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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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?”

  5. 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.”

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Client Dis-service

    7/29/16

    by Dave DeRuchie

    The digital design space is unique, because it is an industry of largely positive dialogue and sharing. We collectively care about the web, so we want to help our clients solve their digital and/or content-related problems. Ultimately, as vendors and practitioners, we’re in this together.

  10. Find Your True North

    7/21/16

    by Dan Delauro

    I remember when I was a kid, and all of the adults around me would ask: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, as if my 7-year old self had all of the answers. I used to hate that question. I still do. I try my best to avoid asking that of my own kids. Not because I get answers like “a dinosaur”, “a princess” and “a tractor”. Those are all amazing answers and most likely, equally lucrative careers if they managed to pull it off. I steer clear of that question to avoid undue stress. What child needs to take time away from building a fort out of couch cushions to worry about getting a job, how they’re going to pay the bills, or what their purpose is on this planet? There’s plenty of time for that stress much later in life.