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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 … Continued

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 … Continued

Deciphering Goals & Objectives

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 … Continued

Good Questions: Why We Prize Project Definition

They say the smartest students are the ones who ask the most questions. As a kid, that didn’t make a lot of sense—you think you look vulnerable—but with every answer you get, you’re more informed, wise, and empowered to keep learning. Of late, to put this theory into practice, Happy Cog is trying a new … Continued

Autolayout

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with grid systems over the years. Every system I try to standardize on becomes bloated, forgotten, or yesterday’s news. I find myself constantly switching to the next best thing. What follows isn’t a proclamation that this new system is the best, or that you should drop everything and switch. [image] Instead, allow me to walk you through my grid system evolution so that we may all learn from it.

R.I.P. Office

I turn 47 this week. I think? Sorry. I stopped counting when I hit 21. As I approach the mid-century mark, I’m pretty much reflecting on everything. [image]It’s not really a mid-life crisis (I’m not pondering a Camaro purchase), but more of a “state of Greg” analysis. What have I done well? What have I screwed up? How can I change for the better? How can I make work better for our staff?

My Shelf, My Self

I buy books. Antiquated, I know.

I love the smell. [image]I love scribbling in the margins and dog-earring pages. What I love most, though, is stepping back and looking at what I’ve collected. The obsessive-compulsive organizer in me is satisfied by the neat arrangement of rows; the varying heights, widths, and colors create a rhythm that satiates my desire for visual delight. Some people see my bookshelf and roll their eyes. “You still buy books?” Or worse, “You keep the books you’ve read?”

C-H-E-E-R-S!

Following my colleague’s lead, I have a confession of my own to make. In a former life, I was a cheerleader. I cheered with the St. Ambrose Angels and the Brunswick High School Blue Devils. I spent my adolescence jumping and tumbling and flying in stunts, chanting and cheering and dancing to clips of “Work … Continued

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. I’ve been watching a great deal of Beauty … Continued

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