Usability testing

The Papa John's Pizza ordering process


I ran a usability test on the Papa John's website to discover ways their online ordering process could be improved. The website was tested between the dates of September 26 and October 2, 2016. 

My approach.

I recruited 4 participants, given 3-5 users is standard for this kind of test. The only limitations on recruits were that they had ordered pizza online once before. This was the schedule:

● Introduction script
● Consent obtained to record screen, face and voice
● Initial questions about familiarity with ordering pizza online
● Icebreaker task
● Three primary tasks
● Follow-up questions
● Session conclusion script


M.S., Academic Project


Usability testing the pizza customization process

Here's a video excerpt of my session with one participant. The participant cannot find the half/half topping option in the interface, although her mouse hovers over it several times.

Task completion rates

When beginning to order a customized pizza, only half of the participants were able to find the "customize your pizza" option among the image icons. Even participants who did find it expressed frustration about how long it took. 3 out of 4 participants were unable to customize the pizza to their preferences, encountering errors in the process. However, the company contact information was exactly where the participants expected it to be.
Success in customizing pizzas
Finding "create a pizza"
Finding company contact information
3 out of 4 participants encountered errors that made them unable to customize the pizza to their preferences.


I made two recommendations based on the findings. First, there should be a clear starting point when ordering a pizza. An A/B study would further confirm whether a redesign eliminates drop-off. Second, the pizza customization process needed to have its errors ironed out. Since my participants found different errors, however, I'd recommend further usability testing with more specific tasks.

What I learned.

My work on this project re-emphasized how important it is to consider the user when designing a project. It's easy to assume a user will find navigation easy simply because it seems logical to us. Or popular.

Images as navigation are in vogue right now. For some situations, that might be fine: a photography portfolio, for instance. But the Papa John's interface suffered by putting a key feature of its website ("build your own pizza") among images of pizza types.