Article  |  UX

The kids are alright...

3 Mar 2010

My nephew just turned 5 years old, which means that I was recently seeking a birthday gift. Last year, I had taken him to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) where he appeared to have a great time playing and learning. Money well spent.

In the back of my mind, I had been planning to purchase him an annual membership so that he could go more often. As his birthday neared, I began to look into this and was quickly discouraged by their membership packages.

At first glance, this may seem straight forward and reasonably priced. Yet, none of these plans were targetting my situation. You see, my goal was to purchase a membership for my nephew. One that might allow myself, his parents, grandparents, or babysitters to take him. Currently, this isn’t possible because their plans require named adult(s) and a number of kids they can take. I’m sure this works for many people, but I believe that a better option would be one geared towards the individual kids.

When I went to review their plans, I was expectig to purchase something like this:

..but all I could do is purchase a membership for some adult(s). Feeling disatisfied with my options, I decided to get in touch with OMSI. I sent in an email over a month ago to explain my scenario and see if they had a way to setup a special membership. Unfortunately, they never bothered to respond. Perhaps I’ll need to call someone in their offices to inquire, but regardless… I really find their strategy flawed.

Story time…

When I was younger, I had several membership cards to various attractions. One was GoKart license, another for an aquarium, and one for an amusement park. I was proud of my GoKart license and kept it in my wallet as kid. I remember getting newsletters in the mail from the aquarium letting me know about upcoming events. This would motivate me to ask my parents to take me (or find someone else to do it for them). I could imagine that this sort of membership model would be a great way to engage kids and invite them back on a more frequent basis. Kids are great at getting adults to take them to do stuff…

In the end, Micah (my nephew) didn’t get a membership pass and OMSI didn’t convert a ready-to-buy birthday shopper.

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Article  |  Work

New Contiki global search results

2 Nov 2009

We’re currently working closely with our long-time clients, Contiki, on improving the user experience for their customers. Our design team recently deployed a new interface for their search results, which allows their customers to research, save, and compare trips that they’re evaluating for their dream vacation.

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Article  |  Development

Take the Ruby on Rails Hosting in 2009 Survey

13 Jan 2009

The team at Planet Argon introduces the survey for people who deploy Ruby on Rails applications! That’s right, we’ve decided to collect, organize, and share valuable information about how people are managing their deployment process.

We invite anyone who is involved in the deployment management of Ruby on Rails applications to participate in the Rails Hosting in 2009
, which will be close on February 1st. Sometime thereafter we will publish the results, along with the anonymous raw data, for use by everyone in the community—including our competitors. Here at Planet Argon, it is our mission to strengthen and improve our hosting-related products and deployment
based on real feedback from the trenches. So please, if you have a few minutes to spare, take our survey and help us take a giant step into future of Ruby on Rails hosting.

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Article  |  Studio

Happy New Years 2009!

31 Dec 2008

NEWSLETTER: 012009 – New Years

PLANET ARGON New Years Newsletter

December 31st, 2008

  • Client Projects in 2008
  • Boxcar Redesigned
  • Going into 2009

We wanted to send you a quick note to wish you all a Happy New Year.
Our team had a very successful year and are looking forward to
another great year in 2009. This last year has seen the launch
of client projects that we’ve worked hard on all year, and 2009
brings with it some exciting new products that we will be
announcing in the next few months!

Recently launched Client Projects


Planet Argon recently helped launch, a premier stock
research and portfolio simulation service for individuals and professional
investors alike. Planet Argon worked with the AlphaClone team to design
and develop the product from ideation all the way through deployment.
AlphaClone is hosted using the same technology that powers Rails Boxcar
and is being managed by our team of deployment specialists.


Planet Argon has been collaborating with Contiki, a worldwide leader in
vacations for 18-35 year olds, as the primary Interaction Design and
Development team behind their online presence for nearly two years. In 2008,
we helped grow their community base beyond the 100k member threshold and it
continues to grow as we expand on ways for their customers to connect with
each other before and after their travels through tips, photo sharing, and
planning reunion trips!

Boxcar Redesigned

In 2008, we began redesigning our deployment and hosting services by turning
Rails Boxcar from a simple VPS into a scalable deployment platform. In addition
to 3 different Boxcar plans, we are now also offering custom managed hosting
packages on dedicated hardware for high-volume sites. These packages leverage
the same technology as our Boxcar plans allowing for simple deployments and
simple scalability. Combined with our new consulting options, we’re giving
our customers access to more ways to grow their sites without the headaches
of managing them.

To top it all off, we recently launched a new site for Rails Boxcar, sporting
a new look, testimonials, and more detailed plan information.

Remember to sign up for our new Rails Boxcar Newsletter! ;-)

Going into 2009

Our team is currently working on a collection of internal projects and
consumer-facing products that we will be launching in the first quarter
of 2009. We are still evaluating new client projects for 2009, so if you
know anybody looking for a Design and Development team, don’t hesitate to
have them give us a call at +1 503 445 2456 or contact us online at:

You can also follow us online at:

Again, we hope that you had a great 2008 and are looking forward to a successful 2009!

The Planet Argon team!

Alex, Allison, Carlos, Chris, Dan, Dawn, Gary, and Robby

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