Articles

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

30 Beautifully Designed Tumblr Themes
Inspiration / 24 Nov 2009

30 Beautifully Designed Tumblr Themes

Tumblr is an easy to use, fast-growing blogging platform with a strong emphasis on simple, no hassle content sharing. I would describe Tumblr as much more attractive and streamlined than Blogger and a lot simpler than WordPress (though not as powerful).

Like other blogging platforms, Tumblr makes it really easy to change themes on the fly without messing up previously posted content, and with over 275 themes to choose from, you get a lot of variety. However, sorting through hundreds of mediocre themes to find those few golden nuggets of design goodness can be quite the mundane task. That’s why we’ve done the work for you and created this collection of 30 beautifully designed Tumblr themes.

We’re Joining the Smashing Network!
News / 22 Nov 2009

We’re Joining the Smashing Network!

smashingmag

I’m pleased to announce that Design Shack has become a member of The Smashing Network, offering us another outlet to get in touch with new designers and network with some other really fantastic websites.

A big thanks to the Smashing Magazine team – we’re really looking forward to growing Design Shack further, and hope that you’re enjoying our new articles. Thanks for reading – you make the site what it is!

Create a Beautiful CSS Menu
CSS / 20 Nov 2009

Create a Beautiful CSS Menu

Today we’re going to create a working horizontal CSS menu from scratch. We’ll be using transparent PNGs (sorry outdated browser users) to create a glossy horizontal bar, the color of which can easily be changed using only CSS. Before we get started, check out what we’ll be building in the live demo.

12 Accessibility Pitfalls to Avoid
Accessibility / 18 Nov 2009

12 Accessibility Pitfalls to Avoid

Usability isn’t an exact science. What one visitor considers helpful another considers annoying. Despite this uncertainty and complexity, you should always strive to make your site as accessible as possible to the people you’re trying to reach. You’ll find that a little bit of catering to the special needs of a minority of users can drastically improve the function of your site for all users. Here’s our list of twelve accessibility pitfalls to avoid along with some examples showcasing sites that either excel or fail miserably in these areas.

Four Quick and Easy Ways to Embed MP3 Files Into Your Site
HTML / 10 Nov 2009

Four Quick and Easy Ways to Embed MP3 Files Into Your Site

Once upon a time I was in a rock band. When I was building our website, I naturally wanted to put some music up so visitors could listen before purchasing our songs on iTunes. After a bit of research I found out that there are a million ways you could go about it, some better than others. Sadly, after two albums and lots of good times, my band The Van Buren Regulars no longer exists. Fortunately, what I learned about embedding music lives on and is easy enough to pass along.

Today we’re going to look at four easy ways to embed MP3 files into your website. All of these methods are free and take mere minutes to implement. Let’s check them out!

The Ultimate Guide to CSS Gallery Inclusion
Business / 3 Nov 2009

The Ultimate Guide to CSS Gallery Inclusion

Design Shack started out as a simple CSS gallery, featuring well designed websites that caught my eye. Tens of thousands of designs have been submitted over the past few years, and each one has been considered carefully for inclusion. The sad fact is that only around 5% of submissions stand out from the crowd.

This could be due to any number of factors; the site didn’t get the basics right, didn’t have anything remarkable to show, or (occasionally) was let down by content. This guide will walk you through how to make sure you stand a great chance of inclusion, avoiding all the pitfalls so commonly stumbled into by designers. At each stage, we’ll take a look at one great example, and one that’s not so good.

Where to Find Inspiration Online
Inspiration / 30 Oct 2009

Where to Find Inspiration Online

A trip to your local book store’s magazine rack used to be the quickest, easiest way to find rich, diverse inspiration without a significant fee. Recently, the web has completely changed the way designers, developers, artists, writers and photographers search for influence. Now anyone with an internet connection can access a virtually unending stream of content that saturates the senses and breeds innovation. The best part: most of it is free.

20 Simple jQuery Tricks
JavaScript / 28 Oct 2009

20 Simple jQuery Tricks

jQuery has quickly made it’s way into nearly every web developer’s bag of tricks. The simplicity with which jQuery allows us to handle complicated events and perform smooth animations makes it the perfect tool for both beginners and experienced developers to add professional flair to their sites.

Here are 20 simple jQuery tricks to get you on your way to JavaScript bliss. The keyword here is “simple” so even if you’ve never used jQuery before, this is the perfect place to start!