The Weigh Down Workshop website needs to go on a diet

The website advertising the faith-based Gwen Shamblin Weigh Down Workshop website needs to go on a diet.

Just as the program helped Paige Leigh Maggie and Andy Sorrells lose 580 lbs, here are 5 fatty things the webmaster can cut out of the way to help make first-time visitors lifetime customers:

  1. lose the popup window – this is a horrible idea for primary navigation as both FireFox and Internet Explorer 7 block popups by default, meaning potentially 3/4’s of the visitors are immediately turned-off by spam-like techniques
  2. lose the slash page – why add an addition navigational step to the front page? It buys neither the vendor nor the visitor ‘nuthin’ but frustration for the latter and larger bounce rates for the former
  3. lose the Flash-based navigation – requiring visitors to use version 8 of Flash to the point of instructing them “If you are prompted to install this player from Macromedia, please say yes” means potentially losing anyone viewing the site from an older machine, a machine behind a corporate firewall that blocks streaming media and plug-ins and/or those of us who block flash because of its wide use in spammy and distracting advertising banners
  4. simplify the navigation – people read left to right, top to bottom. Placing elements of main navigation both at the top and bottom of the screen means users are required to read in azig-zag patter. Instead, this is a program, walk them through the steps 1-2-3 to a new life without all the fat
  5. reword the navigational options – simple changes like “I have changed” to “success stories” or “live online classes” to “webcasts” or even better: “web-based workshop.” And on that latter topic, lose the church speak as “Exodus out of Egypt” versus “Exodus from Strongholds” versus “The Last Exodus” is meaningless to non-program members. I’m thinking a program comparison chart might help clarity here.

Point is, there’s nothing wrong with running a faith-based businesses. So why run the website like a chaotic video game? Especially a business that strives to help our obese society break free from the slavery of food addiction by stepping them through healthier, simpler, more effective eating patterns.

This is why I would suggest those running the Gwen Shamblin Weigh Down Workshop website practice what they preach and get rid of the sugar-coated, gadget-bloated, peach-cobbler, empty calorie gimmick-based interface and go for something more substantive and usability-minded that simply answers the visitor’s question “where’s the beef … and how do I get some?