"I´m sorry but you´ll have to keep searching!"

Recently, I was ordering pizza online. Or at least I was trying to. They had some pizzas with vegan cheese, so I was looking to get it for another kind of pizza. However, it was only possible to add ingredients (no vegan cheese option here) but there was no way to exchange or exclude ingredients. After a while I got desperate and called. The lady on the other end was 100% certain that there was a way to exclude ingredients on the website, but she said she didn´t recall how either. And then she said the following sentence: "I am sorry but you will have to keep searching for this feature a little while longer."

Needless to say I was not thrilled to hear this as a customer but even more so as a user researcher. This is not a valid position to refrain to as a business! But it actually is the perfect example to explain two key things about a bad user experience:

1. Most people will leave if your usability is bad.

Additionally to the cheese issue the page had several other usability issues. I would have gladly have left the page to look for a site that didn´t make my life so hard but the vegan cheese option kept me there.

2. Who will put up with a bad usability? Those without an alternative.

If you´re offering something that nobody else (in your area) does such as vegan options, you may get away with putting your customers through a lot of hassle. However, this will single out the ones who actually need this specialty - meaning your main online customer base may end up being vegan. However, you don´t know how many non-vegans left your page earlier.

If you end up with a customer base who is mostly ordering your specialty, you should 1) fix all things usability to attract other customers as well and 2) really make things easy for your main customer base, e.g. if you have lots of vegan orders, increase your vegan options.

However, the pizza ended up being really great (vegan pizza rolls! Yum!), which means it is even more regretful that they may end up loosing customers to another place with bad pizza but a good website.

01.07.2020, Image from Free-Photos on Pixabay