Armadillo Studios Inc.

Campaigning With WordPress & WordCamp Calgary 2017

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of giving a talk at WordCamp Calgary 2017 called Campaigning With WordPress: Design and Story Telling Lessons From The World of Political Web Design. At the request of many attendees I’ve attached my slides for download and viewing via Slide Share below.

Thank you once again to the entire team that put on WordCamp Calgary 2017. They did a fantastic job and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat about the intersection of WordPress and the Political technology world. I hope everyone had a great time at the talk.

Celebrating 9 Years of Business

9 years of web design goodness

August 31st, 2015 is the nine year anniversary of Armadillo Studios Inc., so it’s time for a little reflection and celebration. Over the past nine years the Web Design world and Social Media landscape has evolved at a dramatic pace.

Here are some interesting tid-bits about when Armadillo Studios first launched:

  • Facebook was still only available for College Students and didn’t have Fan Pages, Business Pages, etc.,
  • Twitter wasn’t in existence.
  • Other tools such as Foursquare/Swarm, Groupon, Instagram, Snapchat hadn’t launched and wouldn’t launch for a couple more years.
  • WordPress was a still in version 1.5 and was considered solely a blogging platform.
  • Mailchimp wasn’t available to the public for E-mail newsletter creation.
  • Obama was still a state senator and the upcoming social media revolution in politics was barely an afterthought. Nationbuiler wouldn’t appear as an online tool for another 5 years.
  • Flash was one of the dominant methods of developing web sites.
  • The Web 2.0 phase was just kicking off and the concept of Mobile Responsive web sites wasn’t even on the communities radar.
  • … and most importantly, nobody knew who the Kadashians were at the time.

A lot has changed since Armadillo Studios was incorporated in the summer of 2007, but the commitment to quality web services and customer relations still stands. It has been a pleasure to work on a variety of exciting projects and to collaborate with a fantastic roster of great clients.

So here’s to another 9 wonderful years of web design goodness.

Bringing To Life The YMCA Calgary’s Annual Report

One of the things I love to do is help people tell the story of their businesses or organizations online. Whether it’s through creating a social media strategy, building a new web site or crafting a customized micro site. Earlier this month Armadillo Studios was asked by The YMCA Calgary to help them bring to life their “2013 Annual Report”:http://annualreport.ymcacalgary.org/.

ymcaannualreport2013-1

The project consisted of tying together the stories, marketing material, YouTube videos and important financial data of their year end report with a customized illustration by local artist Mark Murias to help showcase the organization’s vision for the upcoming year. Working together with the YMCA’s communications team we developed a very cool interactive _Where’s Waldo_ micro site leveraging HTML5 animations and some useful modal JQuery scripts to help create a unique experience for their passionate supporters.

ymcaannualreport2013-2

When users arrive at the site they are greeted by a beautiful illustrative collage of the city and a series of clickable links that open up to personal testimonials of the YMCA’s impact, beautiful visualizations of the YMCA, videos of the executive team and links to important elements within the YMCA’s web site. As mentioned, the site has a wonderful and playful _Where’s Waldo_ vibe, where users can scour the illustration to find the click points. It’s great representation of the YMCA and how important it is to the community.

It was such a pleasure to work with the Communications team at The YMCA and to be part of this big milestone.

The Twitterfication of Facebook and The Facebookification of Twitter

This post has been re-posted from Armadillo’s President’s personal web site as it touches upon a subject that we’re currently very interested in. We hope you enjoy this post and if you have any questions feel free to contact us at any time.

So it’s been a while since I’ve written or talked about the state of the Social Media sphere on the old c.t.overdrive. Frankly, in regards to the world of Social Media there really hasn’t been a change big enough to warrant a post and plus there are thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of Social Media Experts writing about the latest social media gaff or trend.

But today I received my updated Twitter profile, which although incredibly snazzy looks eerily similar to something… but I can’t put my finger on it.

Oh yes, it looks incredibly similar to my Facebook profile.

The Facebookification of Twitter and the Twitterfication of Facebook

Yes, it’s official the Twitterfication of Facebook and the Facebookification of Twitter are finally complete.

Now, to be honest the change in both Twitter and Facebook isn’t really that ground breaking. Both Twitter and Facebook have been working to incorporate the UX/UI benefits of their two successful offspring networks for quite sometime. For Twitter it’s been working to adopt ideas from Medium and Facebook with it’s ever popular Instagram. While these sorts of changes are technically dramatic given the scale of both networks, these alone are really just cosmetic and minor functionality changes to adapt to the changing design aesthetic and functionality demands of our internet usage. I wouldn’t say they’re ground breaking changes that warrant a blog post.

