Quebec City: A Little Piece Of Europe Just North Of The Border – Part Two

By Nick Iandolo

This article was originally published on Beantown Socialite (link here): September 16th, 2010.

…continued from première partie.

The first things that we noticed as we got closer to the Old Walled City (originally a fortified enclave complete with a citadel for troops and lined with canons), were the amount of happy people wandering about on both sides of the street, or sitting in the outside patios of the many restaurants one after another, and of course the more than occasional horse and buggy with happy riders enjoying the cool and comfortable summer air.

Evening horse drawn carriage rides are especially romantic when riding through the Old Walled City of Quebec City.
Evening horse drawn carriage rides are especially romantic when riding through the Old Walled City of Quebec City.
Source Link

We were getting more and more excited that we made the right decision to come here the further we went along the Grande Allée. And finally when we passed under the wall of the old city we were treated to something that my wife and I hadn’t experience since our trip to Italy back in 2005: a European city look and feel that was as close to the real thing without ever having to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The sights, the sounds, the architecture of the buildings, the cobblestone streets, the French speaking people, everything reminded us so much of Europe I swore we were in Siena or Florence. The city was abuzz with activity. There were happy revelers about, live music being played on virtually every corner, street performers entertaining the crowds, quaint little shops, eateries, etc. It probably helped that we arrived in Quebec City on the cusp of Canada Day so there was an air of extra celebrating to be had.

After a brief tour of the old city that we would be spending the entire following day exploring, we pulled up to the valet at Le Saint Amour and let them take our car while we went inside. The place had a wonderful “turn of the last century” décor to it with a fabulous main dining section called, the salle a diner jardin. In other words, it was a large open atrium-like space inside that had plenty of seating amidst these massive potted plants hanging high above our heads—i.e. a dinner garden.

Salle a Diner Jardin – The Dinner Garden at Saint Amour. A truly beautiful place to eat in Quebec City!
Salle a Diner Jardin – The Dinner Garden at Saint Amour. A truly beautiful place to eat in Quebec City!
Source Link

The food was exactly as you would expect a fine French restaurant to have, with excellent wine choices (over 250 choices), a delectable lobster bisque, a tender and juicy grilled petit filet mignon with oxtail, and exquisite selection of pastries for dessert. Though a little on the pricey side, we most certainly enjoyed taking in the local color and relaxing in this charming restaurant after a long day of driving. And the staff was immensely pleasant and helpful. We had lost our expensive digital camera there that evening (must have been the wine), but they dubiously found it, secured it, and promptly had it waiting for us when we returned the next day to retrieve it. Had that been a New York City restaurant I fear it would have been seen on the street being sold for a mere $50!

The next day Mireille prepare for us and the other guests at their B&B a wonderful pear crepe breakfast. Serge was only too happy to toast our bread for us and provide helpful tips on visiting the city. The both of them were incredible hosts and made us feel right at home.

After breakfast, we immediately set out back to the Old Walled City to see the sights. The first thing to note was that despite the narrow one-way streets that would give even Bostonians a shrill of anxiety, the traffic jams were at a tolerable minimum (when there were any), and there was ample and affordable parking—especially in the Lower Town part of the old city by the waterfront and the Musee de la Civilisation. Eight dollars Canadian for twelve hours is quite a bargain seeing as you’d have to pay three times that anywhere in Boston if you’re lucky.

Starting out on the Rue Dalhousie we walked up towards the purported oldest street and square in North America, the Rue du Petit-Champlain. Certainly this little village nestled in the shadow of the iconic Château Frontenac high above, deserves its accolades and adorations by residents and visitors alike. Used many times in movies as a double for European hamlets, one can easily see why with its picturesque little shops, stone buildings, outdoor eateries, chocolatiers like Madame Gigi Confiserie (where I purchased a fine Cognac Noir bar of chocolate), cobblestone roads, and the occasional villagers walking about clad in period costumes and even carrying lanterns in the evening, this place exudes Old World charm and is a main draw for visitors to Quebec City.

