Enhanced Designs, Website Design and Development
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Philosophy

I provide 'standards compliant' websites that look very nice without compromising their search-engine friendliness. However, clients have different priorities so I am as flexible as possible. I strive to use the advanced features without being seduced by flashy yet soon-to-be-forgotten technologies.

Positive Peer Reviews

It was a large number of very positive peer reviews that first motivated me to launch my web design business in 1996. It all started when I voluntarily produced a community website for my hometown called Jericho-Underhill Community Online and then sought peer reviews for this work on June 20, 1996 by posting a request for criticism in the comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html newsgroup, a major forum for Web authors.

Initial Request for Criticism

Uncompromising Critics, Please Review Community On-line Site. My neighbor and I are beginning to *demonstrate* to others in Jericho, Vermont what a Community On-line Network might look like. We are amateurs who love our work and want honest criticism. Besides our main graphic not loading as fast as we'd like, we're at a loss for areas to modify. Granted, we need to start filling in content areas like meeting dates and local business information, but first things first. We hope you will enjoy your visit. Thanks from the Green Mountains, Jamie and Tobias.

Initial Newsgroup Reviews

21 Jun 1996, Ed Sayre:

As to a critique on the page: I think it's just about right for a small community bulletin board. It's nice!

21 Jun 1996, matthew:

Looks fine to me. In fact, it's the best web page I've seen advertised here this month. You put a lot of the 'professionals' to shame!

22 Jun 1996, Alan J. Flavell:

The cited page was really nice. Loaded fast, even with images; the background image was not at all obtrusive on an 8-bit color system; the HTML passed validation; the content seemed to be well organised and to the point. Author's address was tagged as ADDRESS, so it would be indexed correctly. Other use of logical tags in their right place was noted. It would be ungracious to nit-pick such an fine example of the art IMO.

22 Jun 1996, David W. Zemens:

Very nice web page - one of the nicest, most professional I have seen. I, too, am working on a community network of sorts on my end, and only wish I had your ideas, visions, and skill! Keep up the good work! Dave -

While some website developers are content to support just one browser, we design pages that are accessible to all browsers in order to give you the widest possible audience. Simultaneously, we produce pages using the latest features--where appropriate--to keep your site fresh and active. Our cross-platform site design and development services guarantee trouble-free worldwide access to your writings, graphics, or business data.

 

23 Jun 1996, Jeff Kestler:

I'll toss in my .02 cents as well...The page looks great! Clean and informative, definitely a refreshing change. As far as the logo, I'm not sure what else you can do to speed the load. It's already been reduced about as far as you can go (16 color). You might want to add a LOWSRC="B and W Logo.jpg" to the image tag, but that's a Netscapism. The only other suggestion would be to add WIDTH="188" HEIGHT="164" to the IMG tag. Welcome to the Web! -Jeff K.

23 Jun 1996, Melissa Algeo:

What a good site! It renders nicely on all the browsers I tried (Netscape, Grail, Chimera, Lynx, and Viola). That's the advantage of writing solid HTML instead of trying to do page layout. And it actually gives information on the first page. Thanks for not giving in to the temptation to put a big stinking useless imagemap on the first page. We need more content-based sites.
The only *tiny* objection I had was to the bit where you say "Please [picture of envelope] additions . . ." I don't normally consider pictures as verbs. But that's a personal thing; others might find it cute.

24 Jun 1996, Mouse:

Looks good. Nice and clean - keep up the good work.

25 Jun 1996, Andrew DeLancey:

I visited with Lynx, so I didn't experience your main graphic... ;)
You've done a very nice job with this site! It validates against the HTML 3.2 DTD, and except for the BGCOLOR attribute, validates against the 3.0 DTD too. Nicely organized, interesting content, and no immediately visible typos or spelling errors.
In addition to passing validation, your site passes the much tougher test of Lynx. It has been my experience that if a site works nicely for Lynx, the site is pretty good. Your site works perfectly. (I don't even bother with validating a site if it is unusable with Lynx... )
Usually the sites people advertise in this group are pretty lame. It is refreshing to find an exception! :) Andrew

25 Jun 1996, Christian Wagner:

Ah, yes. Some people on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html were talking about that site. I haven't had a chance to check it out myself, but based on the response from the very picky crew on that newsgroup, I'd say you've got a winner

Initial Local Reviews

Reviews solicited indirectly by announcing the Jericho Community On-line Web site, to those featured in JCO's directory of Web sites related to Jericho, VT and to others, on June 20.

 

20 Jun 1996, M. Lee Sevy:

Thank you for including KIDSCIFI homepage link on your page. It looks to me that you've put some thought into your Web site. It's very nicely done, flows well and contains some useful info. Please keep in touch with any future plans on your webpage.

21 Jun 1996, Norm Lambert:

I have checked out the site in a little more detail. You have a great page there! It is a wonderful site based on a wonderful idea. I commend you for your hard work, and fine site. I know how much work goes into this kind of site.

