Do I want to chat, or order pizza faster?


Sandra Bullock ordering generic pizza in The Net (1995)

Ordering pizza online has been around since the internet was created. Sandra Bullock in The Net was able to order from what might be called the ultimate in pizza conglomerates of the future, “Pizza.net”.

Today, mobile ordering is the normal customer expectation. Pizza is no different. Yet, even with all the advanced ability, we can make our customers jump through a lot of technical hoops when all they want is to get their task done.

I recently went to Domino’s site on my phone and experienced the weirdest sensation. While holding an advanced piece of consumer technology, I felt I no more convenience than if I had just called them up.

Domino’s has a chat-like experience for ordering. This is more novelty than practical. I’m pretty keen in these situations that I’m not interacting with HAL or the starship Enterprise’s AI computer. Be that as it may, it’s a perfectly reasonable design choice if it helps me accomplish my task—order a pizza.

Here’s my critique

What began as a novelty framing turned into a lengthy conversation with a non-human. Needless to say, having an account might speed this up. However, I’m not likely to begin by setting up an account—I just want pizza.

Here’s how it could work more seamlessly

Not only would the experience get me pizza quicker, but the chatbot would be truly helpful. I now walk away with the feeling that Domino’s is a helpful business, offers convenience, and yes I’ll order again!

Takeaways

  • Start with assumptions about the user’s setting. Where are they, and what is their mindset?
  • Spread all the technology tools out on the table and leverage them into the experience design. How might we combine their available technology with our data?
  • Challenge your experience to be as short as possible—even considering the number of swipes and keystrokes. How few touches can you get the user to make? Use technology to fill in the gaps.

Interested in ways to design a more engaging customer experience for your web property? Contact me and let’s start exploring.