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collaboration

We’ve written 20 blog posts about collaboration. View all topics »

  1. Hc blog Main Article Illustration v136 AS

    The Detail-less Project Plan

    Headshot of Dave DeRuchie

    4/10/15

    by Dave DeRuchie

    The meeting started 15 minutes ago and all I can think about is how humane cyanide might be at this point in time. If the look in our project team’s eyes are any indication, oh wait, I can’t see their eyes, because they’re rolling back into their heads as the project manager calls everyone’s attention to task 231, WBS ID 2.3.5!

  2. Cognition

    Leaving the Nest

    Headshot of Dana Pavlichko

    12/4/14

    by Dana Pavlichko

    A few months ago I was asked to assist leading some moderated qualitative usability testing sessions. I’ll be honest: I had little-to-no experience speaking with users, so at the start of the project I didn’t feel like I was fully equipped for the task. The idea of being in a room with someone I didn’t know for an hour and guiding them through a handful of scenarios to validate our design didn’t sound as good as one of my typical design days. However, I knew it would be a good learning experience and said I’d help out.

  3. S Sillo Switch

    Switch Design

    Headshot of Sophie Shepherd

    11/20/14

    by Sophie Shepherd

    On almost all projects at Happy Cog, there is usually one design lead who oversees the work from the initial concept to the QA’d, browser-tested, final product. Other designers may step in to help with production or provide guidance, but for the most part, one designer owns it.

  4. Matchmaking

    Artful Matchmaking: Client to Process

    Headshot of Abby Fretz

    9/18/14

    by Abby Fretz

    Over the course of hundreds of projects, project managers develop a very real sense while trying to build a perfect project plan that we are architects pulling from a tried-and-true collection of building blocks. But, (and this is a big but—I cannot lie) tried-and-true can be blinding. Though some client teams and projects seem to closely resemble past experiences, every client is unique, and there are countless combinations of project requirements and team personalities.

  5. Cc roundtable 2

    Cognition Roundtable

    Headshot of Chris Cashdollar

    8/28/14

    by Chris Cashdollar

    We’re bringing you this special edition of Cognition Roundtable, where Assistant PM Mica McPheeters speaks with our VP of Design Chris Cashdollar about the client’s role in design projects. Spend the next half hour with Chris, as he pulls inspiration from his upcoming presentation at HOW Interactive Design Conference in Washington, DC—“Reevaluating the Role of Your Client in the Design Process.” Specifically, he’ll cover:

  6. Plan for unplanned

    Plan for the Unplanned

    Headshot of Brenna Heaps

    8/7/14

    by Brenna Heaps

    Leading up to the design phase of a project, we devote a lot of thinking to setting the project’s core goals and requirements, as well as establishing a basic plan for how the project will flow. During this time, on my team, we ask as many questions as possible and learn as much as we can before we present a strategy to the client. In the end, everyone agrees on what the goals are, but how those goals will be realized is yet to be determined.

  7. JOLO

    Taking the Local

    Headshot of Joe Rinaldi

    6/12/14

    by Joe Rinaldi

    A prospective client recently raised the (periodic) concern that our team wasn’t in close proximity to their headquarters. My reply was thorough: “We have two locations ourselves; successfully working remotely is in our DNA.” “We have a track record of working with clients all over North America and abroad, and a laundry list of client testimonials and references.” “Even when we work with a client in Philadelphia or Austin (where we’re based), those projects behave the same way as when we work with a client in South Dakota. Our process is location-agnostic.” Etc. etc. etc.

    The client seemed to appreciate my response, but in the end, they chose a local firm instead. I missed my opportunity to win that particular project, but the next time our proximity to clients comes into question, I’ll have a different response. My answer should have been simple, concise.

  8. Performancebudget

    Designing with a (Performance) Budget

    Headshot of Katie Kovalcin

    5/29/14

    by Katie Kovalcin

    Lately, the web industry has been focusing on ways to improve performance—specifically, by applying the idea of a “performance budget.” A performance budget involves establishing a target page weight (usually in kilobytes), and then making sure no single page exceeds that value. While sticking to this number may seem like a developer’s burden to bear, as Mark Perkins puts it, “performance is everyone’s problem.” As a designer, it’s important to keep your budget in mind throughout your entire process—all the way from discovery through implementation. When both designers and developers work closely to set and stick to a budget, a sweet spot will emerge where neither performance or design will be compromised.

  9. Devsshoulddesign

    Why Developers Need to Learn Design

    Headshot of Stephen Caver

    5/1/14

    by Stephen Caver

    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.

  10. Hc blog Article Illustration SJ

    War on Spec

    Headshot of Joe Rinaldi

    12/5/13

    by Joe Rinaldi

    Some agencies adhere to the mantra “you get the clients you deserve.” If that’s the case, clients also get the results they deserve—especially when they hire based on spec. This past year, I watched two projects implode after they landed with other agencies who provided spec work in the sales process. I’m not typically a sore loser, but if you hire a partner based off of spec work, you’re digging your own grave.