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

11 Tips to Boost Your Design Profile on Social Media (Without Looking Sleazy)

Instagram Templates / 8 Jul 2020

11 Tips to Boost Your Design Profile on Social Media (Without Looking Sleazy)

Most designers have no problem creating great visuals to share on social media. (That’s almost a no-brainer!) But how can you boost your profile on social media channels without looking sleazy?

There’s a fine line between fun, engaging content, and pushy or overwhelming. There’s a lot of value in showcasing your work online, and you want to do it the right way.

Here, we’re going to look at how to make the most of your design profile on social media. These tips work for personal and business accounts, and they help you walk the path of using social media in a genuine and helpful way.

SEO for Designers: A 101 Primer

Business / 29 Jun 2020

SEO for Designers: A 101 Primer

Most designers don’t consider search when it comes to building a website. That’s a mistake. Optimizing for search is just as important as information architecture and should be part of the product design from start to finish.

This is true both for your own knowledge that the project stands the greatest chance of commercial success, and for your client too!

Whether you are starting a new project or redesigning your portfolio, working with search engine optimization in mind from the start is a smart idea.

Here, we’ll look at some of the most basic SEO tips to help you get started on the right path.

How (And Why) to Design for Local Businesses

Business / 22 Jun 2020

How (And Why) to Design for Local Businesses

Designing for a local business can be one of the most rewarding projects that you take on. When done well, you create a relationship with someone in your community that helps them grown and succeed.

Whether you’re creating a website or designing menus or flyers, working with a small business can stretch your creative muscles but it will make you think about the process a little different. Small businesses can be quite different than some of your bigger clients. They have a lot more on the line when it comes to design services and return on investment, they may have more questions, and they need to know how design can help them grow.

When you take a small business client, your approach to design will likely be a little different. Here’s how to think about it.

Design Psychology: 8 Strategies to Use in Your Projects

Business / 26 May 2020

Design Psychology: 8 Strategies to Use in Your Projects

Psychology, the study of the human mind, is a very complex subject that even the scientists struggle with. In fact, scientists and researchers are still trying to figure out why we have dreams when we sleep.

However, thanks to many studies, years of research, and the dedication of brilliant minds like Sigmund Freud, we now have a general understanding of how the human mind works.

As it turns out, our minds are pre-programmed to respond and react to certain things in certain ways. There are also specific patterns of how our mind reacts and the way we think. In psychology, these patterns are called “schemas”. Researchers have also found strategies that could influence these patterns to control our reactions.

Everyone from magicians to big brand corporations and the mass media have been using and taking advantage of these strategies for generations. To influence our behavior and sell products.

In this guide, we look at how you can apply the same psychological strategies they use for the good of others. And make better and more effective designs.

10 Tips for Working From Home With Kids

Business / 6 Apr 2020

10 Tips for Working From Home With Kids

If “work from home” wasn’t part of your vocabulary or company culture two months ago, it very well could be now. An increasing number of people across industries have set their online status to WFH.

And while some have glorified working from home, others find it to be distracting and awkward, especially with children in the home. But there are some things you can do to make it easier.

Establishing a working from home routine for you and your kids is the key to long-term success. You need clear boundaries and a little flexibility (even if it does seem like an oxymoron) to keep your home and work life running smoothly. Here are 10 tips to get you on the right track.

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!

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.

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.

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.