Skip to main content

Cognition

Requirements

We’ve written 10 blog posts about Requirements. View all topics »

  1. Don’t Make Me Turn This Project Around…

    As I sit in my living room, laptop open and a Cognition column awaiting my two cent contribution, I listen to the sound of my three children shrieking upstairs. It’s bath time and they’ve been freed from the prisons of their clothing. They may or may not be careening into one another in a darkened second-floor hallway, laughing like maniacs. Parenting, like client services, is the management of the wackiest of variables, people.

  2. The Belly Rules the Mind

    In early 2014, I resolved to cook more frequently and expand my skills. Putting my years of Food Network and Top Chef knowledge to use, I challenged myself to create dishes outside my sautéed chicken and roasted vegetables repertoire. My mission relied heavily on recipes collected from personal blogs, publications, cooking websites, and cookbooks.

  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. It’s Alive: Prototyping in the Browser

    In 1998, I built my first website. I hadn’t gone to college yet, and my professional goals had little to do with pursuing web design and a lot to do with playing in a rock band. While my peers were mowing lawns, washing cars, and frying things, I was curiously learning about HTML and attempting to share my efforts with the world. As my skills got sharper, I quickly realized that there were businesses out there that would actually pay me to do this… and it certainly beat having to get an afterschool job.

  5. Discontent

    Have you ever had to fit three lead stories onto a web page that was designed for only one? Ever needed to hastily rework a design because nobody realized that a product description might run to more than 200 characters until after you delivered the templates? Ever found yourself slapping big yellow alert banners and screaming headlines onto an otherwise tastefully designed home page because the layout actually distracted your users from the site’s most important content? (And why did the layout distract them? Not because it was elegantly designed, but because it was designed before the client figured out the content strategy.)

  6. Clippers

    I recently went on the hunt for a new barber closer to home. You see, I’ve been fortunate enough to have my hair cut for the last six years from the same barber every time, a friendly man named Joe. Over that time Joe and I have gotten to know each other quite well. We both have dacshunds, we both enjoy the theater, and we both know exactly how I like my hair cut.

  7. Follow That Requirement

    If you’ve taken part in any sort of web project, you have hopefully defined, referenced, and/or tested a requirement. You’ve also felt the impact of requirements gathering on your work. A good requirement can make your job easier by taking the mystery out of what is needed. A bad requirement can lead to more work, or even wasted effort. I explored how to mine for detailed requirements in Questioning (the) Authority. In the year since I wrote that article, I’ve wrestled with how to manage the natural evolution of business requirements to functional requirements as you progress through a project. How do you create traceable requirements?

  8. Are Doctypes the New Lunch Tables?

    Viewing source has gotten pretty rad these days! Looking around the web, a good command + u (yes, I use Firefox/Mac) can provide an afternoon of exciting show and tell. One thing I like to look into is at which DTD table everyone is sitting these days. When the HTML5 doctype was introduced, some folks grabbed it and never looked back to the land of system identifiers again; others were cool with rocking a doctype that has been working for them for the last decade or so. This has caused some separation between those who see the choice as the past versus those who see it as the future. The cool table versus the lame table.

  9. Responsible Development

    11/18/10

    by Mark Huot

    15 Responses

    When Happy Cog undertakes a development job, one of our goals is to empower our clients with the necessary knowledge for them to help themselves. We’re not passing the buck — we’re planning for the future. No one likes writing or receiving panicked emails about urgent updates to the legal speak of the footer, or that so and so’s aunt just looked at the website and couldn’t find the button that adds an item to the cart. We work with our clients every step of the way to ensure that, even in those panicked moments, they are able to help themselves.

  10. Questioning (the) Authority

    The success of any project hinges upon your ability to extract information from people. I’m not talking about summary-level information, I’m talking about the microscopic stuff. It’s harder than you might think.

    The reason for this may be best identified by a Hungarian–British polymath named Michael Polanyi who wrote a book called “The Tacit Dimension” in 1967. It is an overview of something he called “tacit knowledge,” which is the belief that creative acts (especially acts of discovery) are charged with strong personal feelings and commitments.