Armadillo Studios Inc.

SXSW10: Leave Your Job. Start An Agency.

A couple of months ago, Alex Lemanski of “Bitfyre fame”:http://www.bitfyre.net/ approached some of our mutal friends from previous “SXSW Adventures”:http://blog.armadillostudios.ca/article/?c=sxswi-09 about trying our hand at a panel for “SXSW 2010”:http://www.sxsw.com.

As a collective we’ve already built the popular how-to guide “SXSWisEASY”://www.sxswiseasy.com , so it would only make sense to throw our collective hats into the SXSW panellist ring. So with that I’m happy to present to you our potential panel “Leave Your Job. Start An Agency”:http://ow.ly/kiAK.

The concept behind our panel is simple. We want to provide an outsiders perspective on the difficulties of starting your own studio. We’ll address things like how to do transition from your solo Apartment/PJ set-up into a full on office? How to deal with arguing co-owners? How to find clients across different area codes? Pretty much every topic that someone would need to know if they were contemplating starting up their own business.

To paraphrase Joe, the idea of the panel is to get the real dirt on non-existent inter-office scandals and what to do when your partner doesn’t agree with you – there’s sure to be some heat in this panel. What else could you expect from three Americans, one Canuck and a Texan.

So this is where we need your help, if you’ve got a second and do plan on attending SXSW’10 in Austin, please log on to the panel picker and give our panel “a big thumbs-up”:http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/3303. Voting closes on Sept 4th, so be quick.

The Cookingwithfire.com Redesign & Recipe E-Books

The average lifespan for a web site design is roughly 1.5 to 2 years. Due to which, we have seen a bit of an influx of returning clients looking for touch-ups to their site. One such client was Linda Matthie of
of “Cookingwithfire.com”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com.

As one of the original roster of web sites launched during Armadillo’s inaugural year, the first cookingwithfire web site was built as a fairly straight-forward promotional site designed to showcase the company’s line of Mexican inspired cookbooks. It was one of our first web sites built with an integrated corporate newsletter and it was the first e-commerce site we built to use the “e-junkie commerce engine”:http://www.e-junkie.com/?r=5350.

Now, queue the redesign.

The new Cookingwith Fire Redesign has shifted the focus of away from a promotional site complimented by a small online market place, into a fully functional e-commerce web site.

By shifting the navigation from the left-hand side of the site to the top, key navigational information is now located in a more intuitive area. In addition, we have removed some of the unnecessary sidebar content and populated it with direct links to the site’s popular “newsletter articles”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com/bite-your-tongue-when-sharing-these-hot-sauce-tips/, the “existing hardcover product line”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com/the-fire-n-ice-cookbook/ and the “new E-Book Recipe line-up”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com/the-cooking-with-fire-product-line/.

The second aspect of the redesign was to improve the e-commerce interface to coincide with the release of 11 new “Recipe E-Books”:http://www.cookingwithfire.com/the-cooking-with-fire-product-line/. Using the upgraded *E-junkie* platform we were able to enhance the overal shopping experience, keeping users contained within the cookingwithfire environment and the removing the hassle of additional windows. We have also created easy to find *View Cart* buttons on each page and simple links to the iniduval product desctiptions.

We have been honoured to work with Linda and her popular Cookingwithfire brand for the second time in our short history. We’re currently working on implementing a new newsletter service for the next round of e-book recipes, in the hopes of enhancing the web sites reach and awareness.

Seenster Alpha Goes Live

Two weeks ago, the Armadillo Team made the hour trek up to great wilderness of Banff for the latest rendition of “DemoCamp Calgary”:http://barcampcalgary.com/2009/06/03/democampbanff-in-two-days/ at the “nextMedia conference”:http://www.nextmediaevents.com/banff/. The team was up there to support Cameron Rout and the live alpha demo of the “seenster.net”:http://www.seenster.net project.

As the about page describes; *seenster.net* is for independent musicians who bootstrap their efforts on their own dime, the Prolific Compilation Card is a recommendation tool that gives artists the opportunity to get paid for recommending music in real life, at their gigs. *Unlike Last.fm, iTunes, and Myspace our product brings the social music network into Real Life to sell recommendations as a tangible commodity*.

The Armadillo team was proud to help Cameron with design tweaks and some back-end modification to get the product into a live state. In the future we’ll be working together to really enhance the product and get out of the dreaded Alpha state and into the more sensual Beta state.

