Starting today, a simpler internal home page for York students, faculty and staff is just a click away.
The new internal York home page is the result of work by York’s Computing & Network Services (CNS) and the Marketing & Communications Division to create a streamlined design. The site will offer improved navigation and design that is more consistent with the external home page.
Today marks the Beta test or "soft" launch of the new internal York home page. Click here to view the site. Soft launching the page provides the York community with an opportunity to test and provide comment on the new internal home page for two weeks. Following the soft launch, the new internal home page will officially go live on Feb. 26.
|Above: The new internal home page|
So why are the changes happening now? According to Laurence Boucher, director of account direction in York’s Marketing & Communications Division and a member of the interdisciplinary team charged with updating the site, the new look and improved navigation of the York internal home page was deemed a necessity. "The existing home page has been around since 2002, pre-dating the external Web site and required updating," said Boucher. "The redesign also addresses a number of navigation deficiencies in the old site that were causing problems."
This upgrade addresses a number of navigation issues with York’s existing home page such as no simple way to navigate from the internal site to the external site and needing several ‘"clicks" to find maps, libraries or other important links within the internal site. The external home page, which was launched in 2004, was a first for a Canadian university. York created the external site with content designed to showcase York’s many strengths to prospective students and visitors. (See the Sept. 22, 2004 issue of YFile.) York’s new internal home page will now be consistent with the design and feel of the external site and provides easier navigation for the internal York community.
|Above: The new Faculty & Staff page|
"The changes have the greatest impact on the top level internal home page and the second level pages for current students, and faculty and staff," said York Chief Information Officer Bob Gagne. "The new design also introduces a new standard page ‘header’ that provides more consistent navigation across all pages. Links to Faculty and library Web sites, campus directory and search are now accessible from all pages via a new navigation bar. Focus groups and usability testing with faculty, staff and students were conducted to ensure that all changes made were intuitive and provided better navigation and information than the current pages."
The new internal home page showcases York’s many strengths – news stories taken from YFile will be available for review, as will current media releases, important bulletins, the day’s events, a link to Ylife (York’s weekly newsletter for students) and links to the secondary pages for current students, and faculty & staff. The page also showcases York’s public awarenesss advertisements.
|Above: The new Current Students page|
For members of the York community, it will be business as usual. The Beta launch of the site will continue for two weeks. Feedback is encouraged and can be sent to email@example.com.
Here is a list of specific changes that have been made to York’s new internal home page:
- The new internal banner clearly distinguishes this site as separate and distinct from the external site. It also provides a means to go the external site using the "go to www.yorku.ca" link. The York logo will return users to the internal home page.
- "Current Students" and "Faculty & Staff" links remain in the navigation bar. "Research" has been added.
- Commonly used links such as Faculties, Libraries, Maps, Directory, York University Organization and Search are now available in the banner, accessible from all pages.
- The internal banner no longer includes Future Students, Alumni and Visitors. Since these are external audiences, they are included in the external site navigation bar.
Internal home page
- The links for "Current Students" and "Faculty & Staff" are more prominent and Events, Headlines and Bulletins are also more up front.
- The design is now more modern and consistent with the external site.
- Every second level page (i.e. Current Students, and Faculty & Staff pages) will use the standard internal template (grey sidebar); and for ease of navigation the Search box and Bulletins remained anchored in a consistent location.
Current Students page
- This change is primarily a cosmetic update. There have been few changes to the organization of this information.
- These pages use the standard internal template (grey sidebar), i.e. Courses and Enrolment.
- A direct link to Ylife has been added
- An In-Person Services page has been added under the categories related to registrarial and financial services. These include "Courses and Enrolment", "My Student Records" and "Money Matters".
- A "Faculties" page has been added, accessible from the banner. It provides more detail and is more user-friendly than the "Faculty Web sites" feature presently on the "Current Students" page.
- The rollover "Faculty Web sites" feature has been replaced by the Faculties link in the banner.
Faculty & Staff page
- The Faculty & Staff internal home page has been structured like the Current Students page, providing category pages, and less text overload.
- A YFile link has been added to this page.
Remember that comments or questions are encouraged and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.