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Browse hundreds of articles, tips, and inspiring design collections. Find helpful design advice, or the perfect resource for your next project.

Competitions / 18 Jun 2008

Win a Year of Free Hosting

We’re pleased to announce a new competition on Design Shack, in partnership with UK2. Four hosting packages are up for grabs with a total value of over $450. One “business” and three “home” hosting packages are being given away. Each is completely free for one year, comes with one (or more) free domain names and would make a fantastic home for your site.

Articles / 11 Jun 2008

Design Critique: Mobile Me

Apple have recently announced a new suite of online applications called MobileMe. The aim of the development is to allow you to keep all your information in sync between several devices (e.g. your iPhone, Mac and Windows PC). In addition, Apple have created a new online site at me.com, which will hold a suite of applications including email, calendar, address book and photos.

We’re going to take a quick look at the design and layout of this new online service, and explain what works well and what we think could have been done better.

Accessibility / 4 Jun 2008

An Informative 404 Page

Classic 404 error pages are prone to being relatively useless. Whilst a well designed page can provide a means to find what they are looking for, wouldn’t it be great if you could find out more about what went wrong? This tutorial will show you how simple it is to have an explanatory email sent to you whenever a visitor hits a 404 page.

Reviews / 2 Jun 2008

PSD2HTML Review

For several years, PSD2HTML have been the primary sponsor of Design Shack. We don’t like to suggest a service to you unless we have tried it ourself to ensure that it’s worth a recommendation. A recent addition to our network of sites, 13 Styles was in need of a redesign and I took the opportunity to use PSD2HTML’s service and document the process.

This article will be more than a straight forward review of PSD2HTML. We’ll be considering the basic idea of these type of services and considering when, and for who, they are appropriate. Honesty will be foremost, and I hope that you will gain a real insight into using a PSD to XHTML tool.

Articles / 27 May 2008

Introduction to CSS3 – Part 6: Backgrounds

For the last part of our introductory series to CSS3, we will be taking a look at the new background properties. These include background size, using more than one background for an element, and background origin (which effects the position of a background).

Articles / 26 May 2008

Inspirational Workspaces

Believe it our not, your office environment as a designer can have a huge impact on the quality of work produced. Whether it’s in a cluttered office, a contemporary apartment, or even a caravan; the standard of your design creations (even your CSS code!) can really be impacted by the surrounding. This article will take a look at some inspiring workplaces, desks and gadgets to give you a few ideas.

Articles / 19 May 2008

Introduction to CSS3 – Part 5: Multiple Columns

Multiple columns are a major facet of laying out text – newspapers have used them for decades. So important are they that it is amazing that the current way to achieve a multi column layout is one of the most complex techniques for a new designer to grasp.

Articles / 15 May 2008

RSS Feed Icons

The RSS feed icon has become somewhat iconic in web design, and is arguably one of the most recognized symbols. This great article has a huge collection of RSS feed icons – from a photorealistic style as shown here, to small buttons to hand-drawn sketches.

Articles / 13 May 2008

Introduction to CSS3 – Part 4: User Interface

This tutorial will be taking a look at some of the new ways you can manipulate user interface features in CSS3. But what do we mean by “user interface”?

CSS3 brings some great new properties relating to resizing elements, cursors, outlining, box layout and more. We’re focusing on three of the most significant user interface enhancements in this tutorial.

Articles / 10 May 2008

Design Critique: Blog Platforms

Most designers are familiar with the relative pros and cons of different publishing tools – but what about the websites of the blog platforms themselves? We all know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I would argue that there’s no harm in looking…

We’re going to take a look at the homepage for four popular platforms: WordPress, Textpattern, ExpressionEngine and Blogger. Which ones are beautiful enough to compel you to use their platform, and which ones have the design aesthetic of a hello kitty toaster? Hopefully through a critique of these designs you can take home some good pointers for use in your own work.

Articles / 9 May 2008

Introduction to CSS3 – Part 3: Text Effects

The third part in this series on CSS3 will be delving into the new text effects. Typography is, without any doubt, one of the most important aspects to get right when designing a layout. Type can draw the reader through a page, give a certain impression, provide impact, be subtle, or aid in separating content.

CSS is already reasonably versatile in the way in which text can be displayed, but still constricts design in quite a few areas. CSS3 goes some way towards removing those limitations.

Articles / 8 May 2008

Silverback Previews

Silverback is a new app which lets you run your own usability tests really easily. It looks set to be a great new tool for designers who want to analyze how users interact with their site. After a recent request for beta testers, a few interesting details are emerging.