If you are curious about the project or would like to get involved either follow the “team on twitter”:http://www.twitter.com/seensters or email Cameron directly at “cameronrout@seenster.net”:mailto:cameronrout@seenster.net.

Job Seekers Leveraging Twitter

Yesterday afternoon, we had a great interview with Danielle Suchet of CBC Radio One for a segment on *Job Seekers Leveraging Social Media in the Struggling Economy*. We had a wonderful chat with Danielle and a couple of quotes were broadcast during the segment.

If you happened to miss our comments, the CBC Calgary has posted a synopsis of the segment – “Calgary Job Seekers Tweet To Find Work”:http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2009/06/09/calgary-jobs-twitter-social-networking.html?ref=rss. Including a great little snippet of the interview:

Posting links on Twitter *will not eliminate the need for traditional job boards or online listings but it’s an avenue to reach a wider audience*, said Connor Turner, owner of Armadillo Studios, which consults on social networking for small businesses.

“People are using Twitter and Facebook just to get the word out there and show a connection and then drive them back to the original form like their website and the job posting,” he said. “*It’s just an indirect way, a more personal way to get out there and touch people and provide the information that people are looking for*.”

If your curious about our Twitter Consulting services, feel free to have a look at original article – “Twitter For the Calgary Market”:https://www.armadillostudios.ca/twitter-for-the-calgary-market/.

yycPhotobook.com

With the advent of online collaboration, it’s amazing at how fast a simple idea can go from a random thought to online collaboration to web site launch. Take our newly launched “yycPhotobook web site”:http://www.yycphotobook.com as an example.

After being approached by “Duncan Kinney”:http://www.duncankinneyblog.com, of “yycBlogs”:http://www.yycblogs.com fame, to take on the task of designing the layout for the new collaborative/crowsourcing photobook project – “yycPhotobook”:http://www.yycphotobook.com we quickly went to work on establishing a home base for the project. Utilizing a simple black, pink, and white color scheme and inspiration from Italian outfit “loveleft’s”:http://www.loveleft.com/ stunning use of typography, we have created a simple informational site to spread the word to calgary’s growing photography community.

Armadillo Studios will continue to post entries on the progression of the project, from the initial meeting to the development and publication of the project. So check back shortly.

The Enermatix Inc. Redesign

In 2007, Armadillo Studios was approached by the Enermatix consulting firm to develop an online identity and corporate brand. Within a couple of months we had provided a functional web site, a unique logo and the company’s promotional products.

Fast forward to 2009 and Armadillo Studios is happy to continue our relationship with Enermatix Inc. with the “release of their new redesign”:http://www.enermatix.ca.

The initial branding and corporate web site for Enermatix Inc. embraced a vibrant color scheme and a simple navigation, but after a few years it became apparent that the identity needed a small tweak; something to improve the web site’s usability and overall feel.

By inverting the color scheme of the initial web site, the new Enermatix Inc. site embraces a softer and more open feel. By enlarging the text and removing the boxy layout, this new design showcases a more approachable Enermatix Inc.

In addition, we have improved the navigation and placed key informational elements (recent articles, team profiles and contact information) on each page to allow potential clients easier access to the company. Elements of the Enermatix philosophy have also been showcased with graphical blurbs to grab the readers attention. Armadillo Studios has also improved the Search Engine Optimization to garnish a stronger audience for the company.

Armadillo Studios is once again proud to team-up with Enermatix Inc. to help improve the company’s image and to help enhance their bottom line.

Bumptop Launches To the World

In exciting industry related news, local Calgary product Anad Agarwala and his team of developers have released the much anticipated desktop application “Bumptop”:http://www.bumptop.com to the world.

Buzz about Bumptop has been building for over a year now, since Anad’s infamous presentation at the “2008 TED conference”:http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/anand_agarawala_demos_his_bumptop_desktop.html. And because of a longstanding relationship with Anad (via our glory days at the University of Calgary); Armadillo Studios has been honored to be a long time beta tester of Bumptop.

It is because of this relationship with Anand and the Bumptop team, that we are pleased to announce that we have been featured on the main Bumptop site.

As far as desktop applications go, Bumptop truly is a ground breaking device. One that will revolution how you view your Windows Desktop and how you utilize it in your daily work environment. We encourage all of our clients and friends to “download Bumptop”:http://bumptop.com/download.php play with the application’s incredible organizational properties and see how it can improve your work flow.

Congratulations is in order to Anad and his team. Armadillo Studios wishes you the best of luck with your endeavor.