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Cognition

Articles

Past + present.

  1. The Latest

    Everything I Know About the Web I Learned on the Job

    When I graduated college with an English and Fine Arts Degree, my school’s career services office didn’t know what to do with me. They handed me a giant book of jobs for English majors. Nothing interested me, but I wasn’t going to let some lady in a university office dash my dreams. I went to Monster.com and found what seemed to be my dream gig at a startup. I applied, selling myself as a creative type eager to learn anything and everything.

    I got that job over 15 years ago, and I’m happy to report that that description of me still hasn’t changed. I’ve always wanted to learn on the job, and I still do. Somehow, I’ve made a career in an industry perfect for learning while working.

  2. Avoiding #RWD Limbo

    Almost four years ago, I wrote a Cognition post about my Rule of Threes. In it, I explained that pushing a design effort far enough often resulted in stronger, better-conceived, and more thoroughly vetted solutions. If you didn’t read the article, let me give you a quick recap:

    At the conclusion of the information architecture phase, multiple designers worked in unison to evolve three unique design concepts. Each effort was aimed at different, but agreed upon goals. By varying art direction, user-interface interpretation, and content prioritization, the Rule stressed designing a “range” of static mock-up solutions to present to a client. Whichever concept garnered the most attention became the “base model” that was iterated on and drove the overall look and feel moving forward.

  3. Creating Things Just for Fun

    It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of researching and strategizing wonderfully thought out websites. Sometimes, it’s nice to cut loose and create things just for fun, away from the computer screen. Thus, our monthly Happy Cog Handcrafted Challenge (HCHC) was born.

    February was its inaugural month, and I led the effort. I wanted to take things back to elementary school and do an anonymous valentine exchange (though, I used the term “valentine” loosely—really just any card stuffed in an envelope would do).

  4. Fear and Fruitful Projects

    Off the top of my head, I can tell you that I’m afraid of flying, public speaking, and savory foods that contain hidden fruit. I’m also afraid of starting a new project. But, I dive into new projects just like I risk biting into mango every time I go for the summer roll, because I know that fear of the unknown isn’t a bad thing.

    Fear is a natural reaction to the unknown, but as a society, we don’t really like to talk about it. Not many people will openly admit they’re afraid, because, well, it’s uncomfortable. Admitting your fears makes you vulnerable. It also makes you human. When it comes to the world of digital projects, admitting fear is sometimes likened to admitting defeat. It’s not. It’s a normal reaction to the various unknowns that exist at the start of a project.

  5. Cognition Roundtable

    We’re back with another Cognition Roundtable—a casual conversation about process and the web industry recorded by Happy Cog folks. This time, CMO Greg Storey leads a discussion with designer Sophie Shepherd, developer Brandon Rosage, and VP of Technology Ryan Irelan about how and why we’ve started experimenting with a more development-focused project process. In under a half hour, they cover topics like: