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Defining our industry's methodologies, standards, and culture have long been a part of Happy Cog's values.

We started Cognition as a product to offer advice, create a dialogue, and serve our industry and clients to help them with their goals and aspirations.

Learn more about Happy Cog at happycog.com.

  1. Deciphering Goals & Objectives

    10/5/16

    by Dave DeRuchie

    Recently I’ve noticed that the terms “goals” and “objectives” are being used interchangeably in requests for proposals (RFPs) that we receive. It struck me that writing an article that explains how to differentiate goals from objectives has been tried many times before, but the message isn’t being received. Clients still use them interchangeably, making it difficult to differentiate the broader, more strategic purpose of the project (Goals) from the steps that will be taken (Objectives) to fulfill that strategy. If you receive a request for project work, and your prospect has taken some liberties with the use of goals and objectives, here’s one way to translate them into clear statements you can use to help determine your approach to the project.

  2. Custom Attributes for our Spacing Classes

    9/29/16

    by Paul Phan

    Recently here at Happy Cog, we’ve been using the lobotomized owl selector to handle vertical spacing between elements. Up until now, we’ve been adding a class of `.spacing` on a container to create equal spacing between all of its direct child elements.

  3. Good Questions: Why We Prize Project Definition

    9/22/16

    by Rawle Anders

    They say the smartest students are the ones who ask the most questions. As a kid, that didn’t make a lot of sense—you think you look vulnerable—but with every answer you get, you’re more informed, wise, and empowered to keep learning.

  4. Autolayout

    9/15/16

    by Mark Huot

    I’ve had a love-hate relationship with grid systems over the years. Every system I try to standardize on becomes bloated, forgotten, or yesterday’s news. I find myself constantly switching to the next best thing. What follows isn’t a proclamation that this new system is the best, or that you should drop everything and switch. Instead, allow me to walk you through my grid system evolution so that we may all learn from it.

  5. R.I.P. Office

    9/8/16

    by Greg Hoy

    I turn 47 this week. I think? Sorry. I stopped counting when I hit 21. As I approach the mid-century mark, I’m pretty much reflecting on everything. It’s not really a mid-life crisis (I’m not pondering a Camaro purchase), but more of a “state of Greg” analysis. What have I done well? What have I screwed up? How can I change for the better? How can I make work better for our staff?

  6. My Shelf, My Self

    9/1/16

    by Tom McQuaid

    I buy books. Antiquated, I know.

    I love the smell. I love scribbling in the margins and dog-earring pages. What I love most, though, is stepping back and looking at what I’ve collected. The obsessive-compulsive organizer in me is satisfied by the neat arrangement of rows; the varying heights, widths, and colors create a rhythm that satiates my desire for visual delight. Some people see my bookshelf and roll their eyes. “You still buy books?” Or worse, “You keep the books you’ve read?”

  7. Digital Cheer

    C-H-E-E-R-S!

    8/25/16

    by Amanda Buck

    Following my colleague’s lead, I have a confession of my own to make. In a former life, I was a cheerleader. I cheered with the St. Ambrose Angels and the Brunswick High School Blue Devils. I spent my adolescence jumping and tumbling and flying in stunts, chanting and cheering and dancing to clips of “Work It” and “Come on Eileen.”

  8. What I Learned from Happy Trees

    8/18/16

    by Dana Pavlichko

    When I watch someone else work, I see all the clever and messy little ways they get from one place to another. Observing others approach their work has given me useful instruction and new techniques—both technical and soft skills—that I can take into my own work later.

  9. The Truth About Facts

    8/12/16

    by Michael Johnson

    A significant portion of this country supports a candidate for President that I do not. By now you’ve already formed an idea of whom I’m talking about, though I’ve given no indication about my preference (unless you follow me on Twitter) and the statement is true for anyone who writes it.

  10. How profitable is your staff?

    8/4/16

    by Dave DeRuchie

    High fives all around—you’ve just launched another website. It’s truly cathartic when a team’s work fulfills the goals and objectives of a project. But as the project lead, if someone asked, “How much profit did your team generate?”, would you know the answer?

    Ideally, you would, because you’ve been keeping track of your costs over the past months. Evaluating project profitability as your project progresses enables you to monitor hours used and assess the efficiency of your project process so you can make strategic adjustments.

    If you haven’t been tracking costs incrementally, it’s not too late to make sense of the numbers. Determining project profitability in a digital agency, or really any service-based business, comes down to understanding your costs. Let’s break down one way to determine profitability for a project team, based on time-tracking data.