Goodbye to 2020

December 29, 2020 · 3 minute read

…and hello to 2021!

2020 has been quite a year. We are so grateful to be turning the page on 2020, but before we do, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the herculean effort from the Squeaky Dog Studios team to get us this far.

Working Virtually

We found ourselves working differently in 2020 and started using a plethora of new tools, including:

  • Figma - [UX/UI design] we prototype our app and watchface designs using this cloud-based tool, and it’s been working GREAT.
  • Slack, Meet, Zoom - [online collaboration] the usual suspects for collaborating and staying in touch.
  • Wave - [accounting] we’ve incurred a lot of hardware and software expenses this year, and it’s been really great to have a cloud-based accounting tool to keep everything balanced.

We also expanded the equipment available to our development team by purchasing three new laptops and several new phones and watches for use as test devices.

Accomplishments

With all of these new tools and equipment in place, we actually got some work done!

  • Over the last year, we developed a new mobile user experience (UX) that we rolled out to some of our wearable companion apps, including Pride Time and Just a Minute;
  • We started (but didn’t finish) a complete refresh for PhotoWear with lots of exciting features on the new roadmap;
  • When the Samsung publishing processes threw us for a bit of a loop, we learned a lot about the process for publishing our watchfaces to the Samsung Seller Portal. We appreciate all of you that stuck with through this learning process;
  • And regarding customer service: we responded to 2669 customer support requests. It takes time to respond to everyone, but we eventually do, and we are glad that you all are writing in. Your feedback helps us improve.

Branding and Swag

This year we officially rebranded as Squeaky Dog Studios. You’ll find our new logo and branding in place of Sparkistic where possible. We even put together our first pass at some company swag, including SDS T-Shirts, face masks, and stickers! Contact us if you’re interesting in purchasing any. If we get enough interest, we might place another order.

However, the year is also ending on a bit of a sad note: Harley, the company mascot and inspiration for our branding, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. We’re still looking into treatments to maintain his quality of life, but we’re not sure how much time he has left. Please send positive thoughts for Harley.

Summary

Everything we’ve done this year is to help create and deliver exiting wearable features to our users. We couldn’t have done it without all of your support. We have a lot of big plans for the new year, and we look forward to sharing those with you all soon!

One last thing: if you’re looking for a way to help folks that are still struggling to make it to the new year with some dignity, please consider a year-end contribution to, or volunteer your time at, the charity of your choice. Here are two of our favorite resources:

  • COVID-19 Top Nonprofits - Highly-rated nonprofits providing relief and recovery to communities impacted by the pandemic from Charity Navigator.
  • Black Lives Matters Carrd - a compilation of ways you can help the BLM movement.
  • HRC - the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ+ Americans.