Pizza Hut’s Mobile Site is Awful

Amie went to a crafting night, so the girls and I decided to pick up Pizza Hut for dinner. I’m documenting the experience to educate people on UX process.  UI is how stuff looks.  UX is the broader experience.  For example, even if stuff looks like, if you have to click something 5 times, that sucks for the user.

OK, so first thing I do is search for Pizza Hut on my phone and call the number.  I get to an automated system where I have to press “1” for English. And then another question comes if I want to place a new order (Press 1) or update an existing order (Press 2). I’m assuming that in either case I get transferred to someone.  Unless the “Update Order” throws me to a separate “Order Update” team or some completely automated system, don’t ask a question if you’re not going to do anything with the answer.

The guy asks for my phone number. Because apparently your phone service doesn’t include Caller-ID. You may want to invest in that.

So the guy on the phone asks me which location I want to order from. You know what location I want to order from? The one I called. I don’t care if you have some central ordering system, I’ve indicated my preference via the number I called. You’re asking me a question you should already know the answer to…..like Caller-ID.

So I tell the guy, “The location on 52”.  Now, if you’re local, this is obvious. “Oh! Highway 52”, the guy responds. Yes. But you know what’s bad about this? There’s many ways to refer to this Pizza Hut.  I could say, “The one on 19th Street”.  But guess what? It’s not on 19th St. But it’s close enough and that’s the exit you’d take to get there, it would make sense to the locals.  Or if I referred to it as “The one next to McDonald’s.”  Would your agent be able to handle this?

So I’m told this location is under going remodeling and I’d have to order from somewhere else. So I get a location and the guy checks to see if it’s opened.  It’s 5 PM on a Saturday, I hope the location is opened.

So he asks what I want to order and I say, “Did you have a Stuffed Crust for $10?”  He says that it’s $12. I mentioned I thought I saw it online for $10. He says, “Yeah, it’s online for $10, but if you order on the phone, it’s $12.” So I hang up on the guy. Onto the mobile site!

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So I’m on the mobile site and get the “Medium or Large Pizza for $10” special. It’ll be a large pizza and have 3 toppings, so I’m expecting it should be $10.

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I select “Stuffed Crust Pizza”.  There’s no indication there’s an additional cost here, so I figure I’m good.

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Next, I get to the “Cheese” section.  Now I’ve selected two toppings and I have three.  I know most places count “Extra Cheese” as an extra topping. So I should be good.  Now, there’s an indication here that Extra Cheese may have additional charges. That means there’s some condition where they won’t apply.  I’d assume that condition is when I have extra cheese as one of my toppings. NOPE! It seems like it ALWAYS applies. So Pizza Hut’s definition of “any” means “some” and it’s definition of “may” means “always”. Maybe extra cheese is free depending on the phase of the moon.

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So we place the order and we’re at the review screen. Is this pizza large or medium? The review screen, where I’m suppose to be able to review my order for accuracy, doesn’t give me the information to do so.

So when I get the order, and it’s a medium.  Experimenting with the site later, there’s some scenarios where it’ll change that Large to Medium when editing the pizza (which is frequently due to the misuse of “any” and “may”). Now Pizza Hut, maybe there’s a lot of people out there that go, “You know what, I don’t want leftovers. I’m on the road, have no fridge, and would feel awful if I just left the leftovers on the table.” Everyone else is going to choose “Large”. I’m guessing those that get “Medium” usually do it by accident. If they’re like me, it’s going to leave a sense of frustration with you. The money you save by having someone accidentally select “Medium” is probably greatly countered by the fact they’re less likely to order from you again.

There’s actually even more bad UX examples I found during the ordering process, but I’m not going to point them all out because this post is already long enough.

So there you go folks, that’s some UX feedback for Pizza Hut.  What other bad UX have you experienced?

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Bryan Logan

About Bryan Logan

I'm Bryan. I like to innovate things. These innovations may materialize as activities with the kids, new/easier/better ways of doing things, smartphone apps, or just funny blog posts. You can find me on Twitter and
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  • Ricky Anderson
  • http://www.logan.cc/blog Amie

    That is almost amazing enough for me to wake Bryan up to see. Wow.

  • http://www.someblogsite.com/ Some Guy
  • Avai

    If you mention the online deal over the phone, why can’t they just give you the $2 off? I used to order pizza online a lot, so I actually took the time to register an account and save “favorite pizzas” for fast ordering next time. BUT THAT FEATURE NEVER WORKED FOR ME. I could see a pizza with my custom nickname but it wouldn’t let me order it again. How useless is that feature?

  • http://www.logan.cc/blog/ Bryan

    I wouldn’t doubt if it’s because you saved the favorite under the “March Madness 3-topping for 10.99” and that special isn’t available anymore. Now, there’s a current “April Angst 3-topping for 9.99”, but gee golly, there’s no way of knowing what you’d want for that since you haven’t ordered the April special yet.

  • http://www.logan.cc/blog/ Bryan

    That looks like when I’m debugging CSS or app layouts. “Just make this whole background a different color so I can figure out where it’s going.”

  • http://www.logan.cc/blog/ Bryan

    You have to think that the domain itself is probably worth quite a bit. I love the slogan “Real Estate Trish does it Best!”

  • Avai

    That’s probably the case. I’d expect it to just save my choices for size, crust, toppings, and then apply whatever current special is happening. That would make too much sense, though…

  • http://www.logan.cc/blog/ Bryan

    Look, you saved a favorite that had 3-toppings. Our current special is a 5-topping pizza. I’m not sure how we’re going to magically make up 2 non-existent toppings.

    Or “The special is 1 large 3-toppings or 20 piece wings”. You saved a 3-topping pizza. How can that be wings? It can’t be, it’s pizza.