21 Jun 1996, Peter Wolf:

I checked out the Jericho web site. Looks like it is really coming along well.

21 Jun 1996, Ray Adams:

I can only compliment you on the Jericho Page(s). They seem well thought out and very inclusive. I'm sure there are a few addresses missing, but then I don't live in Jericho and don't really know. Although as an outsider there seems to be a pretty complete listing of what's available. In short, if it were up to me, I would certainly give you the go ahead. I hope the town of Jericho agrees.

Ongoing Newsgroup Reviews

Comment by Alan J. Flavell, Dept of Physics and Astronomy, Glasgow University, in the newsgroup comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, in reply to someone confused about Web authoring.

23 Aug 1996, Alan J. Flavell:

Good content makes sense on any presentation platform, when properly marked up in HTML. It can be enhanced in such a way that it looks particularly attractive on those platforms that use the enhancements, without impairing the presentation on less performant platforms. Take a look at http://www.enhanced-designs.com/jericho/index.htm for example (Editor's note: this address was altered as the document was moved), and the pages below it, particularly those dealing with "web site development" (Editor's note: these documents are now located at http://enhanceddesigns.com/author.htm and http://enhanceddesigns.com/author.htm#STRONG). I might not agree with every single word it says there, but the whole resource is highly commendable, and you could learn a lot.

24 Aug 1996, Foteos Macrides:

I visited your site based on a recommendation in the news groups to check it out as an example of well done, content-rich, information providing on the Web. Your site most certainly is that!!! Keep up the good work.

26 Aug 1996, Matthew Shapiro:

A friend of mine here [Idaho] said that in a discussion of Web design he saw on the Web, your site was cited as exemplary. Isn't it nice to know that such things can travel around? Take care, Matthew.

26 Aug 1996, William I Johnston:

The Jericho site looks great, even using Lynx as a browser. The organization is clear and the presentation of pages is fast because you have limited the number of graphic images. Yet the use of the snowflakes and the Vermont-oriented images gives the site a unique personality.
Congratulations. Saw the reference on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html.
The only suggestion I have is for you to remove the STRONG tags from around the "[" and "]" symbols in your navigation bars. In my version of Lynx 2.5, these appear underlined, which is rather distracting since they are just container elements, and the anchors inside them are not underlined.

Various browsers treat STRONG> in different ways. It is not always rendered in boldface. To me, the "[" and "]" items should recede rather than have prominence. Another option is to separate navigation bar items with the vertical pipe symbol "|" as I do on some of my web pages.

27 Aug 1996, William I Johnston:

The Jericho site looks great without the strong brackets. Using strong for the anchors themselves is fine. It looks superb in Lynx as well as Netscape.
I may want to discuss at a later date your experience setting up and maintaining the JCO site. My boyfriend grew up in Colrain, Mass. and is interested in supporting local agriculture and industry in rural Massachusetts. A web site for local services may be an appropriate venue for raising community awareness both in and out of the region. Your JCO site seems to provide one model and I'm curious to know what the reactions have been to it. Cheers.

A later comment by Flavell:

31 Aug 1996, Alan J. Flavell:

Some of the constructs that you will find by examining other people's HTML can be copied without care or understanding and it will work just great on anybody's browser. Some of the things are absolute garbage, not even syntactically valid, and only seem to look right on your browser because you happened to have it set up the way that the author intended. Most practical cases lie somewhere between these two extremes. But if you are a novice, you cannot judge the quality that went into what you are seeing, merely by seeing it on your choice of browser.

OK, if you are just slinging together a page that looks good to you on your own screen, and you aren't interested in making it work well on the WWW, then just follow the crowd. You'll see some comments on this question at http://www.infidels.org/infidels/standards.html but then don't come whining when you find how it looks on someone else's browser.

You can find some pointers to www documents that can give you a good foundation; I'd recommend the selection listed at: http://www.enhanced-designs.com/author.htm (Editor's note: this address was altered as the document was moved.) though that's not to say there aren't other equally good ones. Beware, though - there's plenty of garbage out there, some of it even having the appearance of being semi-official guidance for inexperienced authors. I make no such claim: I just try to get you to think for yourself, and point you at some documents that I think make sense or that stimulate you to further thought.

Ongoing Reviews and Other Messages

28 September 1998, Gisele (Chicoine) Cangelosi & Mike Cangelosi

Thank you thank you thank you. I grew up in Underhill Center and these pictures brought back fond memories of my childhood. I currently live in California near South Lake Tahoe, although it is beautiful here - nothing compares to Vermont.

Thank you again and keep taking pictures so folks like me can remember home.

13 Mar 1998, Burlington Free Press

The Jericho/Underhill site is backed with a subtle scattering of snowflakes and features a virtual slideshow of 15 works of photographer Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley. This page is not just a pretty face. Complied by a local coputer company, Enhanced Designs, the page offers lists of town officials and an illustratated historic tour of Jericho.

