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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.

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    Attack of the Client Services Zombies

    Headshot of Kevin Hoffman

    8/18/11

    by Kevin Hoffman

    Khoi Vinh recently shared some inspiring insights on the evolution of opportunities for design professionals in the digital realm in a post entitled The End of Client Services. He has, as of the time of this publishing, since revisited and revised his thoughts. If you haven’t read these posts, you should, because it’s good stuff. I’ll wait.

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    I have a new crush and its name is figcaption

    Headshot of Jenn Lukas

    8/11/11

    by Jenn Lukas

    When it comes to HTML5 elements, do you ever feel like you’re reaching for a carrot on a stick? The promise of those tasty elements, hanging right in front of you, taunting you, so close, yet just out of reach. What you wouldn’t give for just one bite of a section, one taste of a succulent aside, one thirst-quenching datalist. I bet no one told that donkey it was going to have to wait ’til 2022 to eat that carrot.

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    Make Sweet Systems Sweeter

    Headshot of Allison Wagner

    8/4/11

    by Allison Wagner

    At Happy Cog, process is not sacred. We respect process, but we are constantly looking to improve the way our projects run; especially with regard to transitioning between project phases. Last week, Yesenia Perez-Cruz described how she crafts sweet systems and digital cupcakes. This week, I’m going to show you how we turn those cupcakes into a well-built tower of yummy cupcakery.

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    Sweet Systems

    Headshot of Yesenia Perez-Cruz

    7/28/11

    by Yesenia Perez-Cruz

    To most, it’s just the sugary centerpiece to a child’s birthday party—but to me, the Cupcake Cake is systematic genius. A balance of consistency and variety, each cupcake is decorated with the same delicate piping technique, from a carefully selected color palette, with no drop of icing wasted. The result is surprising, delightful, and the highlight of the party.

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    Save Ferris!

    Headshot of Brett Harned

    7/21/11

    by Brett Harned

    I’m not gonna lie. On a bad day, I can be a bit like Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

    Note: If you were born after 1986 or just don’t like movies and don’t get the reference, Cameron is like Eeyore. If you don’t get that reference, there is no helping you.

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    What's the ROI on Cool?

    Headshot of Joe Rinaldi

    7/14/11

    by Joe Rinaldi

    Industry creative folks I’m friends with personally and respect professionally have uttered the following to me on multiple occasions:

    “I want to make cool shit.”

    I’ll be honest, I just don’t get it. To be fair, it’s safe to say I don’t get “cool” in general. I routinely dress like I’m headed to a corporate team-building ropes course, and I’m still waiting for Firefly to be picked up for season 2. So maybe it’s no surprise that the quest for cool escapes me. I don’t get the allure of making something cool for the sake of it being cool. Further, I don’t understand how you sell that to clients, or more importantly, why they would pay for it.

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    My Paperless Trail

    Headshot of Ryan Irelan

    7/7/11

    by Ryan Irelan

    In a previous Cognition post, I shared my experiences of working remotely over the last 5 years. In the last section of that post, I made a quick reference to DEVONthink Pro Office, which I described as a “powerful database tool” that “allows you to easily store, tag, classify, and search for documents.” That is still true and, just as I mentioned in the post, I use DEVONthink Pro Office to store all of my documents, notes, URLs, and other files. As a follow-up, I want to share some more details on how I use DEVONthink Pro Office to organize some of my Happy Cog project documents.

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    (Someday You’ll Find It) The Client Connection

    Headshot of Rawle Anders

    6/30/11

    by Rawle Anders

    Every successful project needs an Awesome Blossom moment: when your relationship with a client enables the project to transcend deadlines and goals to more acutely capture the spirit of creating something great.

    It all starts with finding the humanity in the project and sharing a sense of excitement with your client team members. As they have chosen your company to help build their web experience, the client has placed a great amount of trust in you. Your job, over the length of the engagement, is to solidify: a sound strategy based on the goals of the project; a transparent, trusted, and respectful working relationship with your client contacts; an agile, yet progressive, project process; and an open line of communication that can extend beyond the project.

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    Designers are From Mars

    Headshot of Jessica Ivins

    6/23/11

    by Jessica Ivins

    Prior to my days at Happy Cog, I worked on a team tasked with creating an online promotion for our client’s new high-end candy. The candy was delicious, but each small box sold for approximately $4, so conveying its quality was important. The product’s target market was women in their 20’s and 30’s, so my team decided to take the high-maintenance diva approach to the design. When all was said and done, we launched a microsite full of glamour and glitz, sparkles, stilettos, and lipstick tips. Users could take a quiz to determine just how “fabulous” they were. At the time, I was in my twenties, and I’ve always liked candy, so I considered myself a member of the target audience. But there was a problem: I couldn’t relate to this content at all. I liked to be girly from time to time, but sparkles and stilettos were not my thing and they never will be. I also couldn’t see any of my female friends connecting with this. To be fair, the tone of the site was tongue-in-cheek and it wasn’t taking itself too seriously, but I just didn’t feel right about it. It didn’t feel right to reduce our target audience to stereotypes. Had I known then what I know now, I probably would have spoken up and advocated for a better understanding of our audience. Were these women really into makeup and expensive clothes and nights out in Manhattan? Or were we completely off the mark?

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    Not everyone's a technophile

    Headshot of Mark Huot

    6/16/11

    by Mark Huot

    When you engage Happy Cog in a full scale web redesign, you typically come out of the project with a fully integrated content management system (or CMS). The implementation of a CMS implies that you and your team will have access to a tool that will facilitate updating content across the entire website. The system creates an abstract of the website using simple forms to enable content entry. Completing those forms will generate all the necessary callouts, sidebars, related links, archives, etc. from which your site is built.