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Cognition

Articles

Past + present.

  1. The Latest

    We know where passion comes into play and where to put it in check.

    One day a phone call came in from a large, amazing hospitality brand. They were preparing for their annual shareholder meeting and needed some environmental and wayfinding work done in a hurry. It was 2004 and I was a designer at a studio in Southern California. The studio was small, and the team was small, but we had a big passion for great work and cool brands. There wasn’t much that we couldn’t handle.

    Our passion for this particular project was pretty intense. We were collectively excited; not only by the type of work, but for the brand as well. Nights and weekends be damned, this project was going to kick ass. And it did — but not without its bumps in the road and small anxiety attacks. Communication started to breakdown and frustration started to take over. The client’s trust in our ability to see the project through started to evaporate.

  2. Grunt Plugins Reviewed

    7/17/14

    by Cat Farman

    0 Responses

    The movement towards designing with performance budgets in mind has inspired more fist pumps and vuvuzela bleating in this developer than the recent World Cup. Thinking through the ramifications of design choices for site performance makes it easier for me to build a fast website when development begins.

    But when it comes to testing against budgets, we’ve been measuring page weight and rendering times manually, using tools like WebPageTest.org and Yahoo’s YSlow. Relying on humans to run tests has meant we don’t always measure our performance consistently, therefore missing page weight hogs like the occasional stray Blingee. There has to be a better way, right? A curious client got us wondering how we could automate our performance testing.

  3. Behold, the Fold

    If you’re in the web industry and reading this article, you’re probably thinking, “Over halfway through 2014 and she’s writing about the fold on the web! I thought we settled this!” But, the existence of the fold is still something that gets debated on many of our projects.

    Below is an imagined conversation between myself and a Defender of The Fold, in which I successfully explain why we shouldn’t worry about the fold on the web.

  4. So, You’ve Hired an Intern. Now What?

    Interns can make your life as an employer a little bit easier. They are the extra pair of hands you’ve always needed, and unbridled creativity fills their minds. Interns strive to be a valuable asset to your team and want an educational and enjoyable experience. Since they are only around for a few months, making the best use of both their and your time should be a common goal. Great interns put in 110% effort every day, but what can you, the employer, do to ensure that internships are valuable for both of you?

  5. 7 Lessons in 8 Years of Client Services

    Eight years ago next month, I came onboard as Airbag Industries’ first employee (we later became part of Happy Cog). In a moment of reflection recently, I sat down with my eight-years-ago-self and wrote down some of what I’ve learned. Here’s what I would share with 2006 Ryan, to not necessarily prevent mistakes but to help him (me) manage them better.

    In the beginning, I worked as a project manager for a retainer client Greg Storey secured. I spent every day for a year talking to lawyers about blogs. I presented designs to lawyers, handled their requests and feedback, and then worked with them to get their new blog populated with content and launched.