Happy Cog News http://happycog.com/ What's happening? We're launching websites, publishing articles, giving presentations, and building creative communities. Here are some of the things you should know about. en-us Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:37:37 +0000 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:37:37 +0000 Philly Tech Week 2014 http://happycog.com/news/philly-tech-week-2014 Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:47:00 +0000 Happy Cog http://happycog.com/news/philly-tech-week-2014 Philly Tech Week 2014 starts next week, on April 2nd. We’re excited to be participating in a number of events this year, listed below. While some of the events have already sold out, we hope to see you out there Philly! And if you’re not in Philadelphia, we’d still love to say howdy, so check out where we’ll be next!

Monday, April 7

Inside Job Workshop: Defining Requirements in the Digital Age

  • Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Location: Happy Cog, Philadelphia Building, 1315 Walnut Street, Suite 201
  • Registration Closed

Behind the Site with Happy Cog: A look at the redesign process of TEDxPhiladelphia.org

  • Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Location: Interstate General Media
  • Register

Tuesday, April 8

PhilaMade: Philadelphia Creative Community Show & Tell

Wednesday, April 9

Girl Develop It Philly, Ladies in Tech, and Happy Cog present: Why Take the Leap? Public Speaking and Your Career

  • Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Location: CultureWorks, Philadelphia Building, 1315 Walnut Street
  • Register

Thursday, April 10

Philly Dribbble Meetup

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Net Awards 2014: Celebrating the Best in Web Design and Development http://happycog.com/news/net-awards-2014 Tue, 28 Jan 2014 21:45:00 +0000 Alison Harshbarger http://happycog.com/news/net-awards-2014 Nominations for the Net Awards are in and we’re thrilled to announce that team members Yesenia, Katie, and Anthony have made the list.

There’s not a more deserving bunch and they’re making the web a better place by writing about their experiences, speaking all over the country, and teaching folks everything they know.

And if that wasn’t good news enough, Happy Cog has also been nominated for Agency of the Year.

You’ve got until March 24th to cast your votes. We know we’re biased here but we’d love to have your support to vote early and often for Yesenia, Katie, and Anthony. We’re super proud of them and the work we’ve done together this year!

Good luck to everyone, every studio, and every application nominated this year. No matter how Decision 2014 pans out, we feel extremely honored to be a part of the best industry in the world.

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Continuing our tradition and heritage for teaching and sharing http://happycog.com/news/the-happy-cog-way Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Alison Harshbarger http://happycog.com/news/the-happy-cog-way Happy Cog has always openly shared what we know about creating, designing, developing and deploying websites, since 1999. We take pride in our heritage as educators, teaching new methods and techniques and as students ready and willing to learn from others. We seek every opportunity to write and teach in order to make the industry better.

So we’re pretty excited to tell you that in partnership with Mijingo, we’re introducing The Happy Cog Way, eight instructional courses highlighting the best practices and Happy Cog’s methods. Learn Responsive Web Design, how to build a type system, Sass, HTML5, CSS3, grids, and more.

A unique feature to our course bundles are the round table discussions with our designers and developers. You’ll learn more about why we use a specific method or technology, how we use it, and how its presence has impacted our work.

The following courses are part of The Happy Cog Way bundle. When you buy the bundle the courses will be in your account the day they’re available.

Each course comes with the following material:

  • Video course, usually one hour in length
  • Full, professional transcript
  • 30-minute recorded roundtable discussion with the experts at Happy Cog
  • Supplemental materials, like additional resources, checklists, talking points, and more.
See The Happy Cog Way page for more information about the series.

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Learn how to Craft http://happycog.com/news/learn-how-to-craft Wed, 05 Jun 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Greg Storey http://happycog.com/news/learn-how-to-craft

It's safe to say that most websites today are powered by some form of a content management system (CMS). Since our founding, we have seen the rise of the CMS. It began with super-complex enterprise systems like Vignette that required dedicated Sun Netra T1 servers and Oracle databases--all costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the early days, content management was for monstrous sites typically associated with news bureaus.

Thankfully, around the turn of the century, young developers seeking ways to manage the content on their own websites created simplified content management systems that were scaled for smaller sites, affordable and required very little in the way of computing power. This era gave birth to a new generation of publishing systems such as Movable Type, pMachine, and b2, which morphed into TypePad, ExpressionEngine, and WordPress respectively. These CMS's fueled a huge expansion of the World Wide Web that that continues today.

