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Critique / 2 Dec 2011

Web Design Critique #71: Cutest Paw

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 Cutest Paw, a worldwide animal photo gallery. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

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Layouts / 1 Dec 2011

The Evolution of Apple.com

The Apple design team is widely regarded as one of the most talented group of designers in the industry today. The trends that they set are followed by not only every other major tech company, but by web designers in every conceivable product and service niche.

Follow along as we embark on an exciting journey through time and witness the evolution of Apple’s design style. You’ll get several amazing glimpses at Apple.com dating all the way back to 1997 as we witness the rise and fall of several important design trends.

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Software / 30 Nov 2011

Designing a Website With IM Creator

In the ever expanding world of online website builders, it’s pretty difficult to find anything that’s worth spending more than ten minutes with. This market is flooded with clunky interfaces, hideous templates and brutal freeform design restrictions.

I recently came across a product called IM Creator that stands out though both in style and functionality. Does it live up to its promises or join the rest of the sites in this market and fall short of a decent DIY website solution? Read on to find out.

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CSS / 29 Nov 2011

Create Five Awesome Hover Effects Using CSS Multiple Backgrounds

Today we’re going to have all kinds of fun with the CSS multiple backgrounds feature. You’ll learn how to use multiple backgrounds in a simple way and how to go much further by combining the technique with hover actions and CSS transitions to create some really cool effects.

Follow along as we code five different applications of this idea that you can copy and paste to create your own awesome hovers.

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Layouts / 28 Nov 2011

Black Friday Web Design: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Last week our U.S. readers celebrated Thanksgiving and its subsequent shopping madness known as Black Friday, where retailers dramatically reduce their prices for a day of pure shopper mayhem.

Instead of joining the stampede of frantic shoppers, I followed my annual tradition of hiding away in my home office. However, I couldn’t resist a look around to see how various stores were handling the design side of the event. Let’s see which top name retailers pulled out all the stops and which ran with cliché, generic and even ugly designs.

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Freebies / 26 Nov 2011

Weekly Freebies: Flourishes and Ornaments

This week’s set of freebies is a fantastic collection of flourishes and ornaments. Together, these nineteen sets contain well over one hundred unique and creative pieces of art that you can use to bring your designs to the next level.

You’ll find some awesome vectors that are perfect for importing into Illustrator as well as some great Photoshop brush sets. Go grab them now and start increasing the awesome factor in your work.

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Critique / 25 Nov 2011

Web Design Critique #70: Lake Gibbs Estate

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 Lake Gibbs Estate. Let’s jump in and see what we think! When you’re finished looking over this article, be sure to check out our huge collection of other web design critiques.

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CSS / 23 Nov 2011

How to Build a Responsive Frankenstein Framework With LESS

CSS layout frameworks are super helpful, but they can be a mess. You always have to conform to someone else’s system, whether or not it makes sense to you.

Today we’re going to ditch this notion and build an ultra-lightweight framework that can be implemented wherever and however you want to achieve complex multi-column layouts in seconds flat. You build this Frankenstein Framework as you go so there are zero unused classes and absolutely no code bloat. Did I mention that it’s also easy to make to make it responsive? Read on to see the monster come to life.

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News / 22 Nov 2011

Design Shack Is Hiring! Apply Today

Good news! Design Shack is growing and we’re looking for some rockstar designers and developers to join the team. Read on to see what type of talent we’re after and how you can apply!

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Graphics / 22 Nov 2011

Three Quick Design Tricks: Break Out Screenshots, Easy Starbursts and Vector Grunge Textures

Today we have a small collection of completely random but very useful design tricks that you should keep in the back of your mind the next time you need a new idea.

I’ll show you a quick way to make a software screenshot more interesting, how to create awesome vector grunge textures and a super fast way to build a vector starburst.

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Software / 21 Nov 2011

5 Simple Steps to Stunning Portraits in Photoshop

Today’s article points out a harsh but true reality: just because you know how to use Photoshop for design work doesn’t mean you know how to edit photos. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

Follow along as we show you five simple and lightning fast steps you can take to transform your plain, boring portraits to stunning images that look straight out of a professional photographer’s portfolio. Along the way you’ll learn several important tips such as how to properly sharpen an image and how to draw the viewer’s attention to where you want it to go.

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Critique / 19 Nov 2011

Web Design Critique #69: Okay Geek

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 Okay Geek, a delightfully geeky tech blog that we’ve seen before on Design Shack. Let’s jump in and see what we think of the new design!