference is a great way to recharge, refresh, and develop new skills to make you better at your job. But planning for attending a conference can be a little bit intimidating.

So here, we’re going to break it down. You can book, plan, and attend a design conference like a pro – even if you are going for the first time – with these tips.

We’re covering everything from planning and booking, to mapping out a session plan, what to bring, and some tips on what to do after the event as well!

What Is a Lookbook? (+ 10 Stunning Examples)

Business / 27 Jan 2020

What Is a Lookbook? (+ 10 Stunning Examples)

Whether you’re a designer wanting to show off work or have a request to create one for a client, a lookbook can be an effective way to showcase a variety of elements in a single design.

A lookbook is a portfolio of sorts and has wide application in a number of fields, including website design, graphic design, and development.

Here’s a guide to what a lookbook is, what to include in one when you start designing it, and some examples that are sure to help you find a little lookbook inspiration.

14 Tips for Speeding Up Your Website in 2021

Business / 6 Jan 2020

14 Tips for Speeding Up Your Website in 2021

It’s not a trick question: is your website fast enough? Page load times can impact everything from how long users stay on your site (or if they see the content), to search rank and overall conversions.

Speed matters on two fronts – for desktop and mobile devices – with mobile speed mattering more than ever. Not only does your website have to load fast; it needs to load fast everywhere.

So how do you do it? Start by running a Google PageSpeed test to see where your site ranks (you’ll get a few suggestions for speeding up your site there as well). Then, start making these tweaks to make your website lightning fast this year.

Passive Income for Designers: 5 Tips to Get Started

Business / 23 Oct 2019

Passive Income for Designers: 5 Tips to Get Started

Passive income is money that you keep earning on a product or service with little or no maintenance. While it takes some work to get started, a plan for generating passive income can be a great supplement to a designer’s revenue stream.

There are plenty of things you can do – create an e-book or t-shirt design; sell UI kits, themes, or design elements; develop an online course; join an affiliate program, or provide hosting services for website clients.

But how do you get started? Here are five tips to help you turn your passive income idea into a revenue-generating reality.

10 Professional PowerPoint Templates (And How to Use Them)

PowerPoint Templates / 17 Oct 2019

10 Professional PowerPoint Templates (And How to Use Them)

Let’s face it, not everyone has the time or energy to design a pixel-perfect PowerPoint slideshow for every presentation they make. This is where professional PowerPoint templates can be a live-saver!

Whether you’re in charge of designing a slideshow for the weekly team meeting, or a freelancer pitching to clients, designing unique and attractive PowerPoint presentations for each meeting can be a painful task—even for a pro.

Well, let’s change that, shall we? In this post, we’re going to show you a very simple way you can make stunning presentations using professional PowerPoint templates that will knock your client’s socks off.

Should Analytics + Stats Impact Web Design? Pros + Cons

Business / 30 Sep 2019

Should Analytics + Stats Impact Web Design? Pros + Cons

Do you take an analytical approach to website design? Most designers understand the logic behind connecting an analytics tool such as Google Analytics to a website. It helps you better understand traffic patterns, user behavior, and what people are looking for on your website.

But analytics can also help shape the design. If a page isn’t converting users, analytics can help you understand why to change the way the page looks. If people aren’t buying a specific product, analytics could help show a usability flaw that you can fix.

But you can also get mired in the numbers and bring website development to a screeching halt.

Today, we’re looking at the pros and cons of using analytics to shape website design.

What Is a Website Privacy Policy (And How to Write One)

Business / 25 Sep 2019

What Is a Website Privacy Policy (And How to Write One)

Maybe you first noticed it in WordPress, when the admin started settings asking for a link to a privacy policy. Maybe you’ve been following news and the passing of GDPR. Or maybe you’ve just been talking it over with peers. Regardless, it’s probably time to include a privacy policy in website projects.

But with so much legalese, where do you start? What is a privacy policy? How do you write one?

Here, we have help! Since we aren’t lawyers, it’s always a good idea to have your counsel read over your policy, particularly if it gets complicated in any way.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to be earth-shatteringly complex to fairly quickly have a privacy policy on your site that covers off the most common issues.

Pitch Deck Design: 10 Tips to Stand Out

PowerPoint Templates / 19 Sep 2019

Pitch Deck Design: 10 Tips to Stand Out

A good pitch deck is designed for specifically one thing – to help your startup get funding from investors. But how do you stand out from the crowd, and make a memorable impression?

There’s a delicate balance to creating a deck with just enough slides to entice potential funders, without providing so much information that they are overwhelmed.

Most pitch decks contain less than 20 slides. So how do you create a pitch deck design that stands out? Here are our ten tips to help you get started.

How to Make a Personal Marketing Plan (With Examples)

Business / 9 Sep 2019

How to Make a Personal Marketing Plan (With Examples)

You probably understand that everything you do online – and in-person – contributes to your personal brand. But did you know that having a personal marketing plan to establish, maintain, and promote that brand can be equally important?

Particularly for freelancers and anyone working in the gig economy, both full-time or part-part, having a distinct personal brand can impact your design work. Your brand will attract a certain type of potential client and work. Do you have a plan to draw in projects that are most appealing to you?

It can start with a personal marketing plan. Here’s how you do it.

5 Tips for Building a Website for Friends or Family

Business / 3 Sep 2019

5 Tips for Building a Website for Friends or Family

How often does someone in your inner circle ask for a website? It happens quite often! Building a website for friends or family members can get tricky fast. These can sometimes your best (or worst) customers.

If you start projects with the right ground rules and a few tools, you can navigate these projects easier. And you can avoid any potential fall-out from setting the wrong expectations or committing yourself to a project that blows way past the time you have to spend on it.

Here are a few tips for approaching a family or friends project in the right way, and setting yourself up for success from the start.