The Pizza UX Challenge

By January 29, 2017pizza, ux

My last series of posts were about conducting usability studies on your product in order to optimize the experience for the end user.

In order to put myself in the users seat I decided to conduct a study on something millions of Americans interact with every week: PIZZA.  There are 3 billion pizzas sold every year in the US alone which breaks down to 11.5 million pizzas every day. Papa John’s sells 350 million pizzas a year and 50% of those are done either online or through their mobile app.

I love pizza. It’s probably my favorite food and would eat it every day if I wasn’t concerned about my heart exploding. 

I decided to order from the three national chains near my home in Mt. Airy, MD (which is about 40 minutes outside of Baltimore), all in one night. Along with two of my friends we went through each experience and I’m going to break down what worked and what didn’t.  

I approached each website as if I was coming to their page as a normal user, recorded the session and noted any positives/negatives in the experience. This analysis does not take into account mobile web or mobile/tablet app experience. I did confirm that the tablet web experience was identical in all three cases to the experience on my computer. The obvious exception being a touch interface which could offer slight variations in experience.

With each site I was able to complete the order and like magic, 20-30 minutes later there was delicious food at my door.

The biggest surprise was that none of them had the experience as fine tuned as I originally thought they did. Or put more succinctly, there were more mouse clicks to get to where I wanted to end up than I remembered there being…and in one case it was almost painful.

The Breakdown

The places: Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, and Domino’s

Time: Friday night between 7:30 and 8:30pm

Order method: 13” Macbook Pro, Chrome browser

Hypothesis: Prior to running the experiment:

  • Users will be able to easily add a pizza to their cart and checkout quickly
  • All the experiences will be fairly similar
  • Only minor UX issues would present themselves

Additional facts:

  • I already had accounts with all three, so this does not judge the sign-up process, only the ordering process
  • I order most from Domino’s because the offer a gluten-free option and my wife has Celiacs, although Papa John’s has my favorite pizza and my son loves Stuffed Crust from Pizza Hut

The next four posts will be as follows

As they are posted I’ll update the links here.

Pizza facts:

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