Over the course of our visit, my wife and I spend hours hanging around the Rue du Petit-Champlain, perusing the shops, dining outside, and dreaming of our next trip to Europe—most likely France this time.

One of the most European-style places in all of Quebec City. Walking along the Rue du Petit-Champlain is like walking back into more renaissance and romantic time.
One of the most European-style places in all of Quebec City. Walking along the Rue du Petit-Champlain is like walking back into more renaissance and romantic time.
Source: Nick Iandolo

When we were ready to see more of the city on our fist day we decided to take the Funicular railway to the Upper Town part of the old city that lets you out right near the aforementioned Château.

There’s just something really cool about taking an inclined car up the side of a hill overlooking the Saint Lawrence—kind of like being in the elevators at the Luxor in Vegas but outside and more picturesque.

The Château Frontenac is the epitome of Quebec City’s architectural symbolism. Many images have been taken on the Château’s hallowed facade from all over the city, the air, and the river. This edifice defines classic European style and elegance. We wandered around it in awe and proceeded to venture inside. There are many inspiring features to this fully active and classic hotel including high-end shops, lounges with verandas that overlook the Atlantic City-like boardwalk and the river below, and staff walking about in old world Victorian costumes. One could spend quite a bit of time exploring this place; just imagine what it would be like to stay there!

Château Frontenac is one of Canada's greatest railway hotels and the resplendent heart of Quebec City!
Château Frontenac is one of Canada’s greatest railway hotels and the resplendent heart of Quebec City!
Source Link

The rest of the day my lovely wife and I spent exploring the Upper Town of the old city. The amount of people wandering about on these small streets was staggering to say the least. Also the streets were alive with performers of all kinds in all manner of costumes and all types of music and live performance: opera, magic, rap, folk music in French and English, comedy, mime, jugglers, dancers, harpists, etc. And a plethora of artists and painters also lined parts of the streets including the famous Rue du Trésor. It made me wonder (as a native Bostonian) if Boston streets ever get this culturally intense.

We ate lunch at a nearby French country restaurant, Creperie Le Petit Château (with a charming little courtyard to eat at set back from the street for a quiet repast), walked down the Rue Saint-Louis touring the shops, and then ambled our way over to the Rue Sainte-Anne perusing more shops, and then headed over to the Rue Saint-Jean for even more shops!

You would think that we would have grown tired of shops in Quebec City, but that simply was not the case. Exploring one quaint place after another is a real New England trademark whether you’re in Woodstock Vermont, Falmouth Massachusetts, or Newport Rhode Island. The shops in the old city were every bit as interesting as their New England counterparts.

We did manage to take in a 3D multimedia experience on the history of Quebec that seemed a little outmoded but historically interesting. The Quebec Experience also on the Rue du Trésor is a combination of 3D movie and animatronic action that falls a little short of knocking ones socks off when compared to a real 3D IMAX show or a top notch interactive experience like Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas (indefinitely shut down) or Honey I Shrunk The Audience/Captain EO at Disney World’s EPCOT Center. However for what it is, it does present a dignified and unique historical perspective on the city that is at least worth the price of admission.

Sunset over the Old Walled City of Quebec City with the Château Frontenac in the background. Truly beautiful!
Sunset over the Old Walled City of Quebec City with the Château Frontenac in the background. Truly beautiful!
Source Link

With the sun setting, my wife and I decided to head back to the L’Arvidienne to freshen up and take in an outside dinner along the Grande Allée.

To be concluded in troisième partie


Welcome to My World Wide Web!

Working on the web is a huge part of my business. I can create a custom website for a client or company using a CMS such as WordPress, or edit an existing one using commercial website builder tools such as WiX or edit straight HTML. I can also work with PHP, XML, and CSS. I am also able to work with MAS such as Marketo that also creates Internet-based content.

As a modern-day professional Marketing and Communications Writer, web-related skills are as essential as image and graphics creation and editing, which of course I have—see my Custom Graphics page for more on that.

I create lots of great web-content that keep people coming back for more!

Below are examples of my best website building experience—and of course there’s this Portfolio Website as well.

Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center


Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website homepage; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.

