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Articles By:

Aura Seltzer

  1. The Design Value of Content Audits

    Posted on 6/16/16

    “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.”

  2. On Board with Artboards

    Posted on 4/7/16

    Over the past nine months, our design team has been using Photoshop CC’s artboards feature (new with CC 2015). If you’re not familiar, artboards allow you to create multiple canvases within a single Photoshop file. While we had used artboards in Illustrator, the shift in Photoshop wasn’t a breeze. In the short term, artboards disrupted our keyboard-shortcut habits and file management workflow. Multiple design concepts and dozens of artboards later, they’re a part of every new design system we create.

  3. Divide and Conquer

    Posted on 10/8/15

    You’ve kicked off a website redesign project for a new client. Between negotiating contracts, facilitating a dialogue with stakeholders, and establishing a deep understanding of your client’s content and design priorities, you’ve arrived at a list of pages to represent a journey from old to new. These pages likely represent templates from which a site-wide design system comes to life. So you return to your desk, work for weeks and months, and snap all of those pages have been designed and coded, and you’re finally ready to share your work with the client. Right? Not so fast.

  4. Channeling Your Back-end Developer

    Posted on 6/25/15

    You’ve heard the assertion before: Designers should learn how to code. Reading through the many articles and comments on the topic, this discussion has focused predominantly on front-end development. Yes, comps fail to capture behavior and the in-betweens that bring your responsive designs to life, but crucially, front-end code isn’t the only step to actualizing your designs. Even if your coded styles remain faithful to your design intent, it’s your content that will put that design to test. If you care about the way content should look in your designs, you should also care about the logic that powers it.

  5. The Belly Rules the Mind

    Posted on 4/16/15

    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.

  6. Webfont Licensing 101

    Posted on 1/29/15

    Choosing a type palette goes beyond considering aesthetics, legibility, browser support, and performance. For fonts to truly be appropriate for your project, they must also be technically and financially sound solutions. No one wants to be surprised by the outrageous cost of a font package after all designs have been delivered.

  7. Frequently Asked Questions on FAQs

    Posted on 10/16/14

    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.

  8. From My Head to the Browser

    Posted on 10/31/13

    As the web evolves, there will always be two ever-growing lists: one of all the pieces of content that will need to appear on any given site over time and another with all the ways we can access that content. Creating flexible, modular design systems makes both of these lists a little less daunting and a lot more manageable.

    At Happy Cog, we pride ourselves on empowering clients to take ownership of their content, and we provide a framework and all the building blocks to help them do so. These building blocks range depending on a project’s needs. One could be a video carousel; another a contact form. But, the most fundamental building block that’s on every site and we have to get right every time is typography.

  9. Overwriting Less

    Posted on 4/11/13

    I am an overwriter.

    I could stop this post right here, but you wouldn’t believe me.

    There is relief and guilt to overwriting—like you’ve just finished off a large bag of potato chips by yourself. You find comfort in there being no more chips to eat but also discomfort, because, well, you just ate an entire bag of chips.

    Or, you’ve just written countless words to a client team explaining the intricacies of a deliverable. You exhale and cross the to-do off your list, but you secretly doubt whether the post overcomplicated the work or confused your client.

  10. Elevating the Podium

    Posted on 10/4/12

    Design conferences are complicated beasts. They are weeklong marathons and single-day sprints. They are hotel ballroom affairs and intimate gatherings. They teach new skills and polish old ones. They appeal to the novice, expert, academic, and hipster alike. And, to add to their intricacy, depending on the marketing angle, we call them symposiums, conventions, festivals, and even the casual [insert word here]-cons.

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