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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. More or LESS?

    1/26/12

    by Allison Wagner

    I love writing CSS. I really do. I love spinning straw into gold, rescuing HTML elements from browser default styles, curving corners, softening colors, and cushioning containers. I love abstracting complex design systems into powerful classes and efficient declarations while minding the cascade and the rules of inheritance and specificity. I see a site’s visual design as one giant puzzle, patiently waiting to be analyzed, broken down into component parts, and built back up again. I easily spend 70% of my time at Happy Cog developing the presentation layer, so I’ve had my eye on the hot newness that is the Sass / LESS / CSS preprocessor movement for a little while now.

  2. Streamlining Internal Communications

    Three and a half years ago, I left the world of traditional print marketing and entered the world of the Interwebs. My old company said “No!” to video chatting or instant messaging in the office and worried more about proper email subject line etiquette than finding the best ways to communicate with each other. Change was in store as I entered the land of Instant Messaging (IM) and Skype, Basecamp and Campfire, but was it a change for the better or do more lines of communication further complicate things? I found myself being asked a similar question by a couple folks at a Dribbble holiday meet up this past December. I was asked how I manage projects, how we communicate as a team, and more specifically, how I manage communications in a virtual environment.

  3. Stepping Out of Line

    1/12/12

    by Michael Johnson

    Years ago, I was presenting comps on a scheduled call to a key stakeholder of my then-agency’s flagship account. It was my first call with him in months. He was unfortunately on vacation and without his laptop. That should have been the end of it.

    Instead, he asked me to paint him a picture.

  4. Targeting Twenty Twelve

    1/5/12

    by Rawle Anders

    We Happy Coggers have much to look forward to in 2012. This year will see the launch of our longest-running, largest project ever. (Stay tuned.) We’ll be firmly rooting our stronghold in a brand new city, Austin, TX, perhaps eating some barbecue in the process. We’ve also moved into a new studio space in NYC, An Event Apart is in more cities than ever before, A Book Apart is publishing critical new thinking on the web industry, and A List Apart will be evolving as well.

  5. Holiday Gifts For the Young Web Designer Who Doesn’t Have It All

    12/22/11

    by Kevin Hoffman

    The field of web and application design is deep into a fantastic and complex evolutionary stage. Browsers have adopted more support than ever for the same standards, yet the bleeding edges of those standards are constantly staining our screens with new approaches to the ways we interact with information. Platforms, frameworks, methods, and opinions about them are myriad. It can all be a little intimidating for someone just getting off of the school bus.

  6. The Gift of Giving

    12/15/11

    by Jenn Lukas

    One of the interesting things about being in front-end development and the open web is that once you publish your website, anyone can see your work. Whether you use Firebug or Web Inspector or good old View Source, you can view everything I do in a quick click. This has always been one part terrifying to me (I swear those extra spans were the CMS WYSIWYG’s idea) and three parts awesome. As someone who loves web standards and the idea of creating a better web for all, I think it’s radical to share what we do with each other. If you threw all of our code from the interwebs into one big room, it would be one heck of a learning party.

  7. Buying Wins

    12/8/11

    by Joe Rinaldi

    Investing in business development is like investing in anything else; you have a finite amount of resources to invest in a wide variety of options. In retail, the success of an enterprise often hinges entirely upon managing inventory. The difference between a successful and an unsuccessful venture often rests in the balance of ordering enough merchandise to meet demand, while subsequently avoiding over-ordering, and wasting money on overstock. In professional sports, a team’s success often rests in combining value among contracts, as much as in combining the right line up of athletes. In my role, the resource I invest is time. Money too, but man, it’s the time I miss.

  8. Designing a Presentation

    12/1/11

    by Yesenia Perez-Cruz

    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.

  9. Q&A: Design Through the Lens of a Project Manager

    11/17/11

    by Kevin Sharon

    Hello. Thanks for coming back to part two of the conversation between Brett Harned and me. Please help yourself to some tea, a pastry, and a comfortable chair. Brett and I have worked together for nearly 5 years, so we thought it would be interesting to discuss the collaboration between our two disciplines that occurs somewhat invisibly. Working with a project manager allows designers to focus on being creative and doing good work. I’m loathe to think of going back to working without one.

    I hope you enjoy the second part of the conversation. We’d both love to hear how your process has changed working in collaboration with other disciplines in your organization.

  10. Q&A: Project Management Through the Lens of a Designer

    11/10/11

    by Brett Harned

    As a project manager, I’m constantly wondering how I can better support my team. I’ve always been a believer in the fact that project managers must have the ability to build relationships to understand how their team members work. It’s never as easy as “hand over the wireframe to the designer and make it pretty.” If you’re a project manager and you think that way, you’ve got a lot to learn. I urge you to sit down with your coworkers and chat about what works for them. That’s exactly what I’ve done for my article this week: a chat with Kevin Sharon, a Happy Cog Creative Director, to view project management through the eyes of a designer.