Back in 2015 while I was working for the Digital Visionary Access Corporation (whose subsidiary is Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center, DTV for short) as their Senior Communications Manager & Producer of Special Broadcasts, I was given the task of redesigning and rebranding the DTV website.

I won this opportunity due to both my previous web creation and content management experience, and that I saved Dedham Television/DVAC over $80K building them a custom 3-channel Video-on-Demand platform prior to the website redesign—see below for the entire story on that project.

The entire story of the website redesign can be found here.

Suffice it to say that I designed, built, and edited every single aspect of this beautiful website!

I used a great dynamically responsive WordPress template called MH Squared (used primarily for European media publications), did tons of custom graphics (from backgrounds to buttons), created the video bumper that is featured on the homepage, wrote absolutely all of the copy for every single page and post that exists on the website today (including ghost writing for my former colleague’s posts), shot and edited an enormous amount of pictures used throughout the entire site including the photo galleries, chronicled and preserved the storied history of the venerated 502 Sprague Street Studio, provided a whole new promotional platform for the Media Engagement Center’s classes and workshops, added additional functionality to the site via WordPress plugins and HTML/PHP/XML code, and linked the site to the VOD channels and the sister site (more on that below).

Every page is rife with SEO from keywords, meta-descriptions, links (internal and external), categorized in WordPress, registered with the major search engines (some involving PHP code), and even the images all have alt-tag descriptions.

And finally, there is a huge social media connection (that I enabled) between the website and DTV’s Facebook, Twitter (using Google scripting), LinkedIn, Google+, Vimeo, and YouTube channels.

Needless to say, I poured my heart and soul into making this the best possible Broadcast Media Production Company website available for this non-profit organization.

The effort was also part of an overall rebranding program that I proposed, executed, and managed for Dedham Television and DVAC, which including changing the company name, writing a new tagline, new logos and signage, new business cards, new domain-specific email addresses, new promotional materials, new social media channels, new video production classes, B2B/C strategic marketing initiatives, and public relations announcements and studio-related advertisements.

I did literally everything at DVAC that one could think of as a Senior Communications Manager and Producer of Special Broadcasts, Director of Public Relations, Director of Social Media, Showrunner, Video Producer and Master Editor, and Webmaster. All of my skills were brought to bear in this role and I acquired many new and invaluable ones!

Below are a few more screenshots of some the more prominent pages on the website:

Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website The Studio page; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website Media Engagement Center, The MEC, page; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website Video on Demand page; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website Cuba post, entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website Wanna Be On TV page; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website DTV’s new website page; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website Entertainment page; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.

Website Status Note: I haven’t been with DVAC/Dedham Television for a while now—and it shows because the site has not been updated in nearly two years, nor are the domain-specific emails functioning any longer—and there is talk about doing another redesign of the website to a simpler interface. That project has nothing to do with me. I also feel that that would be a huge mistake to downgrade this amazing website that looks spectacular on HD displays and on mobile devices. The website I designed is capable of doing everything imaginable on the web for a media organization: playing embedded live and recorded video, running a company store and an ecommerce operation (e.g. paying for membership and classes via the website), displaying an enormous amount of graphic images and media in a beautiful layout, running slide shows of new DTV programs and events on the homepage, and viewing a news ticker of the latest real-time happenings at the studio.

And more!

The idea that this website somehow needs to be redesigned is, in my opinion, a huge step backwards for Dedham Television and DVAC—it would be no better than the klunky and bug-ridden nascent website they had before at

Oh, and I was the one who registered and utilized the Dedham TV dot-com URLs.

Fun Fact: Because of my show NICK’S SCI-FI CORNER, which I was able to get on the Internet Movie Database, I was then able to get Dedham Television listed on the IMDb as a full-fledged television and video production company.

Dedham TV Live!


Dedham Television’s DedhamTVLive website homepage; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.

Along with the creation of the new website, I felt the need to also create a sister website for all of the new live (and pre-recorded) video streaming that Dedham Television was starting to get into.

