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The king (no, not the Blogger King) has relaunched his website today. The new Burger King website apparently reflects the right, “brand aesthetic and attitude”. It’s worth checking the new site as there are a few interesting usability items I haven’t seen before.
The homepage offers sliders (not the tiny burgers) that allow you to customize what appears on the homepage. If you move all of the sliders to the left, it’s becomes the most simple option. I guess it goes along with the Burger King slogan of “have it your way”.
Regarding the usability of the new site, if you click an option, a “panel” appears on the left that opens when you rollover the Home tab. There appears to be no way to actually get back to the homepage. Seems a bit fancy for average Internet users – frankly it even confused me as the panel came and went when I clicked the home button. Why not send people back to the homepage instead of loading it in a panel?
The most interesting part of the new site is the ability to create a meal and view all of the nutrition facts. I’ve pasted an example below if you were to select a Double Whopper and a pack of chicken nuggets. You select your food items and it shows you the total nutritional facts for the meal. An interesting upgrade would allow a person to enter how many calories and/or fat grams they need to stay within and have Burger King suggest some options. Another interesting take would be to allow visitors to directly order their selections using a service like GoMobo.
I also like the new restaurant locator – much easier to use than the previous version. As a side note, there is a microsite dedicated to “Flame” which appears to be a burger-scented perfume available in the UK. Can you imagine getting on the tube and standing next to someone who smells like a whopper?
Earlier this month I spoke with FreeWebs CEO & Co-Founder Haroon Mokhtarzada about how FreeWebs was doing and what updates were in the pipeline. The first bit of news that Haroon shared was that they planned to rebrand the site into Webs.com. Webs began operations in 2001 and raised a round of funding in 2006. Haroon shared that the company has 30 million monthly unique visitors and 20,000 new site signups each day.
The other big update that Haroon and I discussed was the launch today of their "social publishing platform". The updated platform includes a mailing list tool along with the ability to password protect content. I immediately thought of the Wetpaint Injected Wiki service and thought it would work well with the updates to the Webs platform. Haroon said that they are already working with Wetpaint and a variety of other partners including Picnik, YouTube, Clicky, Demand Media, and CoolIris. There’s also an opportunity for developers to partner with Webs and bring their apps to the userbase on the Webs platform. I will try to get Sean over at analytics application Clicky to send over some stats later on this month in terms of take rate.
We discussed the business model of Webs and Haroon noted that they use both advertising and premium services to make up their business model. He said the company is cashflow positive and that they started the company during the Web 1.0 downturn so he feels confident that they will do well during this down cycle as well.