No more speculation. Welcome to the new YLF!
Over the past four and a half years, we have evolved the style and persona of YLF with each update. We steadily included more fashion illustrations, columns and colours as we added new features, keeping the overall aesthetics and feel of the site fairly consistent.
That all changes today. As comfortable as you and I were with YLF’s old look, she desperately needed a Style Renewal in order to keep up with her blossoming career. She is reaching a new stage of life and needs a killer look to go along with it. While she never looked drab, she was starting to look slightly dated. And for a site whose primary focus is fashion and style, heavens above! A somewhat dated look simply won’t do.
So a few months ago Greg started work on a complete redesign of the site. I provided some creative input and kept the libations and treats aflow, while Rosie and Jasmine did a sterling job of being both mascot and muse. It was a family effort to bring YLF to the next level and we hope that you get as excited about the new look and new features as we are.
This is my favorite aspect of the new site. Through a background that changes we can make the site reflect different moods, trends and topics. This ability to change to reflect what’s going on is why we started calling it the chameleon feature.
The background will change every month and in that way you can think of it as the “cover” of our little fashion magazine. Some blog entries will also have their very own special background that stays with them. To see this in action take a look at the four examples below – click the thumbnails to view each post with its new background. Maximize your window to get the full effect and immerse yourself in YLF.
For years the site was visually anchored by bright colours like apple green and fuschia through Lisa Henderling’s masterful fashion illustrations. But over time photos have become more important. So we had to say goodbye to Lisa’s graphic illustrations in favour of a neutral palette that supports whatever the current topic demands. To ease you (and me!) into this big visual change, the background photograph for this month is in keeping with the original YLF colours. (That’s a photo of my neon green L.A.M.B bag and fuchsia jumper).
The second big feature is the ability to upload photos with your posts on the forum. For years people have been uploading their pictures to services like Flickr and PhotoBucket and then posting the links in their YLF post. But you’ll be able to remove those extra steps. It is MUCH easier, and also makes the forum look happier and more colourful.
Of course, if you prefer to continue using your current photo management service, that is fine too. Think of YLF’s new photo upload feature as another option.
In the process of testing this feature with a small group of people we realized that we need additional features that allow you to manage your collection of YLF features as it grows. We don’t have those features for you today, but that is the next thing we are working on.
Favorites, the Activity Stream, and Backstage
This release of YLF was initially more about the visual update and photo uploads than anything else, but soon we’d piled on quite a few other meaty features.
Favorites will make it super easy for members to track the conversations in the forum that interest them most. Just click the little heart alongside a post title and it goes on your favorites list. Go to your favorites page to see these all in one place, and even grab an RSS feed to get updated whenever someone posts something in these threads.
The Activity Stream is a feature that tracks everything that happens on the site, like forum posts, store reviews and blog comments, and presents these events on the front page. At a glance you can see who’s been up to what. There’s also a personalized activity stream alongside your profile page.
A New Home
Finally, a big change that reflects the way YLF has become more than a blog over the last couple of years. Instead of Home being the front page of the blog, it is the cover of YLF. An activity stream on the front page brings your activity to the surface, and big feature blocks will allow us to run topics that go beyond a single blog entry. We’re looking forward to putting this to use during the upcoming fashion week, but our starting feature is the new YLF.
We hope that the new YLF still feels like home even though it looks so different. While a lot has changed in the design, as you start clicking around and becoming familiar with new features, you’ll also notice that a lot has stayed the same. And I’m still the same! So out with the old and in with a fresh, more dynamic and modern YLF that reflects the intelligence, needs and compassion of its readers.
With that… enjoy the new site!
PS. There are bound to be some teething problems so please let us know if you see anything strange. For bugs, please use the new contact page, or if you are a member of the forum, use the feedback thread we have started over there, or start your own new thread.