After my successful creation and implementation of the 3-channel Video-on-Demand platform for DTV, I convinced the Executive Director that a portal companion website dedicated to the video streaming was necessary so as not to overload the flagship website with too many options. A convenience that I created for the very same people who are having trouble navigating the website as it is. With almost no effort, one can find the link to, which is clearly marked as to what the purpose of that website is. Those who are complaining about the so-called “trickiness” of navigating the website are simply too lazy or impatient to explore these two website works of art!

And if simplicity is what they require, then is for them.

This website is predominantly a stylized landing page with three simple subpages that go to the three different video-streaming services that DTV offers.

What I did was take our use of UStream, TelVue CloudCast, and our VOD channels (built on Vimeo PRO, more on that below), and consolidate them on to one website where anyone can find them! Seems pretty simple to use to me.

I used the WiX Website Builder for this site because there was no need for a complicated WordPress template here. The WiX website template is also a dynamic responsive template for mobile devices. The site contains all of the new branding for Dedham Television, which includes the new logo, buttons, titles, fonts, social networks links, Dedham-specific imagery, and colors—with enhancements for this particular site.

Also, there is a clear link back to the primary website.

The DigiSim page (or Digital Simulcasting) is the direct link to Dedham TV’s TelVue CloudCast live video simulcasting stream of what is being broadcast currently on Dedham Television. It should be noted that I was also able to embed the coding for this streaming media player on the homepage of (where the YouTube video bumper widget is) to broadcast online special presentations: the town elections, the Flag Day parade, a high school championship game, and more. Again, for the sake of user convenience. It should also be noted that using this service (i.e. TelVue CloudCast) is a bear: the webplayer is a kludgy interface with very little customizable features, the hardware behind it (at the studio) is klunky, expensive, and outdated, and the service is all in old-style Standard Definition. I championed abandoning this service in favor of UStream but change seems to come slowly to DTV.

Dedham Television’s DedhamTVLive website LiveStream page; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.

The LiveStream page was built on DTV’s new subscription to the UStream service. This was a total Internet-based video-streaming service for remote location coverage of events and presentations that could be viewed from anywhere in the world. Originally, there were going to be four channels here: DSPN – Dedham Sports Programming Network, Dedham Family (family friendly live-stream content), D-SPAN (live-stream news coverage for Dedham, and Dedham Discovery (a live-stream educational channel). Sadly, the only channel to get launched was DSPN, which does not seem to be currently functioning.

The Video-on-Demand platform that I created has a link from the homepage to the full VOD page on the main website (no need to re-invent the wheel here). Click here for a screenshot of that page (or see the above webpage screenshots). See the story below for a complete overview of the creation and implementation of DTV’s VOD platform.

Website Status Note: Basically, this website has not been updated in about two years as well. The problem with these two websites is not the design or functionality: it is simply that Dedham Television/DVAC needs to maintain them! These dynamic websites would be gemstones in the crown of DTV’s Broadcast Media Enterprise if they were constantly maintained and updated. There was talk of a website update in late 2016 that would have involved me but it never came to fruition—despite my repeated queries to the Executive Director.

Suffice it to say, that I was once DTV/DVAC’s webmaster and we had huge plans of which theses websites were the groundwork for. However, when they decided to downsize, they felt that the website (and all of their Internet presence and cloud-based services that I built for them) just wasn’t as important as their other efforts. Just a superficial website makeup was enough for them.

In my opinion, that is a hugely flawed way of thinking. In fact, that kind of thinking was what got Dedham TV in a bit of a bind when the Town of Dedham had a technology review not too long ago. See the story for the creation of the VOD sites below for more.

Anyway, in my opinion, with video-streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, HULU, Amazon, Crackle, Metacafe, Vimeo, ComicCon HQ, and more, the concept of Cable Access Television is becoming more and more a thing of the past just like Cable Television in general. People are “cutting the cord” in droves these days and going directly to video-streaming services on the Internet. My vision as Senior Communications Manager and Producer of Special Broadcasts was to position DTV/DVAC to take full advantage of these future prevailing media broadcast technologies. However, it seems that for now Dedham Television/Digital Visionary Access Corporation wants to stay rooted in the past instead of pushing forward into the future. These websites (and the micro-sites below) are a glimpse into what that future could have been.