But in my opinion, this change really does signal something else. To me this solidifies the end of Social Media phase of the Internet’s evolution. Similar to how the explosion and dominance of Social Media killed the Web 2.0 phase, we have officially reached peak Social Media.

Let me put it this way, with the two largest Social Media golden childs (Twitter and Facebook) working to mimic their network’s UI and interactions after their competitor’s and spending more time focusing on becoming a key communication channels and personal data resources rather than on social innovation, where is the future of Social Media heading?

Think about it, when was the last time a new social network really disrupted the online social space? I would say we haven’t seen any real innovation in the realm of Social Media since Instagram and that is at least five years old. Does anyone think that there is a Social Media network like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or even Foursquare that will revolutionize the way we use the internet in the same way?

Maybe, but I’m not seeing it right now.

Now don’t get me wrong, Humans and Society will always Innovate. It’s in our nature. And for me to say otherwise would make me sound like the guy who proclaimed that we should shut down the patent office because nothing will surpass the Fax machine. But right now with the way in which Start-ups, Entrepreneurs and Innovators are focusing their attention it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever see a time period of crazy innovation and evolution in the Social Media atmosphere like we did towards the end of the 2000s, when everything changed.

I guess what I’m getting at is a question that is asked of me a lot nowadays and that is What is the next big Facebook, Twitter, etc? To me I don’t think there is anything on the horizon. To me we’ve come to the end of the golden age of the Social Media phase.

Will there be something new in the future. I can almost guarantee it, but it won’t be a social network like we’re used to. That phase of the internet is over.

AlbertaTweets To Team Up With CBC Alberta

If you haven’t heard, AlbertaTweets (our election side project) and Armadillo Studios Inc., are ecstatic to announce that we will be teaming up with CBC Alberta for exclusive Election Night social media coverage.

Alberta Tweets & CBC Alberta

Not only will AlbertaTweets be providing CBC Alberta with customized stats and graphics for the evening coverage, but we will also be providing insight into the campaign with features during the pre-election show and the ever popular CBC Eye Opener morning show. (Read More…)

AlbertaTweets.ca Makes Waves Online

A couple of weeks ago Team Armadillo released a new side project, “AlbertaTweets.ca”:http://www.albertatweets.ca, to an incredibly positive reception. Born out of our interests as political junkies and data nerds, this new project is an exciting step in a new direction for the team.

AlbertaTweets.ca

As avid data and political junkies, we had been contemplating doing a project which would involve twitter data and some sort of visual data analysis. Over the past two years, we’ve been attending a variety of conferences which have delved into the realm of web data and the political spectrum. Then as rumors of a provincial election started to surface, it seamed like the perfect timing. Hence the birth of *AlbertaTweets.ca*. (Read More…)

Introducing The 5th Anniversary Stickers

As mentioned, Armadillo Studios “will be turning five on August 31st”:http://blog.armadillostudios.ca/article/what-does-armadillo-studios-do. To celebrate five great years of providing top-notch web design services to the masses, we decided it was time to redesign our ever popular *Armadillo Stickers*.

!http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6186/6036838865_4cac12f4db.jpg!

Since 2008, our initial run of stickers has been a massive hit with everyone. We’ve shared them with friends, clients and numerous associates at a variety of networking events. And like any good batch of stickers, they’ve “randomly” appeared on the back of laptops, toolboxes and exotic locations all over North America. (Which is something we would _never_ encourage… well, at least not publicly). But as we continue to move forward, we realized it was time for a bit of an upgrade.

So with that, we present the *2011 edition of our much beloved stickers*.

!http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6063/6036838925_88159c5a45.jpg!

Printed by our good friends at “JakPrints”:http://www.jakprints.com/sticker-printing/ on their gorgeous vinyl stock; this latest rendition once again places Milo, our company mascot, front and centre. This design has incorporated a unique five year crest to give the stickers a more retro feel. This new crest features the company name, web site address and also five subtle stars. The five inner ring stars, alludes to our very first branding scheme, the Armadillo Star, and also represent a single year of existence as a design outfit. With this edition we’ve also included plopped our name and web site address right smack in the middle of the design. This of course, is a pretty novel idea that was glaringly missed in our first sticker incarnations. And as always out stickers leverage our unique mint green and chocolate brown colour palette

We’re really proud of how these edition turned out and we look forward to sharing them with everyone

So How Do I Get My Hands on Some Stickers

Simple, just send us a note!

If you’d like a batch of stickers, get in touch with us through our twitter account (armadillostudio), our “Facebook Fan Page”:http://www.facebook.com/armadillostudios or just contact us through our main web site. If you’re really keen and willing to share the Armadillo Stickers love, we’ll forward on a nice batch straight to your door step.