Welcome to the new and improved YFile

An image of a woman with a laptop that shows the YFile website

Today, YFile marks a major milestone in its 19-year history with the debut of a lively new website and newsletter. Both feature a modern design, improved functionality and an enhanced experience for the York University community.

As an essential source of institutional news since it was launched in 2002, YFile is the University’s official journal of record. The effort to refresh YFile was undertaken with a community-first approach that prioritizes the needs and requests expressed by the publication’s readers.

The project, which encompasses the entire YFile program, includes enhancements to the news website, story archive, online newsletter and central events calendar. Work has been underway for almost a year to review and refresh each of the YFile components, and the focus has been on delivering an updated, modern design, improvements to the search function and access to archived stories, along with a new archive of the online newsletters and a streamlined central events calendar.

“York University continues to demonstrate that education and critical inquiry, scholarship and knowledge translation can transform the world around us,” says President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “Over the past 18 months in particular, connectivity – with each other and our local and global communities – has been more important than ever. The revisions being made to YFile will enhance the accessibility of information and help ensure that our community remains connected, informed and engaged. Congratulations to the YFile team on the launch of this important initiative.”

Today, readers will discover that YFile’s focus on telling York University’s important stories is now further augmented through an updated, user-friendly design that incorporates the University’s brand visual identity. The YFile news website aligns with the University’s web optimization strategy that focuses on delivering a streamlined experience for users.

As with any new endeavour, there will be some bumps and unexpected glitches. Please let the YFile team know your thoughts by sending an email to yfile@yorku.ca with the subject line Feedback. Let us know what you like, and what could be improved or fixed.

The YFile news website

A key component of the YFile program, the publication’s website has been re-envisioned using new developments in content management and design. The result is a clean, modular, easy-to-navigate website that provides more flexibility and creativity in presentation and layout.

Content is curated into new categories that best reflect York University’s priorities and goals along with YFile’s mandate. Readers will notice new categories, including Teaching & Learning, Research & Innovation, Awards & Recognition, Latest News, Special Issues and Features. The popular Scoop section now includes an archive of previous entries, which fulfills an important request from community members.

There are also two new sections that enhance YFile’s presentation of its content and the community’s desire to see stories featured on the website for a longer period. The new sections, Spotlight@York and York in Focus, keep important initiatives and stories available on the YFile website.

Spotlight@York highlights stories that celebrate important innovations at York University. It is the place where the content from the special issues “Brainstorm” and “Innovatus” will be featured. As well, major stories such as the recent launch of York’s new University Academic Plan will be showcased in the Spotlight@York section.

The York in Focus section highlights stories that continue to be relevant for some time, or news that celebrates a major development at York University, such as the opening of the new Markham Campus, a major research award such as VISTA or a major funding announcement.

The YFile archive

For years, YFile staff heard from the community that there was a desire for an improved archive of past stories and a better way to search those stories. To respond to this need, more than 24,000 stories dating back to 2002 are now accessible in the story archive and technical innovations were implemented to the search function. The result is that users can find stories and sort their searches more effectively.

The YFile story submission form

A new online story submission form that was tested in the summer months has proven to be extremely popular with the University community. Accessible directly from the YFile website, the form guides community members and helps them pull together the information they need to submit a story to YFile’s editorial team. The form is easy to use, logical and it makes the submission of stories more organized.

The YFile email newsletter

The YFile email newsletter is delivered every morning to more than 6,000 full-time faculty and staff at York University. It is often the first interaction community members have with what is new and interesting on campus. With this in mind, and recognizing YFile readers have busy inboxes, the new YFile email newsletter has been designed to be informative, engaging and simple to navigate.

As part of this major refresh, the email newsletter is now developed using a new platform that provides greater flexibility in layout, design, and presentation of stories and content, allowing YFile’s editorial team to highlight stories about York University in a more balanced approach. Both responsive and web-friendly, the email newsletter is more accessible for all types of devices, from desktops to tablets and smartphones, and through all web browsers.

An outstanding feature that is particularly exciting to announce is the new archive of email newsletters, which will be available on the YFile website. That means no more searching through an email inbox, and faculty and staff can now save and print email newsletters that are published from Sept. 15 onward. This fulfills a frequent request from the community.

The University events calendar

A new online calendar of events offers a streamlined, optimized listing of new events taking place at York University’s campuses. The new centralized calendar, which is linked on the University’s homepage under Quick Links, is compatible on different devices and web browsers. With a focus on accessibility, the new events calendar launched in late August and more options will be rolled out over the coming months. Featured events of significance to the University will continue to be profiled on the YFile website and in the email newsletter.

Informed by industry best practices and with priority placed on accessibility and fulfilling the University community’s requests, this major evolution of YFile is an important milestone in the publication’s history.

Resources to help you

To help York community members navigate some of these changes, YFile has developed a YFile User Manual. This document will help guide content creators through YFile’s unique writing and publishing conventions, providing answers to frequently asked questions about deadlines, images sizes and more. The YFile User Manual is available on the About YFile page under YFile resources.

Tell us what you think

Feedback from the community is encouraged and welcomed, and can be shared through a link on the YFile website or by emailing yfile@yorku.ca. Please include Feedback in the email subject line.