Skip to main content

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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Maximizing Mentorship

    7/7/16

    by Joe Rinaldi

    At an Owner Camp a few years back Wil Reynolds, founder of SEER Interactive, mentioned he collected a personal board of directors who provide advice and mentorship across a spectrum of areas of his life, personal, professional, etc. Inspired by that idea I’ve made it a priority to cultivate a similar professional mentorship network.

  6. Build Your Annex

    6/29/16

    by Greg Hoy

    If you work in a small organization, chances are your org chart was (or still is) a horizontal line, commonly known as a flat organization. As your organization grows, so does the chart. It gets taller, with lots of lines, some solid and some dotted, connecting lots of boxes. It’s been the case at our company, as well as lots of other companies I’ve gotten to know through Bureau events.

  7. Going Off Script

    6/23/16

    by Tom McQuaid

    I have a confession to make: I was a theatre nerd in high school. The heights of my nerdom were reached when I joined an improv troupe that was aptly named “Awkward”—a ragtag bunch of 16-year-olds literally making it up as we went along. Perhaps you remember our renowned performances at the local Chick-fil-A?

  8. The Design Value of Content Audits

    6/16/16

    by Aura Seltzer

    “We have so much content, we don’t even know how many pages are on our website.” “It’s impossible for anyone to find anything.” “Our call center spends too much time answering questions about already-available information.” “I’m more likely to Google what I’m looking for than dig for it.” “I just bookmark everything.”

  9. Deploying Static Websites to AWS S3 Behind an Nginx Proxy

    6/10/16

    by Dan Delauro

    We are constantly improving our approach to code. We build it. We break it. We love it. We hate it. And sometimes we blow it all up and start from scratch. If you caught @alliwagner’s swansong article about our starter files, you can recognize the value in years of iteration. But that doesn’t stop with just code. We’re constantly iterating on process, workflow, content strategy, etc. You name it, we’re always looking for ways to improve it. Nothing is ever set in stone. And the same goes for some of the less glamorous (depending on who you ask) tasks like… how do we put these things on the web for people to see?

  10. Content Strategy for Designers

    6/3/16

    by Dana Pavlichko

    Two weeks ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Confab Central, the ultimate content strategy conference. I am a designer with no formal training in writing or content strategy. As a non-content-strategist, I thought I’d be entering a whole different world. A world I had only a rough understanding of. While I had read about content strategy in a few books years ago, before the conference I couldn’t clearly articulate what it was. The gist of it from my fuzzy point of view was: It’s the practice of charting a roadmap for future business writing. But how guidelines were to be created, in my mind, was still alchemy.