Armadillo Studios Inc.

ToMarket.ca & Smartsealer.tv Open Up For Business

Over the past few months, Armadillo Studios has had the great pleasure to work with the fantastic team from *ToMarket Inc.* on a variety of projects. And now our collaborative efforts have come to fruition with the _almost_ simultaneous launches of “Tomarket.ca”:http://tomarket.ca and “Smartsealer.tv”:http://smartsealer.tv.

ToMarket.ca

The new web site for ToMarket.ca was designed to introduce the world to the company’s new online identity and to showcase the multifaceted extensions of their business. This new web site promotes all three elements of their company, which includes Concert & Speaker Promotion, App Development, and Direct Response Marketing.

Built by utilizing the WordPress Content Management system, Armadillo Studios developed a simple, yet elegant site, which shows the multiple facets of the company. We created simple illustrations to create an instant connection between the user and each element of the company’s business. We also rounded out the development with an easy to navigate footer and also a simple contact form.

Smartsealer.tv

The second site Armadillo developed was for the direct response marketing campaign for “The Smartsealer”:http://smartsealer.tv.

This simple, yet robust, single page site acts as the sole purchase point for the product’s North American campaign. Using the products already existing branding and the infomercial developed by ToMarket, this new site showcases the product to customers across the continent.

In addition the site also features the key elements of the product. It showcases high quality images of the product in action and a detailed list of the products functionality.

We also created a customized theme for the robust UltraCart e-commerce system. This system, while matching the branding and feeling of the Smartsealer.tv web site, also acts to sell the product to online customers. Through our development work with the site and the UltraCart system, we are able to provide a secure and intuitive method for potential customers to quickly order this new product.

We wish the ToMarket team all the best with these two new releases. It’s been a pleasure to work with them and we look forward to continuing this great working relationship.

Armadillo’s Visit to Coworkyyc

Earlier in January, I had the wonderful pleasure to finally go and visit Calgary’s only Coworking Office – “CoWorkyyc”:http://www.coworkyyc.com/.

!http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5211/5487606475_e92446b626.jpg!

For those unfamiliar with the concept of Coworking, it is essentially a shared office environment which individuals (or small businesses) can rent out in monthly or daily rates. It’s a collective place which allows small businesses and individuals to move away from the isolating confides of their living rooms to a shared space with like minded individuals. The concept is not new by any stretch of the imagination, but it is becoming quite a “popular trend for consultants, freelancers and up and coming tech companies”:http://www.canadianbusiness.com/managing/employees/article.jsp?content=20100426_10026_10026.

!http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5134/5488201896_a71eb97f02.jpg!

As mentioned, after numerous failed attempts, I finally got the opportunity to visit CoWorkyyc in the heart of Inglewood’s growing design and technology centre. Two of three owners, Quienton and Jeff, were my hosts for the day and showed me around the operation. After talking with them for much of the day and spending a very productive day of work, I was throughly impressed. I have been a major supporter of the project since I heard about it’s inception, but had never had the chance to check it out.

Luckily everything lived up to it’s billing and more.

The CoWorkycc office is a warm and inviting space with a bevy of open desks near the front. Near the back a selection of more private spaces for some of the more long term tenants are available. Nestled in a corner at the at the front is a comfortable round-table, which is perfect for that all important client meeting or conference call. At the very back of the space is a kitchen containing the critical coffee machine and a private shower, for those looking to bike to the office. And last but not least, a trip to CoWorkyyc wouldn’t be the same with out admiring the fantastic paint job which adorns the brickwalls. _You may need to ask Quienton and Jeff, about that portion of the tour_.

!http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5251/5488201854_808e5eaf02.jpg!

Anyways, if you haven’t had the opportunity to check out CoWorkyyc or just looking to find a productive work space, please do get in touch “Jeff and the rest of the team”:http://www.coworkyyc.com/start/, you definitely won’t regret it.

The yycApps Projects Gets Some Exposure

It’s been quite the week here at Armadillo Studios, as our beloved pet project – “yycApps.com”:http://www.yycapps.com received an incredible amount of local exposure over the past 7 days.

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It all started about a week ago with a six minute interview on CBC Calgary’s the Homestrech with David Grey. We had a great conversation on the blossoming community in Calgary and I was able to feature some great local apps. (“click here to hear the full interview”:http://www.cbc.ca/homestretch/episode/2011/01/04/apps/)

Next, yycapps had a feature segment on last night’s edition of GlobalTV’s 6:00pm news. In which, we briefly talked with Tony Tighe about the project and also showcased our friends from TapForms and also Broken Kings. (See the segment below and fast forward to the 23:55 mark)

It’s been an exciting week for the yycapps project and we look forward to seeing how the project continues to grow.

The Procrastination Equation: A New Book and An Exciting New Redesign

In conjunction with the launch of his new book, *The Procrastination Equation*, Team Armadillo is incredibly excited to showcase the new online home of “Dr. Piers Steel”:http://webapps2.ucalgary.ca/~steel/.

