Category: Articles


Software / 18 Mar 2015

A First Look at Bloom: An Opt-in Plugin From Elegant Themes

Today, we’re excited to be taking a first look at a new product from Elegant Themes — Bloom. It’s a WordPress plugin that takes the headache out of growing your own email list using beautiful, customizable and easy-to-use forms that can be placed anywhere on your website.

The email inbox is a sacred place. Emails are not lost in the endless stream of chatter or filtered out by social algorithms. They are a direct line to your visitor’s ear, it’s an incredibly important medium. Talking to your customers is the fun bit, but building your list is the hard part, and that’s where Bloom comes in.

Layouts / 18 Mar 2015

The Complete Guide to an Effective Card-Style Interface Design

Card-style architecture is one of the biggest things in web design, and mobile design in particular. From apps to responsive websites, the card-style format is popping up everywhere.

And for good reason. Mobile card design looks nice, works well on a variety of devices and creates distinct organization and a method for content delivery. That’s why many large, well-known brands are using the card format and many smaller design and development groups are following suit.

Deals / 17 Mar 2015

Pay What You Want: iOS Designer Bundle (Worth $1,297)

This week’s deal is a great opportunity to grab a bargain on everything you need for iOS design. It’s a bundle of three iOS design courses, one huge collection of design assets, beautiful wireframe graphics for organising your app’s flow, and much more.

This is another fantastic Pay What You Want bundle. You decide how much to pay! Grab a few of the courses for any price, or beat the average selling price to unlock the whole deal. Read on to find out more, or take a look at the full deal now!

Inspiration / 16 Mar 2015

Designing Without Images: Making Typography Work for You

You don’t need a great image for every design project. In fact, you can create a great design with no images at all. It’s a trend that is gaining a lot of momentum as typography-focused projects can be used to stand out against a crowded sea of hero images, video and animations.

All you have to do is think like a typographer. Designing without images takes focus, vision and a clear understanding of design and typography principles to create a piece of art that is totally comprised of text.

Graphics / 12 Mar 2015

10 Tips for Designing Icons That Don’t Suck

Almost every designer is thinking about app design these days. One of the smallest features of every app is the icon used to represent it on the screen of every mobile device and in the app stores. Designing a great icon is more than just putting a logo in a box. You need something that stands out among all the other app icons out there.

A good icon can be used in a variety of ways – for apps, social media and even on smaller printed projects or business cards. And all it takes is a little design and planning.

Deals / 10 Mar 2015

Save 83% in the Web Designer’s Photoshop Tool Bundle

This week’s deal gives you a fantastic opportunity to save 83% on a collection of Photoshop plugins. Usually costing $149 individually, they’re just $24.99 for the next few days.

It’s great chance to accelerate your Photoshop workflow, with CSS Hat 2, PNG Hat, iOS Hat, PSD Cleaner, Subtle Patterns, and much more. A wonderful collection of plugins, that are all yours for this one-off price! Read on to find out more, or check out the bundle now.

Graphics / 9 Mar 2015

10 Tips for Designing for Wearables and Watches

Every day we are getting a little closer to the release of the highly anticipated Apple Watch. The device is going to further change the way we think about wearable technology and how to design websites and apps for this interface.

Wearables present challenges unlike other design projects. Function is a primary concern, as is size with what will be one of the smallest screens designers have ever worked with. The key is creating a design that is visually pleasing but is user-friendly and provides a functional experience. Here are 10 things to consider as you design for a wearable interface (with examples other designers are already imagining).

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Design Dilemma / 5 Mar 2015

Design Dilemma: Buy One, Get Two More for Free?

I love giving back by helping designers with their questions and dilemmas. I’ve been successful at using my own dunder-headed mistakes as lessons not only for myself, but for others. There is one mistake, however, I never made — failing to speak up for myself. Yes, there were projects I walked away from because of the low fee, the client appeared to be too sleazy, or a gut feeling told me that the numerous red flags meant I was borrowing trouble, but I never wondered if I made the right choice.

When I hear about a designer who was too afraid to ask for a contract, assert themselves when scope creep started heading for the ridiculous, or they feel working for free will be that great opportunity the client promises, I wonder if this is not the reason the industry and creatives are seen as being weak and foolish. The following dilemma makes me frustrated at the weakness the designer displayed, but there has to be patience and forgiveness in the world, so, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the human world of design.

Deals / 4 Mar 2015

Pay What You Want: Front-End Developer Bundle (Worth $1,042)

This week’s deal is a great opportunity to learn everything you need to know about front-end development. It’s a bundle of seven courses and tutorials, totalling over 93 hours of instruction from industry professionals.

The best thing about this one? It’s another Pay What You Want bundle. You decide how much to pay! Grab a few of the courses for any price, or beat the average selling price to unlock the whole deal. Read on to find out more, or take a look at the full deal now!

Freelancing / 3 Mar 2015

Freelancing 101: How to Help People Understand Your Job

Just because you have a “home office”, it doesn’t mean you’re really working. How often have you gotten this response from friends or family? They just don’t always seem to get the life of a freelancer…

The hours are different for freelancers. The workplace may not look like an office at all, and can sometimes be the kitchen table. But that doesn’t mean you are not working. Chances are you are working exceptionally hard. Sometimes it just takes a little explaining to help everyone else better understand your job.

Deals / 2 Mar 2015

Save 95% on a Lifetime Ptengine Subscription

Today’s featured Design Shack Deal comes from Ptengine, a service that empowers you to see your website’s traffic in real time and analyze user behavior, with absolutely zero analytics experience required. It is an easy-to-use web app that tells you which pages your visitors like and dislike, and how to fix them.

You can get a lifetime premium subscription, worth over $1,000, for just $49 (a total saving of 95%!). It’s only running for a few more days, so take a look now, or read on to find out more.

Layouts / 2 Mar 2015

How to Design an Email People Will Actually Read on Their Phones

Email marketing is one of the most popular ways to reach an audience. Wait, that’s probably not new information. But did you know what a majority of those views will be on a mobile device? So if you are not designing your emails for phones, this is the day to start.

Designing a mobile email takes planning and thought. Many third-party email software clients include responsive templates in their packages, but not every tool will automatically convert your message to the idea design. You need to think out how your email will look and make sure the message is focused. It might even be the perfect place to start with a mobile-first design strategy.