06 Nov 1997, Magellan Internet Guide

They must be down-to-earth folks up in Jericho, as this guide to their town goes easy on the graphics and glitz in favor of informative text. All the local government contacts are neatly listed, as well as area businesses, bed and breakfasts and artisans; while some of the links seem only vaguely relevant, that's part of their low-key charm.

29 Jan 1997, Ruth Horowitz, Seven Days Weekly, Burlington, VT

Where there's a Web site, there's a way: Sampling the Green Mountian State, a byte at a time

A quick spin across the World Wide Web turns up a surprisingly high number of Web sites generated by Vermonters. You could spend the rest of your life trying to visit them all. Or you could save yourself a lot of trouble and sample the 39 sites recommended below. With over 77,000 out there, we can't guarantee that these sites are the absolute best. But you can be sure that each one distinguishes itself in some way, be it the beauty of its design, the ease and depth of its links, the nature of its content, or something fun about its format. And please feel free to let us know about any noteworthy sites we've overlooked.

Most Downhome Site (#16), Jericho Home Page -

How can you resist a site that so proudly presents Snowflake Bentley's photos of the white stuff, a guide to Underhill's historic buildings, the local 4-H Club's recipe for doggy treats and a three-year-old interview with Phish's Mike Gordon?

24 Jan 1997, John Pozadzides (john@htmlhelp.com), Web Design Group

Congratulations! Your site has been chosen by the Web Design Group as a recipient of our WDG Award.

The WDG Award was created to recognize the sites that truly make the Web what it is -- the sites that are accessible to all. While some are satisfied to reach a portion of Web users, you have taken the care to reach a much wider audience, and for this your site deserves praise.

Talented Web authors such as yourself realize the importance of valid HTML and browser independence. They know that these goals, when realized, create a site that is accessible to virtually all Web users, regardless of browser, platform, resolution, or even eyesight.

Congratulations once again on an outstanding site. Keep up the good work!

16 Dec 1996, Diana Davine

Hi there

Funny how things happen when one is searching for information.

I work at the Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, MA. On our property are two tombstones which have provided our staff and visitors with a myriad of fantasies for years

I have been here for three months and decided to investigate!

In 1980, our then director inquired of the local librarian and that of neighboring North Adams. From the records of the Williamstown Municipal Building, it was found that the child whose name appears on one stone was born to Samuel and Eliza Bentley, on July 7, 1868. He listed his birthplace as Jericho, VT, she as Underhill, VT

From the North Adams City Hall, a son, Manuel was born on Dec. 17, 1872. At that time both parents listed Jericho as their place of birth.

We would be thrilled to have any historical information on this family. I was surprised to see that the name of Bentley is still prominent in town, as that of the designer of the snowflake on your webpage!

Any help will be much appreciated

I like your page. I am a recent graduate of North Adams State College with degrees in history and philosophy.

Happy holidays. Diana

9 Dec 1996, Dick Harper

First Jericho and now Enhanced Designs are as good as any we've reviewed: content rich, nice presentation, good layout, fast loading :-)

8 Dec 1996, John Irving

Hi, I enjoyed seeing the Jericho Community Web Page. Thanks.

22 Nov 1996, Rick Snyder (Akakii)

Jericho Community On-line is an excellent example of the many Electronic Town Halls that are springing up on the Web.

22 Nov 1996, Gary Moran

Greetings. I am a Brown descended from Ezra Brown. He was a descended of Joseph(1716-1801) and Hanna Brown(1728-1806). My grandmother was Dorris Brown (Nichols-Harlow). I remember many stories she told of how her ancestors were kidnapped by the Indians and taken to Canada to be sold. They escaped twice. Could be interested to know if we are related. Prescott, Arizona

Editor's note: Gary Moran refers to an event that occurred in the earliest days of Jericho's existence, as the Brown's were among the first white people to settle in the area, no relation to Toby's family.

09 Nov 1996, Frank Mullen

I lived many years in LA, but I never had as much fun surfin' there as I've had visiting my boyhood home, Jericho, on your web site. (MMU 75). Cambridge, MA.

25 Oct 1996, Bill Uhlir

Made my first visit today; nice job. Think that recreational activities, youth activities, etc. should be listed. I live at the end of Griswold Street and am ctive in youth sporting activities.

22 Oct 1996, Michael:

Outstanding page with wonderful information. The one thing I'd like to see you add would be a one click hit that will download all the resources in one large file, instead of having to jump from one to another down the entire page.

29 Sept 1996, Michael Weinberg:

I just looked at the Jericho home page for the first time today. Very nice job. As a resident of Jericho I am proud of what you have presented.

2 Aug 1996, Kirk E. Thompson:

I was pleased to look through the Community site, of which I was unaware -- what a great public service you're contributing!.... Looking forward to checking in on the site at regular intervals! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help the general project along! Take care. Kirk.

29 Jun 1996, Ian Nies:

The jericho site was cool, I liked the snowflakes and the snowflake bentley stuff and all the familiar names, I like the scope of it, I bet it will get bigger.

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P.O. Box 34
Jericho, Vermont 05465 USA

 

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