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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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.
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.
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.
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.
by Tom McQuaid
Last month, we Happy Coggers packed up shop and moved into a co-working space down the road. Cutting down on square footage meant saying goodbye to some of the former office’s wall decor (I’ll miss the periodic table of metal bands) but one piece that survived the journey is a framed typographic print by designer Anthony Burrill. You’ll probably recognize it: “Work Hard and Be Nice to People,” a mantra that’s ubiquitous these days, but one that embodies the Happy Cog way nonetheless.
by Leigh Nash
The greatest thing about working in operations is that it is a necessity in every industry. Your skills are transferrable. For me, getting into operations happened right after college. I started a career in mental health doing one-on-one support and casework at a non-profit. In my role as case worker I realized I was developing operational skills. Casework requires budget management, adherence to private and sensitive information, organizational skills, and great interpersonal skills. I found that I liked using those skills, and eventually, I chose to expand my experience in a different field, but with a focus on operations. The skills I’d developed in casework led me to an operational role with an advertising and branding agency.
Rococo, sequins, Rupaul: The inner-me has a taste for over-embellishment. But as a designer, it’s important I tame this affinity towards razzle-dazzle in my work, which is rarely the best method of visual communication for the task at hand. However, checking my own taste at the door and adapting my voice can sometimes be surprisingly difficult.
For the first time in 120 years, a design patent is being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s the usual suspects. Samsung has appealed a lower court’s ruling that several models of its smartphones violated an Apple design patent. While the outcome of the Court’s decision may very well affect interface design at large, longtime issues with the patent system remain unchallenged.
Recently I’ve noticed that the terms “goals” and “objectives” are being used interchangeably in requests for proposals (RFPs) that we receive. It struck me that writing an article that explains how to differentiate goals from objectives has been tried many times before, but the message isn’t being received. Clients still use them interchangeably, making it difficult to differentiate the broader, more strategic purpose of the project (Goals) from the steps that will be taken (Objectives) to fulfill that strategy. If you receive a request for project work, and your prospect has taken some liberties with the use of goals and objectives, here’s one way to translate them into clear statements you can use to help determine your approach to the project.
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