Sorry no pizza

Signs of Bad Design

I found this charlie foxtrot a bowling alley in Albany, California. It’s content design carnage.

What’s going on?

This is a kiosk for hungry patrons to order food between frames.

Food order here

While I don’t love the order of those words, it’s an effective headline. You see the largest word Food”, then Order here” which I think accurately mirrors the mental state of a hungry bowler in the East Bay. They could have made Order here” a button to save time but that’s a small quibble. Besides, that’s not why we’re here.

The saddest sign in the world

The real fun begins right below the screen, where you’ll find the saddest three-word scrawl in the world:

Sorry no pizza

It’s not that there are out of pizza (in which case, this would not be a Sign of Bad Design but a temporary warning message). It’s that you do not order pizza from this machine. You have to order it directly from an acne-added teenager at a counter. So what this should say is:

Food order here
Except pizza (order over there)

Which is of course, bogus, because pizza is food and I shouldn’t have to go two places to besnack myself.

Almost an upsell

Some bonus carnage, in the form of a marketing nudge lives below that.

Buy 5 items and get the 6th item for $5 off.

Weird deal, but let’s ignore that. It’s the timing of this message that’s a mess. The best place for a user to see this is right after they have added their fourth or fifth item to the cart. At that point, we have a sense the user is feeding a large group (or is super hungry) and is more likely to be nudged into adding another item.

Enough already

Below that for no reason whatsoever another sign:

Food order here

OK, I’m done with this.


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