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CSS / 13 Aug 2012

Master Responsive Web Design With Gridset

Let’s face it, responsive design is hard work. Web design was difficult enough when we were only considering desktop platforms, but the challenge of seemingly infinitely varying screen and viewport sizes has really added to the complexity of website layout.

Whether you’re completely new to responsive design or consider yourself an expert in the area, the tool that we’re going to look at today will blow you away. It’s called Gridset and it’s amazing.

Critique / 10 Aug 2012

Web Design Critique #85: Sonic Electronix

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is Sonic Electronix, a consumer electronics company. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

CSS / 9 Aug 2012

5 Design Lessons That I Learned From Writing 85 Web Design Critiques

Here at Design Shack we offer a simple but useful service called a web design critique. It’s basically a consulting service that you can take advantage of for a mad cheap price in exchange for letting us post it on the site as an educational tool.

I’ve personally written up a whopping eighty five of these things thus far (#85 will be posted later this week). That’s a whole lot of design advice! Read on to see what I’ve learned about web design in the process, both from the good examples and the bad.

CSS / 8 Aug 2012

Which Is Right for Me? 22 Responsive CSS Frameworks and Boilerplates Explained

CSS frameworks have been around for years now, but the arrival of responsive design practices has rendered many of our old favorites useless. Fortunately, lots of really talented developers have jumped in to fill the gap with the next generation of CSS frameworks and boilerplates.

There’s already a ton of these things floating around. Everyone has a list, but no one really walks you through how each framework and boilerplate differs from the next so that you can make an informed decision. That’s our goal today. Follow along as we take a look at what makes each of these 22 responsive CSS frameworks and boilerplates unique.

Accessibility / 7 Aug 2012

The Designer’s Guide to Bartering

Never work for free. It’s a moto that will get you far in an industry overflowing with bottom feeders who want something for nothing. That being said though, money isn’t the only thing in the world for which you should consider busting out a few hours of design work.

Countless designers have found that they can get far in life through the age old practice of bartering. Read on to see how to barter like a pro.

Competitions / 7 Aug 2012

The Dealotto Bundle Is Back (And You Can Win a Free Copy!)

The Dealotto Bundle is back, and this time it’s even bigger. We’re partnering up with the good people at Dealotto for the course of the week, running an exclusive competition to give away three copies of the bundle!

Dealotto has a unique model that gives you the chance to bag an absolute bargain on 10 amazing design resources, including over 6691 icons, 300 UI design elements, 36+ WordPress Themes, 1 Beautiful Font, 1 jQuery Photo Viewer + 1 eBook for no more than $45. Read on to find out more…

Freebies / 6 Aug 2012

25 Unbelievably Awesome Design Resources From Creative VIP

Did you know that Design Shack has a sister site called Creative VIP? It’s one of the best sources around for design resources and it’s growing every day!

No matter what type of PSD you’re looking for, Creative VIP likely has you covered. Today we’re going to jump in and take a look at 25 of my personal favorite files available. They’re too good to turn down!

Critique / 4 Aug 2012

Web Design Critique #84: RoyalSlider

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today we’re going to be looking at the site for RoyalSlider, a popular JavaScript content slider. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

Graphics / 3 Aug 2012

Maintaining Consistency in Your UI Design

Consistency in UI design is an old school principle and somewhat forgotten in some of today’s web and application designs. It seems like designers are choosing to omit consistency from their interfaces.

In the case of mobile application design, some designers are choosing to re-invent, re-create or even completely break the hardware standard interactions with their own unique interface patterns. While breaking the consistency between the hardware UI rules and your apps experience may not be a bad idea, breaking your own apps consistency can be.

Graphics / 2 Aug 2012

Good Design Taste Test: Three Fast Casual Restaurant Websites Compared

Fast food restaurants are notoriously bad with web design, but the emerging market of “fast casual” eateries thus far is proving to be much better in this area.

Today we’re going to look around the web at the websites for some of the most popular fast casual restaurants to see who is doing the best work and what we can learn from them. Warning: this post will make you hungry!

CSS / 1 Aug 2012

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Web Fonts

When Google Web Fonts was first released, we wrote up a quick walkthrough. Since then, the service has been completely overhauled and it’s high time for a thorough walkthrough from scratch.

Join us as we start at the very beginning and discuss what the Google Web Fonts service is and how to get it up and running on your site today. Give us a few minutes of your time and we’ll open you up to the awesome world of awesome free web fonts.

Software / 30 Jul 2012

How to Turn Photographic Textures Into Masks in Photoshop

Texture is a key element of design. Learning how to wield and apply textures effectively will really open up your level of skill and proficiency in Photoshop.

Today we’re going to learn about a super quick and easy way to take a photographic texture and turn it into a mask that affects the transparency of a layer. No matter how proficient you are with Photoshop, you should be able to pick up this technique and begin using it on your projects today.