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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. Experimentation artwork 360x275

    Design Experimentation: Exploring the Evolution of Ideation

    Headshot of Kate Lechleiter

    8/13/19

    by Kate Lechleiter

    When I started design school, I was surprised to hear my professors say things like “there is no right answer” or “keep exploring, you’re not there yet.” Coming from the world of high school calculus and definitive, objective answers, it all felt a little too open-ended for me. However, I quickly learned that with this iterative way of thinking and experimenting, there weren’t any wrong answers either. As designers, we need to be willing to share a spectrum of ideas, including ones we might be unsure about, in order to receive the most helpful feedback, collaborate with our teammates, and ultimately produce the best designs.

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    Humans vs Machines: When to Automate Your Paid Media Campaigns

    Headshot of Lee Goldberg

    7/2/19

    by Lee Goldberg

    Claude Shannon, the late American Mathematician, largely known as the ‘father of information theory,’ once remarked that he can “visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans.” Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are no longer mere buzzwords. They’ve evolved to be an integral part of society, powering everything from self-driving cars to Amazon’s Alexa. Within the MarTech space, it’s now hard to find a software package or technology that doesn’t tout its use of machine learning. Indeed, machine learning and AI have been incredibly powerful in the paid media space, automating tasks that practitioners could do, but would rather not. This is especially true for tasks that take a disproportionate amount of time relative to the benefit earned.

  3. Crafting for the Author Experience 360x275

    Crafting for the Author Experience

    Headshot of Kyle Cotter

    7/1/19

    by Kyle Cotter

    I am currently the Author Experience Lead at Happy Cog and I’ve been making websites for the past 12 years, starting in middle school. I’ve been involved with the ExpressionEngine and Craft CMS communities for the bulk of that time.

    At Happy Cog, we pride ourselves on the level of attention and detail we put into planning our CMS projects, which extends deeply into thinking about the Author Experience – an area that is typically neglected.

  4. Art and Science 360x275

    Art + Science: Creating a Comprehensive SEO Strategy That Complements a Beautiful Design

    Headshot of Lee Goldberg

    6/19/19

    by Lee Goldberg

    Let’s face it – SEO and UX design don’t have the greatest history together. In the early, nascent days of the web, designers used to joke that if you talked to an SEO professional, they’d advise that your website should include nothing more than a white background with black text, lots of hyperlinks, and repetitive, monotonous copy, all in the name of “keyword density.” Indeed, in the early days of search (going back to the era of Yahoo!, Excite, Hotbot, and Dogpile – before Google was even a public company), simplicity was key — and search engines could do little beyond scanning text on a page.

  5. Cognition Back On

    Is This Thing STILL On?

    Headshot of Stuart Henry

    5/28/19

    by Stuart Henry

    Cognition launched on October 7th, 2010 with this very interesting inaugural post by Happy Cog Founder Jeffrey Zeldman. It began as a “design blog”, then evolved over many years serving a loyal community seeking interesting content relevant to the ever-growing digital space. We’ve heard testimonials from many past and present Happy Cog team members, as well as external parties, about the contribution Cognition served them as they grew their own abilities and careers.

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    Fighting Stage Fright

    Headshot of Tom McQuaid

    2/2/17

    by Tom McQuaid

    In my younger days I performed quite a bit. I liked rehearsing and being on stage. I was a student teacher for an acting class. I somehow became the host of my high school talent show (footage of that has been burned). Yet despite having zero qualms about putting myself out there once my lines had been memorized, I was completely and utterly terrified of auditions. To this day, I have recurring nightmares about auditioning for a play and bombing so miserably that I feel embarrassed for hours after waking up.

  7. Cog 316 DP

    Staying Cultured

    Headshot of Leigh Nash

    1/26/17

    by Leigh Nash

    When many think about agency culture, they think: ping pong tables, beer, some guy carrying a longboard, and other miscellaneous hip decor. Well, we do have beer and awesome decor. As cool as having all of those things is, it doesn’t keep people employed at a company. When I started with Happy Cog, in June 2016, it was clear to me that having the appearance of a fun culture did not equal a good culture. Good culture is better. Happy Cog focuses on working hard and producing great projects for good people. We recently ditched the office, moved to a coworking space at WeWork, and officially became distributed. Staff rotate in and out of our office space throughout the week, with the bulk of the team being present on Tuesdays. It’s typically pretty quiet around here. So without people around, how does Happy Cog maintain its culture in the distributed workplace?

  8. Cog 315 DP

    Reading, More or Less

    Headshot of Michael Johnson

    1/23/17

    by Michael Johnson

    “Don’t read trash.” This was the last thing Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson said to the audience at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn after a reading and Q&A, amending the writerly advice writerly people always give to the question of how one becomes a better writer. Hardly anyone with a smartphone needs to actually “read more” — reading too little isn’t the problem. “We read while we’re socializing, working, shopping, relaxing, walking, commuting, urinating,” wrote Virginia Heffernan in Magic & Loss. “From a nation that can’t stop eating, we’ve become a nation that can’t stop reading.”

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    Positive Change

    Headshot of Dana Pavlichko

    1/5/17

    by Dana Pavlichko

    This is the natural time for reflection on the coming year. I’ve been thinking about how to use my New Year’s goals at work, as a designer, to create positive changes for others.

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    Connecting KPIs to Goals and Objectives

    Headshot of Dave DeRuchie

    12/22/16

    by Dave DeRuchie

    On October 5, 2016 I published an article in Cognition entitled Deciphering goals and objectives. In that article I described how clients use goals and objectives interchangeably in Request for Proposals (RFPs). I also offered one solution for how to clarify goals from objectives to ensure a proper project approach. Once the goals and objectives of the project are understood, the next step is to identify key performance indicators (KPIs). If you are unsure how to identify and connect KPIs to goals and objectives, here is one method to consider that’s been used successfully at Happy Cog.