The Schlotzsky's online ordering system is confusing and inflexible.
How do we redesign it for accessibility and efficiency?
of an accessible online
August 2018 -
My team and I received the prompt-- creating an accessible online ordering system-- from Focus Brands, the owners of Schlotzsky's, a regional sandwich chain, in late August.
Although Schlotzsky's main website meets WCAG AA accessibility standards, their online orders were placed on an inaccessible 3rd party website.
Our task was to design not only an integrated, accessible online ordering experience up to WCAG AA standards, but to think outside the box (or outside the webpage) to create novel online ordering solutions.
EVALUATING EXISTING SYSTEMS
Our first step was evaluating the existing online ordering flow to understand where usability and accessibility problems lay.
We used a mix of designer-led and user-led evaluation techniques to gain a holistic understanding of the problems with the existing website.
To assess the accessibility of Schlotzsky's online ordering system, we conducted a competitive analysis with five competing restaurants.
FRAMING THE PROBLEM
By synthesizing our results from the methods discussed above, we came to four broad conclusions and a user journey map that would serve as a jumping off point for our design alternatives.
1 . Context switches are disorienting.
In the original online ordering flow, users began the flow on the Schlotzsky's website. However, they were pushed to the third-party site halfway through the ordering process. Because of inconsistent visual design and language, the platform switch was confusing and disorienting.
2. The information architecture is unintuitive.
On both the main website and the third-party ordering platform, navigation was unintuitive and sometimes led to infinite loops; this goes against the inclusive design principle of predictability.
3. Users are overloaded with information.
Another accessibility-related pain point: users felt that they were presented with too much information in multiple steps in the ordering flow. Additionally, system suggestions to add more items to their cart seemed forced.
4. There is a lack of alternative, system-supported means of input.
The existing interface was web-based and relied on traditional means of input (mouse and keyboard) unless a user chose to use their own alternative input methods.