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Articles By:

Stephen Caver

  1. How to build development systems (for a web site)

    Posted on 12/10/15

    Over the last year, I have been using Brad Frost & Dave Olsen’s PatternLab for many projects. In doing so, I have learned about building systems rather than web pages. Most of what I’ve learned is that I’ve been doing wrong out of habit.

  2. Enquire for Backgrounds

    Posted on 9/10/15

    I often turn to background images and inline-CSS to achieve certain designs. In these cases, I’m looking for an image fill in available space without looking “broken” and background-size: cover is the usual go-to.

  3. Keep The Web Healthy

    Posted on 6/11/15

    I truly believe in the power of this simple idea: a decentralized network can exist free from the power of governments and corporations to corrupt. The web is that network and its health is immensely important to me not only as a professional but as a member of society. It is an innovation that has spurred on communication, economic and creative revolutions. Most of our modern HTTP-driven world would not exist had Tim Berners-Lee not issued his proposal for linking documents to one another within a network. That small step has evolved into a cultural powerhouse. It has torn down and rebuilt entire industries and given many of us something to do to make ends meet. It’s in our collective interest that this continue.

  4. Put a Pseudo-Class On It

    Posted on 4/30/15

    Some days, writing plain ole everyday CSS can get a little monotonous. It’s all margins, font-families, positions and displays day-in and day-out.

  5. Structured Typography with Sass Maps

    Posted on 3/19/15

    For each development project at Happy Cog, we start with a set of starter files. Much like HTML5 Boilerplate or other similar initiatives, it’s intended to get us going as quick as possible. In that spirit, I’ve been thinking about how to move the needle in that direction as far as possible. The trick is to do so without burdening development with too many constraints and limitations.

  6. A Web Development Highlight Reel

    Posted on 12/11/14

    As the year winds down it’s time to take stock of 2014. Turning over a new year provides us with the opportunity to reflect and look forward. The web is an ever-evolving platform with new technology, techniques, and paradigms taking hold all the time. I’m excited about the direction the web has taken in 2014 and have learned a lot over the past year. That said, here are some highlights of these developments in the past year.

  7. (Auto) Prefix All The Things

    Posted on 10/30/14

    We’ve been on the Sass bandwagon here at Happy Cog for quite some time. It’s become an essential integration into our workflow. Sass’ power manifests in many ways. It makes it easier to maintain our code, it enables a modular architecture, and it helps us scale our CSS. There is a problem, though. I’m sure you all have been there.

  8. Why Developers Need to Learn Design

    Posted on 5/1/14

    A couple of years ago at Happy Cog, I transitioned from my position as a designer to a developer full-time. Up to that point, I had been a hybrid designer and developer, splitting my time between the two responsibilities. The truth is that it was a long-overdue transition. My passion lies in the development side of the spectrum, so I am glad to be in a role where I get to express that passion full-time.

    I no longer design all day every day, but my experience as a designer taught me that developers should learn and practice design. The trope is often that designers need to learn to write code, but in working as a developer on the web, I’ve learned that the value of a design education pays dividends beyond being able to mock up a page in Photoshop.

  9. Progressive Enhancement: It’s About the Content

    Posted on 9/12/13

    In case you’ve missed it, there has recently been a lot of discussion in the web community around whether Progressive Enhancement, a cornerstone concept in web development, is still relevant. The discussion has been largely sparked by Sigh, JavaScript, a tumblr by Happy Cog alum (now of Super Friendly) Daniel Mall that showcases high-profile websites completely breaking when JavaScript is disabled. Screenshots of websites from brands like CNN, McDonalds, and Instagram are completely blank. Their content isn’t just unusable, it’s completely absent.

  10. Take a Break!

    Posted on 4/25/13

    Web workers have a certain obsession with productivity. And it is not hard to see why. The processes and detailed knowledge required to build a website have grown leaps and bounds in terms of complexity and sophistication. With an Adaptive workflow that considers Responsive Design, multiple platforms, and countless devices with a wide range of capabilities, the job is not as simple as it once was. There are plenty of great applications and methodologies to help get organized and be productive, but these tools do not do the work for us. When it is time to get work done, we need to be working efficiently, quickly, and intelligently—and in a way that promotes good health and happiness at home and in the workplace.

  11. Beyond Binary Grids

    Posted on 12/13/12

    Grids are everywhere on the web, and there is no hiding from them. We need grid systems to help create grids that are usable and manageable, and with Responsive Web Design, this has been a tricky tightrope to walk. We need our layouts to react to different media query breakpoints, and the way we have built grids in the past needs to be extended to do that.

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