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Design

Using type, color, space and symbols to communicate.

We’ve written 71 blog posts about Design. View all topics »

  1. illustration of idea board

    Design Experimentation: Exploring the Evolution of Ideation

    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.

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

    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.

  3. Positive Change

    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.

  4. Advice from a Screenprint

    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.

  5. Check Your Design Taste At the Door

    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.

  6. Piracy Ever Follows Innovation

    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.

  7. What I Learned from Happy Trees

    When I watch someone else work, I see all the clever and messy little ways they get from one place to another. Observing others approach their work has given me useful instruction and new techniques—both technical and soft skills—that I can take into my own work later.

  8. The Truth About Facts

    A significant portion of this country supports a candidate for President that I do not. By now you’ve already formed an idea of whom I’m talking about, though I’ve given no indication about my preference (unless you follow me on Twitter) and the statement is true for anyone who writes it.

  9. Going Off Script

    I have a confession to make: I was a theatre nerd in high school. The heights of my nerdom were reached when I joined an improv troupe that was aptly named “Awkward”—a ragtag bunch of 16-year-olds literally making it up as we went along. Perhaps you remember our renowned performances at the local Chick-fil-A?

  10. Content Strategy for Designers

    Two weeks ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Confab Central, the ultimate content strategy conference. I am a designer with no formal training in writing or content strategy. As a non-content-strategist, I thought I’d be entering a whole different world. A world I had only a rough understanding of. While I had read about content strategy in a few books years ago, before the conference I couldn’t clearly articulate what it was. The gist of it from my fuzzy point of view was: It’s the practice of charting a roadmap for future business writing. But how guidelines were to be created, in my mind, was still alchemy.

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