Dr. Steel is one of the world’s foremost researchers and speakers on the science of motivation and procrastination. Towards the end of last year, Dr. Steel approached Armadillo Studios to see if we could help him update and transform his personal web site. He was looking to not only promote his upcoming book, but to also create a new venue to create an ongoing dialogue about Procrastination.

Using our extensive knowledge of the WordPress CMS, we set about redesigning a brand new site for Piers. This new site, which was launched a little under a month ago, is quickly becoming an exciting new resource for everything related to Procrastination.

Not only does the site feature Pier’s new book, but it also provides a wealth of innovative features to enhance the user experience. From a Facebook integrated version of the ever-popular “The Measure My Procrastination Survey”:http://webapps2.ucalgary.ca/~steel/the-procrastinus-survey/ to the inclusion of two site skins to showcase both the _American_ and _Canadian_ editions of the book; this new site is designed to push the envelop of the standard _literary_ web site.

We wish Pier’s all the best with the big book launch this week and we look forward to the continued evolution of “procrastinus.com”:http://www.procrastinus.com.

The yycApps Makeover

Who doesn’t love a web site makeover? Really, who doesn’t.

So with that, we’re happy to announce the much needed makeover of our beloved pet project – “yycApps”:http://www.yycapps.com.

The *yycApps.com* project started a little over 6 months ago, and since that cold winter evening has grown into a powerful resource for Calgary iPhone/iPad app developers. In conjunction, with the “moreapps”:http://www.yycapps.com/moreapps.php project, yycapps.com draws in about 2,000 viewers a month and is slowly becoming a reliable source for people curious about the growing iPhone development community in Calgary.

As you can see from the old design, pictured above, the site needed a dramatic redesign. The grungy texture and dark colour palette was a great design at the time, but it didn’t encourage a sense of community or professionalism. So with this new design we hope to help grow the community and the site even more.

So please, have a look at the new yycapps. We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions to make the site that much better.

Stampede Wallpapers 2010: Real Pancakes Edition

Being that Team Armadillo is unapologetically proud to be Calgarian, we thought it was time to do something a little special for Stampede. So what better way to celebrate the greatest outdoor show on earth, then to create a new set of Desktop Wallpapers.

So for everyone’s enjoyment here is the 2010 Edition of our Calgary Stampede wallpaper collection. (By the way these new wallpapers predominantly feature “Veer’s custom Calgary Font”:http://www.veer.com/products/typedetail.aspx?image=UMT0000326 and “GoMedia’s Western Vector Pack”:http://gomedia.us/arsenal/#set9.)

Real Pancakes contain Bacon

Download: Zip File with 1920×1200 & 1600×1200 formats
Download: 1600 x 1200
Download: 1920 x 1200

Mini Donuts… Sugary Carny Crack

Download: Zip File with 1920×1200 & 1600×1200 formats
Download: 1600 x 1200
Download: 1920 x 1200

If you have any other _slogan_ suggestions, feel free to leave a message in the comments. If they’re funny enough, we’ll make another batch of wallpapers.

*Happy Stampede Everyone*

The Redesign of Mike’s Bloggity Blog

It’s with great pleasure that we get to announce our latest project, the redesign of “Mike’s Bloggity Blog”:http://www.mikesbloggityblog.com.

For those unfamiliar with this popular site, Mike’s Bloggity Blog is one of Canada’s most visited entertainment blogs. Consecutively rated as the best entertainment blog in Canada for the past three years, Mike is a witty and persistent blogger with over two and half thousands post of valuable entertainment goodness.

He covers all aspects of the Canadian Entertainment realm, from the latest news on CBC’s smash hit _Being Erica_ to the latest in Canadian Films to the Junos. Mike’s Bloggity Blog is slowly becoming the go to place for everything related to the Canadian Entertainment industry.

Mike approached us earlier this year with a goal to take his *Blogger* hosted site to the next level. He wanted to roll out a unique and professional design, but to also keep the lighthearted aesthetic of the original site.

So, we set about designing a new layout which would push Mike’s Bloggity Blog to the next step. We created a new colour scheme which also leveraged a bright new header, but also incorporated Mike’s trademark Wordle logo. We upgraded the sidebar to make it easier for users to connect with Mike’s Bloggity Blog through other social media networks like _Twitter_, _Google Friends_, _TweetMeme_ and his own _YouTube Channel_.

We also equipped Mike’s Bloggity Blog with a fabulous new fat footer, which enhances the user experience by allowing for easier navigation and allowing users to discover some of Mike’s other writing gigs.

The biggest challenge for this project was the transition from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress web site. But after some data wrangling, an unexpected downtime with a web hosting provider and some very useful WordPress plug-ins; we were able to transition all 2,500 posts from the original Mike’s Bloggity Blog to the new site, without any damage to the existing Search Engine results.

So with that we are happy to announce the new redesign for Mike and wish him all the best in his quest to conquer the _Canadian Entertainment Industry_!