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Cognition

Articles By:

Yesenia Perez-Cruz

  1. A Healthy and Balanced Website

    Posted on 3/13/14

    Do you ever overcompensate? Maybe you’ve gone on an “unplugged vacation” to combat device addiction or embarked on a juice cleanse after an indulgent weekend. I’ve been there often.

    I’ll spare you the details of my “10-Day Sugar Detox,” but I can share a little about how I’ve overcompensated in my design work. You see, my early designs were chock-full of inconsistencies—every style I created had a unique embellishment. One day, I became fearful that I had become one of “those clueless designers” that frustrated developers write scathing articles about.

  1. Dear CSS3

    Posted on 10/17/13

    When Dan Cederholm introduced us that spring afternoon at An Event Apart in 2010, I took one look at you and thought, “What a dreamboat.” I knew you were going to change my life. We took things pretty slow at first—I experimented with button and gradient generators while marveling at your features. “You mean, no more cutting gradient background images? And wait, I can just round those corners however I want?!” At the time, my exploration focused on replicating classic Photoshop effects. I had no idea that that was just a small part of what you could do. Since then, you’ve brought so much adventure into my life, creating effects that I could never dream up in Photoshop.

  1. Getting Real About Self-Confidence

    Posted on 8/1/13

    When I was a rookie designer, self-doubt ruled my life.

    On a typical day, harsh criticisms like: “You’re a terrible designer! So and so asks way better questions than you do. You’re using four button styles, and your subnav looks like a pack of hot dogs.” consumed my thoughts.

    Many people don’t like to admit their lack of confidence because it is perceived as weak. I’m four years into my career now, and I’m still working on taming that nagging voice inside my head. Luckily, I’ve learned that confidence is a skill, just like typography and CSS. It requires practice, time, and discipline.

  1. One Size Fits None

    Posted on 2/21/13

    Who doesn’t love to talk about process? Every week, it seems, someone has discovered “the new way to work that everyone should be doing.” While I love a healthy process debate, I find discussions that promote a one-size-fits-all design approach problematic.

  1. One Hand Washes the Other

    Posted on 8/16/12

    I once believed that great design was created inside of a secret creativity chamber. Armed with a knapsack full of snacks, I’d lock myself inside, and work long, hard, tedious hours until I emerged with a “masterpiece.”

  1. Rut-Roh! I’m in a Design Rut

    Posted on 4/19/12

    Last week, while plugging away in Photoshop—tunes blazing through my headphones, pixels flying from my fingertips—it hit me. I was in a design rut. I’d grown complacent with my pagination arrows. Countless times, for vastly different sites, I’d relied on the DIN Bold arrow character. It’s a sturdy, hard-angled, utilitarian arrow, perfectly suitable if I quit web design to design highway signs in Germany, but not the quick-fix solution for all my arrow needs.

  1. Designing a Presentation

    Posted on 12/1/11

    In my list of career goals, “Public Speaking” was somewhere towards the bottom, under the heading: “Save for Later.” I imagined the audience would fall asleep, the floor would turn to lava, and I’d be left clinging to the lectern while the scathing tweets were projected onto the wall behind me. Terrifying. Despite these fears, I made my speaking debut three weeks ago, along with two of my colleagues, Michael “MJ” Johnson and Allison Wagner, at AIGA Philly’s 3rd Pencil 2 Pixel presentation.

  1. Sweet Systems

    Posted on 7/28/11

    To most, it’s just the sugary centerpiece to a child’s birthday party—but to me, the Cupcake Cake is systematic genius. A balance of consistency and variety, each cupcake is decorated with the same delicate piping technique, from a carefully selected color palette, with no drop of icing wasted. The result is surprising, delightful, and the highlight of the party.

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