Phil McKenzie's logo

The happy button is a design/development project inspired by Phil's obsession with single serving sites, gifs, and brightening people's days.

a gif ofthe happy button in action

My role

For this project I did it all. Inspired by the concept of a single serving site and armed with the necessary tools to get the job done I attacked full steam and filled in the cracks as I went.

Towards the end of the project I reached out to single serving website connoisseur Brian Fouhy for some critique.


Design Skills, HTML, CSS, JS, JQuery, Google Fonts, GIPHY API, Yerba Mate


As I sat in the last class of my penultimate semester of college I found myself thinking about what I would do over winter break. Although I work full time over breaks in Dev/Design it was really important to me to make time for some personal work so I decided to make The Happy Button.

This project offered me a short design challenge and a foyer into the world of single serving sites. It also shows off my design and development chops on a site that is all mine. I also had the opportunity to use the GIPHY API to make something fun which had been a goal of mine for a while.


Since this was a quick design/dev challenge I did not spend a ton of time sketching out my plans or writing pseudo code. I instead opted to work mostly from a design I had been thinking about and work out the functionality from there. It didn’t take me too long to get the design done, but as it goes working with any new API, it took me a while to get the API calls set up properly.

Once I had API calls worked out I had to tell GIPHY what kind of gifs I wanted. This was perhaps the biggest challenge, there are a lot of weird gifs on GIPHY probably don’t make people happy but they are tagged with things like “funny” or “cute”. My solution to this was to test the button a lot with various search parameters, I still haven't found the perfect solution but I think it is good enough at the moment.

Future directions

Overall I am pretty happy with the site but in the future I would consider giving the user the ability to like/dislike gifs so the gifs that don’t make people happy don’t show up. Another direction I would like to pursue is an AI solution that can detect when people like and dislike certain gifs although this is a bit out of my wheelhouse.

get happy