Voice UI + Progressive Disclosure Maximizes Multi-Modality and Speeds Order Building for QSRs
Using the web or mobile app to place a food order is commonplace today. It puts the task of making an order in the hands of the consumer rather than needing an employee to act as a conduit.
Businesses like this because it can make the ordering process ‘hands-free’ for the staff. Yet it comes with a cost. Entering the order isn’t hands-free; it simply shifts the task, and the burden, to the customer. An unfortunate byproduct of modern convenience.
Throughout the progression of visual UX practices, design approaches have evolved to reduce the burden and friction to the user. An approach of particular note is the concept of ‘progressive disclosure.’ A simple definition of progressive disclosure is ensuring you don’t overwhelm the user with more info than is needed to complete a task. A more complete definition by the Interaction Design Foundation is:
“Progressive disclosure is an interaction design pattern that sequences information and actions across several screens (e.g., a step-by-step signup flow). The purpose is to lower the chances that users will feel overwhelmed by what they encounter. By disclosing information progressively, interaction designers reveal only the essentials, and help users manage the complexity of feature-rich websites or applications.”
Take for instance two major QSR brands, McDonalds and Dominos, both of which spend significant resources on their digital experiences, in particular their mobile apps.
Both brands use a similar approach to ordering with menu filtering and progressive disclosure. For instance, ordering a Sausage Egg Biscuit ‘as is’ can be done without considering modifications. Should you want to modify it the app progressively discloses those options. You can order ‘as is’ in as few as four screens or modify it through a few more.
If you were to do the same thing using your voice the process is significantly less complex taking less time and no tapping or swiping.
This is a straightforward example with no need for progressive disclosure. The Voice UI eliminates the need for progressive disclosure: the user offered all the elements needed to add an item to the cart.
Now let’s look at a product where the required elements are more complex, the build-your-own pizza. Below is Dominos mobile app UI for building a pizza.
Here we have 8 screens to build a pizza. The information needed for each ingredient is progressively disclosed as needed, decluttering the UI and lessening the cognitive processing needed from the user.
Of course, with voice the user can eliminate nearly all these screens. Shown below.
The great partnership of Voice UI and Progressive Disclosure comes appears when the user is less than perfect with their utterances. For instance, if they didn’t disclose the type of crust they wanted.
It performs equally as well with single or multiple pieces of missing information. In this example, Dominos needs both crust and size.
One of the benefits of layering a Voice UI into a mobile ordering app is that the business logic and visual modalities typically already exist. The digital assistant can inherit the menu and requirements and use the UI already in place. This makes voice additive rather than a replacement (a concern of many UXers). Its addition reduces friction for the user, speeds up order completion, and creates consistent opportunities for up and cross-selling contextually against the users.
It’s worth noting that Voicify was built with these applications specifically in mind. So the process of configuring and deploying a simple Voice UI or a more robust conversational AI application within mobile apps is straightforward and simple.
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