Dedham TV’s 3-Channel Video-on-Demand Platform


Sometime around winter or spring of 2015 the Town of Dedham hired an IT consultant to do an assessment of the town’s integrated Information Technologies, which included the local cable access television studio (i.e. Dedham Television). The review was not very favorable to DTV’s overall technological status: still broadcasting in SD, an outdated website, and most importantly no Video-on-Demand platform from which to view archived and recently broadcast public (entertainment), municipal, and educational programs. In fact, the only way to watch some of these programs online was either through a klunky and buggy embedded media on the old website (which had very little content), or on video-streaming service (which was very difficult to search and navigate through, and there was no direct link to the DTV website as well).

This was a very disheartening blow the the managing staff of DTV, probably because they saw no easy way to fix the problem.

In fact, they sought out a super-complicated solution that thankfully I steered them away from.

I remember walking into a meeting, that I should have been invited to, between DTV’s Executive Director and reps from TelVue (the people who provide the aforementioned kludgy digital simulcasting service for Dedham TV), and the only thing that I heard aside from their techno-salesy-babble was, “It’s going to cost you $80,000…”

$80 Grand for a system rooted in the aughts! No way!

As soon as they left, I said to the Exec. Dir. that I could build a better VOD system with off-the-shelf cloud-based services and micro-sites off the company’s website for ZERO dollars!

Actually, I ended up getting paid a little more than zero for the project but at a fraction of what TelVue was going to charge for their dinosaur system.

The new channels are:

  • VIDEOSNOW! – The public and entertainment channel for DTV’s archived and recent broadcasts
  • MeetingVids§ – The municipal and government channel for DTV’s archived and recent broadcasts
  • SchoolSpaceπ – The educational and public school related channel for DTV’s archived and recent broadcasts

The way I did it was:

  1. Create three separate subdomains for (later called:,, and
  2. Use the portfolio feature of DTV’s existing VimeoPro account to create three distinct and customizable portfolios (i.e. channels) for each of those subdomains, and link them through the CNAME feature of the DNS Zone Editor for the website
  3. Design and create three separate backgrounds and branding styles for each of the new channels. The VIDEOSNOW!, MeetingVids§ (with the legalese subsection character), and SchoolSpaceπ (with the Pi character) channels were all uniquely designed using Vimeo’s templates and my Photoshop skills for the backgrounds. You can view the un-blurred backgrounds for each channel here.
  4. And not only did I create all of these channels and subdomains but I also developed and entire SEO system to thoroughly tag and annotate each video that went up on the VOD platform, making them very easy to search on and find what one was looking for

When I rolled out the VIDEOSNOW! channel first, it was an immediate hit with the managing staff of Dedham Television! I was immediately contracted to do the other two channels and eventually the two websites discussed above.

I saved the organization over $80K on a system that will never go down, and one that DTV did not have the burden of trying to maintain—other than putting up content.

Websites Status Note: It should be noted that though the VOD channels are still being used, neither the annotated data that nor the SEO tagging that should accompany each video is being implemented. Again this comes back to the lack of focus on the importance of having a webmaster or communications director or a similar person (or persons) constantly updating these micro-sites. If fact, the DTV staff has been taken to referring people to the URL instead of the VOD URLs, which is not only a huge step backwards but a branding and marketing mistake for Dedham Television, and a waste of all of the effort that went into building these VOD channels!

I mention all of this here on my portfolio page because I do not want prospective employers or clients to confuse the current state of these five websites with the work that I did initially. Had I been allowed to remain as the Dedham Television Webmaster along with my role as Senior Communications Manager, I would have continued to improve upon these magnificent sites and marketed the content far and wide for a huge ROI for the studio and the organization. In fact, it was my dream to not only enter the amazing and profitable world of video-streaming and video-content-creation, but also to get major studios and corporations to shoot films, commercials, and training videos at the amazing 502 Sprague Street Studio. We were working on all of that when the Board of Directors decided to scale back, shrink back, and step backwards into the past instead of forging forward and investing in the future and in me!

Oh well.

