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Cognition

Articles By:

Chris Cashdollar

  1. Cognition Roundtable

    Posted on 8/28/14

    We’re bringing you this special edition of Cognition Roundtable, where Assistant PM Mica McPheeters speaks with our VP of Design Chris Cashdollar about the client’s role in design projects. Spend the next half hour with Chris, as he pulls inspiration from his upcoming presentation at HOW Interactive Design Conference in Washington, DC—“Reevaluating the Role of Your Client in the Design Process.” Specifically, he’ll cover:

  1. Presenting Design with Confidence

    Posted on 6/19/14

    When it comes to conducting a well-orchestrated design presentation, having prior presentation experience is a false measuring stick for success. Preparedness, not experience, actually breeds the confidence needed.

    “Are you ready?” Klaus asked finally.
    “No,” Sunny answered.
    “Me neither,” Violet said, “but if we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives, Let’s go.”
    – Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator

    Like Violet states, you can’t wait for the perfect moment or the deserving job title to feel comfortable presenting work to clients. To help nudge you out of the nest, I’ve culled these personal tips for anyone who has to stand up in front of an audience and talk about design fluently and with confidence.

  1. Avoiding #RWD Limbo

    Posted on 4/10/14

    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.

  1. Better Stakeholder Interviews

    Posted on 5/9/13

    Remember the childhood game of “Telephone”? One person whispers a message into the ear of their friend, and that action is repeated until everyone in attendance has heard and relayed the statement. The last person blurts out to the group what they heard, and, usually, laughter ensues.

    Everyone understands why this happens. Translation and less-than-pristine reinterpretation damage the fidelity of the message. There is no copy-and-paste equivalent for verbal storytelling. A photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of an image will always render that image indistinguishable from the original.

  1. Anatomy of an Illustration

    Posted on 11/8/12

    Time flies by. Cognition recently crossed its one-hundred-article threshold. While there is nothing particularly newsworthy about this milestone, the interesting fact is that numerous hands cooperate each week to birth a new post. One unique part of this behind-the-scenes magic is the weekly pairing of our author with an in-house illustrator. Editorial illustration, when done well, helps to bring the essence of the article to life via a single, compelling image.

  1. Before You Hit Send: A Few Honest Tips for Job Seeking Designers

    Posted on 6/28/12

    Hiring a new designer is exciting. The hiring process is not. As someone who has recently been on the receving end of hundreds of applications, I’m noticing a few alarming trends. New graduate or seasoned veteran, it doesn’t seem to matter.

  1. Dear Branding Agencies,

    Posted on 3/1/12

    You’ve crafted the “big picture” view. The client loves the new branding direction; they can practically smell the future you’ve unveiled for them. Now it’s time to get to work. That means you likely have a bazillion different projects in play to bring this new brand to life: identity packages, brochures of all shapes and sizes, tickets, annual reports, bus wraps, on-site signage, and, yes, the website.

  1. Escape the Fear Factory

    Posted on 9/29/11

    With my Pittsburgh roots comes a 30+ year fandom of the NHL hockey team the Pittsburgh Penguins. But one of my favorite Pens memories didn’t happen during a game; it was actually a text message. A message sent by owner and legendary player, Mario Lemieux, to the team and coaches before decisive game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup finals.

  1. The Secret Ingredient

    Posted on 6/2/11

    Variety is a blessing. Here at Happy Cog, each and every design project is radically different. Show me the day when any two client design challenges are exactly the same and I’ll turn in my font library, ergonomic chair, and scribble-filled Field Notes. Retirement at 34? Sounds good. Now, where’s my fishing pole…

  1. Watch Your Language

    Posted on 2/10/11

    He invoked a sense of dread every Monday and Wednesday from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. At the age of 18, “color theory” wasn’t something I necessarily “got.” Yet the facts were unavoidable. The class was mandatory. All design majors had to take it and endure it. And almost all of us were clueless in the art of discussing design. We were at the mercy of the scariest design professor this side of the Bauhaus, Keith Newhouse.

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