As the web evolves, so must the software that enables publishing content to it. We've reached a point where current platforms need to be bent around requirements that never existed before, requiring extensive work-arounds and one-off "duct-tape" solutions. These applications adapt as they can, but sometimes it's best to start over using what we've learned from the past.

This week, Pixel & Tonic released Craft 1.0, and we're pretty excited about it. We've been working with Craft for several months now, and we're impressed with the thinking behind it as well as its execution. That doesn't mean Happy Cog will only develop sites using Craft, but it's now a viable option in our toolkit - one that we have already put to use here with our own website.

Our enthusiasm for this new publishing tool is matched with our commitment to share what we have learned. With that in mind, we're excited to announce that our partner Mijingo has released a new course called, Learning Craft. This 2 1/2 hour course is divided into three easy to download or streaming segments, and covers pretty much everything you need to know to start off on the right foot building websites with Craft.

If you're looking for an evolved method of managing content for websites, we invite you to check out Craft, and fast track your knowledge by purchasing the Mijingo tutorials.


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It's Conference Season: Check out our new Lanyrd Pro page http://happycog.com/news/its-conference-season Wed, 24 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Alison Harshbarger http://happycog.com/news/its-conference-season

Have you heard the news? Lanyrd is making it easier for you to find the speakers you want to see most with new Lanyrd Pro pages. One of Happy Cog’s most important principles is education. We seek every opportunity to write, teach, and speak about what we do. With our new Lanyard Pro page, it’s easier to see when and where we’ll be speaking. 

If you’ve taken a look at our page, you’ll see many of us are heading to Columbia, SC for Converge SE. Greg Hoy and Jenn Lukas will be speaking along with a ton of other talented folks from around the country.

Converge SE is unique because it brings designers, developers, business owners, and everyone in between together at one event. For us, it’s also unique because a number of people from Happy Cog are attending. We’re looking forward to learning new things and getting out of the office as a group. 

Make sure to check out our Lanyard Pro page to see all of the events we’ll be speaking at and attending this year, including the Digital PM Summit. If you haven’t heard, we’re hosting an event for digital project managers this October. Visit the website and sign up for the mailing list for more details. 


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Happy Cog Nominated in the 17th Annual Webby Awards http://happycog.com/news/happy-cog-nominated-in-webby-awards Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Alison Harshbarger http://happycog.com/news/happy-cog-nominated-in-webby-awards Typically, getting to collaborate with really great clients on projects that put our process and skills to the test is reward enough for a hard day's work but we also like icing on our cake. Today we are pleased as punch to tell you about the news we've received from The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences aka the people who award The Webbys.

Happy Cog has received Webby Honoree distinction for two of our 2012 projects. The Honoree distinction is awarded to the top 15% of all work entered that exhibits remarkable achievement and we are super happy that these projects received the recognition:

Rock the Vote

Our work with MTV for the O Music Awards has also been nominated to be considered for a Webby Award in the Music category.

While the academy ultimately determines the Webby Award winners, announced April 30th, there’s an opportunity for your voice to be heard. Our nomination also includes eligibility in the people’s choice portion of the competition. This People’s Voice Award is chosen by you, the online voting public. The polls close on April 25th, so get to voting for your favorites and please consider giving Happy Cog your vote!

Get Ready to Rock, Period.

We love our multi-year collaboration with MTV and the O Music Awards. For the past three years we’ve reinvented the site, drawing on the previous project and experiences. We invite you to take a look at our latest case study for the 3rd Annual O Music Awards. We guide you through each stage of the celebration and the transformation within the responsive site. If you love the work as much as we do, we’d appreciate your vote.

We’re already hard at work on O Music Awards 4. Wait until you see what we’re cooking up with MTV Networks this time!

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Finally, the first conference for a community of people who manage all things digital. http://happycog.com/news/announcing-the-digital-pm-summit Mon, 08 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Alison Harshbarger http://happycog.com/news/announcing-the-digital-pm-summit

You may remember back in the fall we posted a survey to gauge interest in a conference for dedicated to digital project managers. We received twice as many responses as we thought we would, and the results all led to the same conclusion: project managers deserve their own event. 

So, we got to work, and after many months of research, planning, and logistics, we're pleased to announce that it's a reality.

Announcing The Inaugural Digital PM Summit.