Here are screenshots from each of the VOD channels’ homepages:

Dedham Television’s VIDEOSNOW! VOD homepage; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television’s MeetingVids§ VOD homepage; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television’s SchoolSpaceπ VOD homepage; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.

Fun Fact: Part of the entire rebranding and PR packaging initiative for Dedham TV and DVAC was also setting up a slew of cloud-based services. This included data and media storage in the cloud, interactive cloud-based training, the aforementioned UStream live video streaming, also the aforementioned VOD platforms, and online accounts with professional marketing printers, vendors, and suppliers.

Someone had suggested that Dedham TV should have a server-client network and even offered to build it for them. Thankfully, I talked the Exec. Dir. out of that plan as well. There was no need to revisit the 20th Century for data and media storage that did not suit our needs. Instead, I set up nice large organizational Google Drive and uploaded all of the most used media and documents (such as every version large, small, or alpha-channel of the DTV logo, the video bumper logo for the end of broadcasts, web-management documents, and more!).

I made sure everyone had access to these data-stores, and set everyone up with the Google Drive app, mobile device email accounts, and training.

The interactive online training was setup through, and you know the rest for the video-streaming.

They had everything at their fingertips; however, sadly they seemed to have abandoned most of those services and resorted to doing the bare-minimum on the desktop computer level and share files via USB drives. Super inefficient if you ask me.

USB drives for Macs are great for Time Machine backups, nothing more. The maintenance-free cloud is where the future lies for any digital media enterprise in my opinion!

VelocityDomain Network Solutions (VDNS)

URL: (now defunct)

Shortly after the Dot-Com Dot-Bomb era, a lot of us former “dot-com-ers” were struggling to find comparable employment in the midsts of a serious economic recession. What was once the highfalutin glory days of excess in the dot-com era quickly became a belt-tightening gauntlet of trying to make ends meet with creative approaches to generating income.

Thus VelocityDomain Network Solutions was born. From 2002 to 2006 a group of us post dot-com marketing and technical people came together to build a consulting association to acquire and share clients across industry disciplines, needs, and platforms.

Sometimes a client would need a network analysis and upgrade proposal, or a complete website redesign (or initial build), or a research paper on new markets and barriers to entry, or some simple IT desktop support, or graphic designs for new small businesses, or web-copy, or just about anything that involved marketing and technology.

I worked with a bunch of great people such as graphic designers from Adobe and Hill Holliday, finance and strategic marketing experts from State Street Bank, producers from R.M. Productions, tech gurus from ETG and Collective Technologies, webmasters from WebMate, and of course writers like myself from Thunder House Online Marketing Communications and I.S.M. to name a few. Some employees from theses clients even came over to VDNS as consultants in a variety of roles!

For a good bunch of years we did very well bringing in business to share among all of us from clients such as: B.C. International Corporation, John Hancock Financial Services, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, NSight Works, Rust Monkey Productions (later R.M Productions), Harvard Business School, Boston University, TerraZones, Appia, Inc.Neshamkin French Architects, Irma. S. Mann Strategic Marketing (I.S.M.), Winphoria Networks, Epix Medical, Paw Village, and more.

Finally, in 2006 we disbanded as most of us (including myself) were able to find new gainful full-time employment in a variety of sectors.

However, during our time, we needed a website to advertise our services.

Keeping our costs down to a minimum, we opted for a splash/landing page and a simple Flash-based version of the website. One of my colleagues, Susan Howland (now with Creativedge), a graphic designer who specialized in Adobe Flash animations at the time, did the Flash layout and design while I wrote all of the website’s copy (landing page and flash version in both MS Word and HTML). She also worked on the graphics for the landing page.

Below is a screenshot from the VDNS landing page and the Flash version:

VelocityDomain Network Solutions (VDNS) website splash landing page; entire site created by Nick Iandolo and Susan Howland.
Click on image to view in full size.
VelocityDomain Network Solutions (VDNS) website Flash version; entire site created by Nick Iandolo and Susan Howland.
Click on image to view in full size.

