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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Cog 317 DP

    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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.”

  6. Cog 314 tm

    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.

  7. Cog 313 TM 1

    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.

  8. Cog 312 DP

    The "Cog" File

    Headshot of Paul Phan

    12/15/16

    by Paul Phan

    On any given week, I might be working on 2-3 different projects at a time. I’ll often have to dip into an old project, start a new project, or assist another developer in their current project. When you’re dealing with so many files with so many different authors, you realize the importance of a well documented and updated README file. Every project has its own requirements, installation processes, coding styles, content management system, etc. A well documented README file can save a developer hours of time.

  9. Cog 311 TM

    Ditching Precious

    Headshot of Greg Hoy

    12/6/16

    by Greg Hoy

    A philosophy our company has subscribed to over the years is to sweat every detail. It’s a core value of ours, driven by a passion for crafting the most usable, accessible, and beautiful solutions possible for our clients and their audiences. Our default posture has always been to take sufficient time to toil, tinker, and massage. And while that will always remain a core philosophy of ours, managing to that standard is complicated.

  10. Cog 310 DP

    A Webpack Pattern Library

    Headshot of Mark Huot

    12/1/16

    by Mark Huot

    I am very excited for the upcoming adoption of web components. They provide a number of improvements to the developer experience of managing large codebases. If you’re not up to speed there’s a good article over on CSS-Tricks covering all the basics. It’s a bit dated but the core concepts haven’t changed too much.