The Digital PM Summit is two days of engaging presentations and conversations from a variety of PM perspectives. We'll share the secrets of keeping things moving, keeping clients happy, keeping teams engaged, and keeping budgets intact.

The summit will take place on October 14 and 15th, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA at the amazing studios of public broadcasting station WHYY.

Tickets will be limited to 150 attendees. We'll provide registration access to our email subscribers first, so make sure you and your fellow digital PM colleagues subscribe to our mailing list for the best chance to score seats.

And if project management isn’t your thing, please help us spread the word by following us on Twitter and tracking us on Lanyrd.

Brought To You By Something New!

The Digital PM Summit is being produced by the Bureau of Digital Affairs, created by Greg Hoy and Greg Storey of Happy Cog to produce events, create products, and deliver services that help you become a better digital professional.

The Bureau of Digital Affairs is managed in partnership with Happy Cog. 

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Meet our newest partner, Mijingo http://happycog.com/news/meet-our-newest-partner-mijingo Tue, 26 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Happy Cog http://happycog.com/news/meet-our-newest-partner-mijingo

At Happy Cog, we've always been about helping the design and development community as much as we have been about providing great solutions for our own clients. Today, we take another step forward to help you increase your own awesomeness.

Today, we're giddy to announce our partnership with Mijingo, an independent publisher of training products and services for folks just like you.

Established in 2008, Mijingo began with a series of screencasts for ExpressionEngine development. Since then, it has expanded to include training for much wider range of topics. It also publishes its own online magazine called EE Insider.

"We are joining forces with Mijingo in order to provide a platform upon which Happy Cog can build a comprehensive library of training products and services. Mijingo has established itself as a trusted niche player, and speaks directly to the audiences Happy Cog serves," said Happy Cog CEO Greg Hoy.

For Mijingo, the partnership with Happy Cog will expose the company's products and services to a broader audience, enabling more professionals to benefit from the highly specialized offerings they provide. It also enables Mijingo to grow under our umbrella, because we'll be investing in its success. Mijingo now has direct access to our expanding team of thought leaders in every discipline relating to digital design, development, and strategy.

"Mijingo can now tap into the experts at Happy Cog to help fulfill its mission of creating high quality, useful training materials for web designers and developers," said Mijingo founder Ryan Irelan.

"Happy Cog will not only continue to provide the kind of thought leadership you typically see from us from our writings and speaking engagements," says Hoy, "but through new products and services as well. The opportunity to learn will be everywhere."

Work is nearly complete on a new production studio in our Austin office. A sister facility in Philadelphia will be complete sometime in mid-2013. Keep your eyes peeled for what we have in store. It'll be awesome.


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Happy Cog Talks Responsive Web Design at SXSW http://happycog.com/news/happy-cog-sxsw-2013 Mon, 25 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Happy Cog http://happycog.com/news/happy-cog-sxsw-2013 It's time for the annual pilgrimage to warmer temperatures, delicious BBQ, and of course, SXSW. We've been speaking and attending since the beginning, so we’re happy to say this year will be no different. We're pleased to announce two of our designers, Yesenia Perez-Cruz and Sophie Shepherd, will be speaking on panels that address one of the year’s hottest topics so far, responsive web design.

Yesenia Perez-Cruz

Designer Yesenia Perez-Cruz, will discuss a fluid process for responsive design along with Aaron Gustafson, Samantha Warren, and Steve Fisher. The panel will also explore recent successes and failures while establishing why a responsive process is a responsible process.

Sophie Shepherd

Designer Sophie Shepherd will join Emily Wengert, Jacob Surber, and Trent Walton in discussing challenges responsive designers face. They’ll cover how to gather requirements, how to communicate goals to teams and customers, and how deliver successful responsive projects.

You might know we have an office around the corner. That means in addition to speaking, we’ll also be hanging around Austin. So if you see us, make sure to say howdy.

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Web Project Management Conference Survey http://happycog.com/news/web-project-management-conference-survey Fri, 09 Nov 2012 03:29:19 +0000 Happy Cog http://happycog.com/news/web-project-management-conference-survey For many of us who create websites and applications, sound project management is the glue that holds everything together. Without these brave souls, things can go "Lord of the Flies" in a heartbeat. It's an incredibly demanding role. PMs need to be highly organized, expert communicators, and able to keep projects on time and under budget. They're both our offensive and defensive lines. They're true leaders.

