Articles

Browse our articles, inspiration, news, and tips for the design community.

Happy Christmas!
News / 26 Dec 2009

Happy Christmas!

I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the site this year, written an article, or submitted their design. We’re certainly ending this year on a high, and are looking forward to everything we have in store for 2010.

I hope that you have a wonderful rest over Christmas, take the time to recharge your batteries, and start the New Year full of fresh, creative inspiration.

Thanks for reading Design Shack, and Happy Christmas from myself and Josh!

10 Useful Tips for a Captivating Contact Form
Inspiration / 23 Dec 2009

10 Useful Tips for a Captivating Contact Form

The “Contact Us” form too often gets thrown in as a quick afterthought rather than an element that sets the tone for the communication. Today we’ll take a look at several easy techniques you can use to take your contact forms from boring to brilliant.

Along the way we’ll see several examples of great contact forms along with resources on how to recreate the effect on your own site.

Winner Announced: Win a Copy of CSSEdit
Competitions / 15 Dec 2009

Winner Announced: Win a Copy of CSSEdit

I’m pleased to announce that we’re giving away a copy of CSSEdit to one lucky reader. CSSEdit is a brilliant piece of software for dealing with style sheets on your Mac, with visual editing, live preview, an “X-Ray inspector”, and a thorough selector builder that can save you a headache.

All you need to do to enter is follow @designshack on Twitter, and post your username in the comments. It only takes five minutes, and we’ll be announcing the winners in one week – on the 19th December.

Good luck, and thanks for reading Design Shack!

Take Part in the BaseKit Beta
Articles / 12 Dec 2009

Take Part in the BaseKit Beta

Various services are available for converting PSD files to HTML code, all competing from a different angle. Some offer a very quick turn-around, others a ridiculously low price. Whilst some designers regularly use them as part of their working process, there are various advantages to completing the process yourself.

BaseKit is a new web service that allows you to maintain control over this process, easily moving from a PSD to a fully marked up website. It’s still in Beta, but we have 50 invite codes to give away. Read on for a preview video of the service in action, and information on how to apply for an invite.

18 CSS Compression Tools and Techniques
CSS / 4 Dec 2009

18 CSS Compression Tools and Techniques

Learning to write clean, optimized CSS requires lots of practice and an unstoppable compulsive desire for neatness. Keeping your CSS trim and tidy isn’t all about feeding your crazy psychological need for cleanliness though, in the case of particularly large websites, the payoff is faster loading pages. Faster loading times equals increased usability and higher user satisfaction.

This post will examine several techniques you can use to optimize your CSS as well as several online tools that can automatically compress your code.

20 Mac & Windows Apps for Desktop Blogging
Reviews / 2 Dec 2009

20 Mac & Windows Apps for Desktop Blogging

Every blogging platform has a built-in blog editor, some better than others. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find an online editor that can offer the richness found in many desktop applications. Features like offline editing and posting to multiple blogs at once make desktop solutions a must have for professional many bloggers.

Here’s a list of 20 applications that allow you to create blog posts from the comfort of your operating system environment, no internet connection required.

10 Expert Tips for Designing a One Page Portfolio
Inspiration / 28 Nov 2009

10 Expert Tips for Designing a One Page Portfolio

Once upon a time, designers would lug unwieldy physical portfolios from interview to interview to showcase their work. This tactic is steadily being replaced with sending out emails containing links to an online portfolio. A portfolio website is becoming an essential marketing tool for every designer and can be the single biggest impression upon which you will be judged and hopefully, hired.

This article contains several tips and examples to help you create an amazing single page portfolio.