Defining a Digital Brand Via a Modular Design System

Our Responsibilities:

  • User Experience
  • Design System


People's Voice Award in the "Best Navigation/ Structure" category for the 15th Annual Webby Awards

Best In Class award in the retail category of the 2010 Interactive Media Awards.

ZAPPOS.COM HIRED HAPPY COG to partner with its tremendous internal UX, design, and development teams to help find its voice. Zappos had the enviable “problem” of expanding at ludicrous speed and outgrowing its digital experience. Zappos’ cheeky voice and fanatical dedication to customer service were missing from the resulting e-commerce experience and were the cornerstones of Happy Cog’s redesign. Happy Cog articulated this graphic design, UX, and copywriting thinking through a modular design system.

We are pretty keen on viewing design as a verb, not a noun here. We never finish designs, we never “redesign,” we evolve. Business needs are always changing, economies change, customer needs change—hence how we tackle these issues need to evolve.”
— Jaimee Newberry,
Former Sr. UX and Product Manager

The design system now enables the internal team to extend Happy Cog’s design thinking beyond the website into iPad and iPhone applications, television advertisements, direct mail, even the bins you put your shoes in at airport security checkpoints. Long after the project completed, copy and design created by Happy Cog continue to appear throughout’s North American marketing.

We’ve already built great things for:

  • A List Apart
  • ADP
  • Advertising Age
  • AIGA
  • AMC Theatres
  • American College of Physicians
  • Amnesty International USA
  • Appliance Parts Pros
  • Archstone Apartments
  • Arizona State University
  • BBVA Compass
  • Ben & Jerry's
  • Black Hills Corporation
  • Black Hills Energy
  • Black Pixel
  • Blogger
  • Books-A-Million
  • Brighter Planet
  • BSR
  • Bubakiki
  • Build-A-Bear Workshops
  • Capgemini
  • Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Channel 4 (UK)
  • Climate Central
  • Comhaltas
  • Delaware Valley College
  • Einstein Healthcare Network
  • Fetch Softworks
  • FragranceX
  • Garces Group
  • Georgetown Law School
  • Georgetown University
  • Groupon
  • Harvard Business School
  • Harvard University
  • Housing Works
  • Kaplan Test Prep
  • Kauai Hindu Monastery
  • Kongregate
  • Krylon
  • Landmark University
  • Longwood Gardens
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Marler Clark L.L.P, P.S.
  • MICA
  • Michigan State University
  • Moss Rehab
  • Mozilla
  • MTV OMA 2
  • MTV OMA 3
  • Mun2 (Telemundo)
  • Naked Pizza
  • National Constitution Center
  • Nintendo of America
  • Progressive Waste Solutions
  • Red 5 Sudios
  • Republic of Tea
  • Riot Games
  • Riot Racing
  • SmartyPig
  • Stanford University
  • Sundance Film Festival
  • Tenth Millennium
  • Tethys Bioscience, Inc.
  • The Amanda Project
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The Center for Teaching Quality
  • The McGraw Hill Companies
  • The Posse Foundation
  • The Today Show
  • The World Wide Web Consortium
  • Thomson Reuters
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • (GPTMC)
  • Voting Information Project
  • W.W. Norton & Company
  • Warner Bros. Films
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges
  • Welton Investment Corporation
  • Wordpress
  • Yale School of Management
  • Zappos


We don’t specialize in a specific technology or type of business; we specialize in all of them. Have an idea for a project?

Start Your Project with Happy Cog →

We love to provide:

  • Research
  • User experience design
  • Online business strategy
  • Information architecture
  • Content strategy
  • Graphic design
  • Template (code) development
  • Responsive design & development
  • Mobile development & testing
  • Application development
  • Content management system (CMS) development
  • Hosting

We routinely build great things for:

  • Banking & financial institutions
  • Broadcast & media
  • Universities & educators
  • E-commerce sites
  • Energy & utility companies
  • Film & entertainment
  • Fortune 500 companies
  • Gaming studios
  • Local and federal governments
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Professional service providers
  • Software companies
  • Tourism & travel


Got a fantastic design challenge for us? Can our partnership change the way you do business on the web? Want us to speak at a conference? Get in touch.