Fun Fact: You can view the entire Flash-based version of the VDNS website here if you have Adobe Flash installed on your web browser! It probably won’t play on a mobile device that does not support Flash.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Collegiate Companion Websites

URL: (original Houghton Mifflin websites are now defunct)

One of VelocityDomain’s clients was Houghton Mifflin (before the Harcourt buyout). There I worked in their College Division building companion websites for their collegiate textbooks (mostly English/Literature and History). I used Adobe Flash, XML, and coded HTML in MarcoMedia (now Adobe) Dreamweaver. The content was then uploaded to the websites via the Web Publishing System (WPS). I also used a document management system called Documentum (a pre-CMS at the time). I even wrote and edited a lot of the copy that went into these sites (see the Literary Ships entry below).

Currently, the third party company Cengage has now taken over the production, management, and publishing of HMH’s Collegiate Companion Websites.

Below are samples of two of the websites that I worked on:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Collegiate Companion Website, History - Literary Ships, Edited by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
This is a screenshot of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Collegiate Companion website. This entry was added by me, Nick Iandolo, for the Literary Ships page of History textbook companion website. I edited this website in Adobe Flash, MarcoMedia Dreamweaver, and XML.
Click on image to view in full size.

Rust Monkey Productions

URL: (now defunct)

One of my former clients while at VDNS was an awesome little film/game/commercial arts production company called Rust Monkey Productions, Inc. (later R.M. Productions) in Arlington Mass. One of the co-founders of the company, Daniel G. Thron (and one of my best friends), went on to become a successful filmmaker in Hollywood. He has directed movie tie-in viral videos for big name studios, award-winning genre short films, hugely successful commercials, and has worked as a Lead Artist and Concept Artist on blockbuster films such as Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Zodiac, The Fate Of The Furious, and Blade Runner 2049 to name a few!

It was during his early days at Rust Monkey Productions and Looking Glass that he really cut his teeth in the filmmaking arts (from directing, screenwriting, producing, matte painting, visual effects, and acting) that prepared for a successful career in Los Angeles.

During his time at R.M. Productions, I helped them build their killer artsy website using iFrames and HTML. The artwork is obviously Dan’s but I helped with the layout and copy for the site.

Over time, Dan worked with VDNS to provide graphic design work and other valuable contributions to client-related projects before moving to Los Angeles permanently.

Below is a screenshot of the R.M. Productions website homepage:

Rust Monkey Productions (R.M. Productions) website homepage, Nick Iandolo assisted in layout and copy. Daniel (Dan) G. Thron did all the artwork.
Click on image to view in full size.


UX/UI Writing

Users Experiencing User Interfaces!

Actually, it’s User Experience/User Interface or UX/UI—and in the case of this portfolio, it all pertains to this type of writing.

Having built quite a few websites, and populating them with tons of content, over the years, I’ve come to know a thing or two about UX/UI design and how to write for it.

The first tenet of UX/UI writing is: never confuse the reader!

Content should be presented in an easy-to-follow straight-forward manner no matter creative the web team tries to be in the effort.

The following examples come mostly from websites but also from a few Mar/Comm pieces (that you can learn more about on and Marketing Communications page).

SeaChange International – Rebranded Homepage, Etc.

With my most recent client (as of late Spring 2018), SeaChange International, one of my major responsibilities as their Digital Copywriter was to help in the rebranding initiative with regards to the re-desinging and relaunching or their new website

Though Emagine was primarily responsible for the design of the new SeaChange website, I was part of the wire-framing meetings and my content was featured both on the Homepage and the Resources page. My feedback was part of the collaborative effort to build a brand new website that was both gorgeous, intuitive, and representative of the future direction of the company.

And I believe we accomplished that in spades!

The Customer Segmentation Markets content were my contribution to the Homepage as featured in the screenshot to the left. I did all the analyses for the customer segments and wrote all the copy that is further explored though the child pages from the Homepage links.

SeaChange International Homepage screenshot, Customer Segmentation Section, by Nick Iandolo.
Click to view full image.

Also here on their Resources page under Solution Briefs, I wrote every single datasheet that is linked on this page.

