Carrie Cousins

Carrie Cousins

Designer. Writer. Editor.

Freelance designer, writer and editor. Stickler for details. My day job is in communications and content marketing.

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Screen shot 2017 07 15 at 8.12.24 am article

How to Ensure Your Design Uses Real Content

Building the design system with “dummy text” is not the same as using the real thing. Users need real and authentic elements to create a connection with your brand, and designers need these elements to help create that experience in the design. Although it’s become professionally acceptable to use filler text when designing websites, at best it’s lazy. At worst, it produces an end product that misses the mark.

Screen shot 2017 07 15 at 8.11.26 am article

UI Elements You Should Start Using Right Away … And a Few to Avoid

Your web design projects should be constantly evolving as new design trends and user patterns become familiar amongst consumers. Like fashion, trends come and go. Everything from color palettes and typography styles to animations and user interactions become stale within an ever-changing web landscape.

Heinz orig article

Inspiration Center - Business, Website and Marketing Inspiration

Attracting repeat shoppers is a goal for any small business owner. The key is wowing customers every step of the way. But where do you start? You may think it's your company's website design, but you're forgetting something. Consider the humble packaging label for your products. Never fear, we're here to show you how to make a big statement with a few simple product packaging design tips.

Brutalism design trend article

Brutalism: A New Trend in Web Design | Design Shack

Some designs aren’t polished and clean. They are rough, jarring and ragged. Yet they still work and communicate effectively. This class of websites makes up the raw trend called brutalism.

Design options 1 article

How Many Design Options Should You Show a Client? | Design Shack

You’ve been working on a client project for a little while now. It could be a website design, brochure, or something else altogether — but you’ve spent some time on it. You like the concept. Is that all you need to go back to the client with? Or do you need to create a couple more options for the design review?

There’s a balance of creating enough for a client to choose from, and avoiding work that you know will certainly just get thrown aside. If you know the client well, chances are you can present just one design option. (Seriously!)

Skills clients expect article

15 Skills Every Design Client Expects You to Have | Design Shack

While every design project is a little bit different, almost every client expects you to be a jack of all trades to some degree. Regardless of the project, designers are often expected to provide a complete solution for clients, even though most of us don’t have all the same skills.

In addition to design, clients may ask for expertise in marketing, code, or illustration. It can be a difficult balance at times. But knowing what clients might expect can help you have a plan for how to deal with specific requests, whether it is offering a referral to someone else or adding a new skill to your portfolio.

Body text size article

4 Reasons Why Your Body Text Should Be Bigger | Design Shack

The body text on your website is too small. While desktop monitors and phone screens seem to be increasing in size, body font sizes have seemingly shrunk. While their original size is the same, they feel smaller than ever.

Side navigation trend article

Design Trend: Experimental Navigation Patterns | Design Shack

There’s a trending topic in website design navigation: sidebar menus. More designers are working with vertical side navigation for projects, with a specific location on the left side for many of these website designs.

Color fonts article

Color Fonts: A Beginner's Guide | Design Shack

So what in the heck is a color font? It’s a term that keeps popping up and is starting to gain traction, although use in large design projects is still in its infancy.

Images 1 article

7 Steps to a Flawless Design Review | Webdesigner Depot

The design review can be one of the most stressful milestones in any website project. While feedback is a valuable part of the overall process, sometimes the process of getting there is complicated and unwieldy.

Facilitating a flawless design review takes commitment on the part of the primary designer and team participating in the review. You, the designer, can help establish a set of ground rules and process to help make each design review more valuable for everyone at the table, resulting in a better design project.

Featured trends article

Essential Design Trends, May 2017 | Webdesigner Depot

Making a good first impression is a vital part of website design. The homepage is often the first experience a user has with a business or organization and a striking design can help create interest. This month’s trends all focus on homepage design elements that are just a little bit different than what users are used to seeing.

From a purely aesthetic trend in shallow hero headers and diagonal corner layouts to a user interaction trend in this or that calls to action, there are plenty of interesting ways to draw the attention of users.

Featured speed article

7 Ways to Design at Lightning Speed (and Still Be Good ...

Some of the world’s best designers – and even the best designers where you work – all have something in common: Many of them know how to work at lightning speed. And the work is still good.

While part of this speed work comes with experience, some of it is comes back to solid work habits and great time management. Working quickly and efficiently can be great for helping you make good with the boss, and for freelancers, taking care of tasks quickly can result in the ability to take more jobs (and increase your earning potential).

So how do you get faster without sacrificing quality? Here are seven tips that you can start using today.

Featured june article

What's New for Designers, June 2017 | Webdesigner Depot

There’s a mix of function and fun in new design and development tools this month. From adding emojis to links, to fonts that wow, to CSS tricks, there’s a little something for everyone in this collection. Plus, almost everything on the list this month is free, except for a couple typefaces and tools. They’re sure to be useful to designers and developers, from beginners to experts.

New may article

What's New for Designers, May 2017 | Webdesigner Depot

This month’s collection of new tools has a theme – they are mostly time-savers. Many of these elements are small in weight but big in helpful nature. Almost everything on the list this month is free, with the exception of a few more premium typefaces. They’re sure to be useful to designers and developers, from beginners to experts.

If we’ve missed something that you think should have been on the list, let us know in the comments. And if you know of a new app or resource that should be featured next month, tweet it to @carriecousins to be considered!

Poly shapes trend article

Poly Shapes: A New Design Trend We Love | Design Shack

There’s a new favorite shape in design these days – the polygon. These affectionately called “poly shapes” are popping up on websites, posters and in printed projects. And one of the best parts of this versatile trend is that each of these designs is so different.