All too often, the focus within our industry is on the end product, not the journey. The fact is, the journey is what makes the product. Those journeys are charted, literally and figuratively, by people playing project manager roles. But you know what stinks? No one has publicly shared secrets that make this crucial role tick, and no one has provided a venue for PMs to simply vent. Until now.

After managing projects for over a decade, we are excited to start sharing, and we'd like you to be a part of it. We're currently researching the precise kind of event specifically for digital project managers, and we'd like to get your input to help shape this thing.

Please take a few minutes to complete our survey, and share it with your peers and colleagues. We'll keep this open from November 9 - 21, 2012. After we analyze the results, we'll be announcing something special for the few, the proud, the project managers.

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Happy Cog Wins Big at 16th Annual Webby Awards http://happycog.com/news/happy-cog-wins-big-at-16th-annual-webby-awards Fri, 25 May 2012 03:35:42 +0000 Happy Cog http://happycog.com/news/happy-cog-wins-big-at-16th-annual-webby-awards On May 21, 2012, a triumvirate of Happy Cog professionals consisting of Jenn Lukas, Yesenia Perez-Cruz, and Mark Huot, represented Happy Cog at the 16th annual Webby Awards in New York City.

Happy Cog and MTV Networks were awarded the big prize, winning the Webby for the "Celebrity/Fan" category for the 2nd Annual MTV O Music Awards website. Check out the latest incarnation of the O Music Awards site, which is an evolution of our award-winning work.

Happy Cog also received additional awards in 2012 for its work with both Harvard University and MTV Networks:

  • Happy Cog and Harvard University were selected as Official Honorees in the "school/university" category for the redesign of Harvard's main website.
  • Happy Cog and MTV Networks were selected as Official Honorees in the "events" category for the 2nd annual O Music Awards website.

The Official Honoree distinction is awarded to the top 15% of all work entered that exhibits remarkable achievement.

Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising & media, online film & video, and mobile & apps. Established in 1996, the 16th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

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Happy Cog Rebrands http://happycog.com/news/happy-cog-rebrands Fri, 10 Feb 2012 03:58:34 +0000 Happy Cog http://happycog.com/news/happy-cog-rebrands Over a decade ago, Jeffrey Zeldman's Happy Cog was a boutique web design studio in New York City, performing groundbreaking web design work in a medium that was brand new and evolving quickly. Fast forward 13 years, and Happy Cog has grown to a multidisciplinary, industry-leading consultancy with offices in New York City, Philadelphia, and Austin. And last year, we expanded beyond client services with the launch of our professional grade Happy Cog Hosting service and our series of e-commerce templates for Shopify.

With the industry changes that have occurred, we've seen our business change too. Not so much with respect to our core philosophy, but with the way we talk about ourselves and the work we do. And we started to feel that our brand was falling a bit out of sync with those changes.

In the fall of 2011, we decided the time was right to consider what was next for our brand. We wanted to work with a small, top-tier studio that would understand our heritage, and could relate to our culture and values. It was also important to find a studio with a sound process and uncompromising attention to detail. We were looking for a firm like our own.

We found everything we wanted and needed with Christian Helms and his Austin-based studio Helms Workshop.

"We were well-aware of Happy Cog's history in the industry and their stellar reputation," said Helms. "The opportunity to help them refine a slightly dated brand identity was particularly exciting for us."

Helms employed a collaborative and iterative design approach, very familiar to us, which made working with their design team seamless.

Christian and his team were very flexible in designing a process that accommodated our specific requirements. We progressed through multiple ideas and iterations, and the work was scrutinized by both Happy Cog's principals and design team.

"There is always anxiety around working with a completely new creative team," said Happy Cog President Greg Storey. "Especially when the result is so important. Christian and his team put us at ease from day one."

When describing what his team was striving for, Helms added, "With so many different ventures, from development to publishing to entrepreneurism, it was important to craft an identity that is not descriptive, but more emblematic. It should reinforce their values and heritage but be applicable to support future endeavors as well."

The results of this comprehensive work is debuted on Happy Cog's newly redesigned website, launched on February 10, 2012.

The entire Happy Cog team is thrilled with the new brand identity and excited to share it with the industry.

"I'm very pleased where things ended up," said Happy Cog President Greg Hoy. "The Happy Cog brand is highly regarded by our industry. It was paramount that Helms Workshop understand why that is, and in the new work, to make sure that our hallmarks of thought leadership and roll-up-your-sleeves craftsmanship came through. It did."

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