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Cognition

Articles

Past + present.

  1. The Latest

    (Auto) Prefix All The Things

    We’ve been on the Sass bandwagon here at Happy Cog for quite some time. It’s become an essential integration into our workflow. Sass’ power manifests in many ways. It makes it easier to maintain our code, it enables a modular architecture, and it helps us scale our CSS. There is a problem, though. I’m sure you all have been there.

  2. Tool Time

    I recently came off a huge project in which I was responsible for front-end code that had me knee-deep in a singular codebase for seven, count ’em, seven months. ’Twas fun—no complaints. In fact, I really enjoyed the work, but when I found out the next project in the pipeline was a one-page marketing microsite with a quick turnaround time, I got super excited for the learning/implementing opportunity a project of this scale provided.

  3. Frequently Asked Questions on FAQs

    No matter the client, FAQs are often a topic of conversation during many site redesigns. Maybe they are legacy content and deemed a new requirement for the get-go. Maybe stakeholders raise them as a potential solution during the course of the engagement. Sometimes, they even creep up on us (unplanned) after launch.

  4. Rethinking Our Prototypical Process

    When I started working at Happy Cog three years ago, deliverables fell neatly into two categories: design or code. In the design category, there was another clear division: UX design (wireframes) or graphic design (page comps). But then RWD came in and threw a spoke in the wheel. Since JPEGs only show a fraction of a responsive website, we needed to figure out new ways to communicate the design to move the project forward. We introduced HTML prototyping to replace traditional wireframes, and the lines between UX, graphic design, and front-end development blurred.

  5. Opening My Sketchbook to a Client

    People who sketch well are intimidating. I’m talking about those who confidently visualize an idea with speed and style. Some are just born with this talent—others have to develop it. I fall into the latter category.

    Like many designers, I showed enough drawing ability to have put me on this career path but not enough to be an illustrator. That gap in drawing talent manifested itself as a lack of confidence with sketching, as well. I tend to see the vision as the pencil hits the paper—not before. As a result, throughout much of my career, I’ve kept my sketches to myself in volumes of Moleskins. I’ve rarely shared those doodles with coworkers and never with clients. The thumbnail-sized brainstorming and visual problem-solving made sense to me, but I had no confidence it could communicate clearly to others.