Finally, the following datasheet (from the aforementioned page) is a UI-driven piece, detailed extensively on the Marketing Communications page.

SeaChange International PanoramiC product datasheet created by Nick Iandolo—thumbnail to actual document.
Click on image to view the full document.

Dedham Television – Rebranded Websites

Now Defunct

As detailed extensively on my Websites page, much of the work that went into the Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center’s websites ( and; as well as, the Video-on-Demand micro-sites (,, and were all UX/UI driven as I built them.

Since then, they’ve gone in a different direction but you can see from the following examples where I was going with these sites. My vision for the organization, as their Senior Marketing and Communications Manager was to take it to a full-fledged OTT digital video streaming and commercial production studio.

Note: The layouts for these homepages are simple and elegant. The flagship website ( has everything a visitor needs to get the breadth of the organization, what it does, and where to find content. There’s interactive widgets (that would even live-stream broadcasts on the homepage), a carousel gallery of the latest posts, a huge button link to the video-stream sister site (where all the VOD, digital simulcasting, and location live streaming channels were hosted); as well as, search functions, breadcrumbs, quick links, a news ticker, social media links, right-navs of useful info and links, a Facebook live news feed, and an interactive GPS driven map. This homepage had it all—you should have seen what all the other pages were like (the best are preserved here in this portfolio)!

The new website pales in comparison with lots of missing content, broken links, poor UX/UI design, and a lack of vision for the future of Dedham Television. Visit the current site if you don’t believe me: And what’s worse is that has been completely abandoned, languishing in website limbo slowly breaking down. It’s sad to see all that great work go to waste—at least I preserved the sites in their glory in this portfolio.

Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center website homepage; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.
Dedham Television’s DedhamTVLive website homepage; entire website created by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view in full size.

Make Tech Easier – UX/UI App Job Apps Review

At some point as a digital Mar/Comm writer, I not only get to create original UX/UI-based content but I also get to review other people’s or companies’ UX/UI work.

As a staff writer for Make Tech Easier (MTE) I got to do just that when I review five mobile device job search apps. I discussed the UX/UIs on these apps, features, benefits, and drawbacks.

You can read more about my MTE experience on my Journalism page. Also, you can go here to read all of the articles that I wrote for MTE.

Below is a PDF version of the article, the published linked version can be found here on the MTE website.

Five Mobile Job Search Apps by Nick Iandolo for Make Tech Easier—thumbnail link to actual document.
Click image to view the full article.

Velocity Domain Network Solutions – Flash Website

As detailed on the Websites page the Velocity Domain Flash Website was built with UX/UI in mind. Simple and elegant was always my goal when building a UI. It couldn’t get simpler and more elegant than the hyper-stylized VDNS flash site. If you have Adobe Flash installed on your system, click here to view the flash site as it was.

VelocityDomain Network Solutions (VDNS) website Flash version; entire site created by Nick Iandolo and Susan Howland.
Click on image to view in full size.

Rust Monkey Productions – Homepage

Now Defunct

Again, as detailed on the Websites page this was a great example of simplistic and elegant UX/UI design. The artwork is amazing, there was a news feed, and links to their portfolio and demo reel. We used a combination of iFrames, Adobe Photoshop, and HTML to build this creative showcase.

Rust Monkey Productions (R.M. Productions) website homepage, Nick Iandolo assisted in layout and copy. Daniel (Dan) G. Thron did all the artwork.
Click on image to view in full size.

Cognex – Product Datasheet Redesign

Revised data-sheet for Cognex In-Sight 7000G2 by Nick Iandolo.
Click on image to view the full document.

As detailed on the Technical Writing page, I did a whole redesign to a datasheet for Cognex Corporation (to the left) they were looking to use for the launch of a new product. I must have overwhelmed them when I not only gave them 5 pages of details about the changes to the original document but also simply took the PDF and made the changes right in Adobe Acrobat Pro! It was almost convention-ready, all I would have required was the original fonts, or better yet, the original Adobe InDesign file (with the fonts). But the result for what I did was pretty impressive nonetheless. If you read this linked editorial document of the changes from the original, you will see that this piece was all UX/UI.