This is a bit long, but I hope would be useful to the website UX folks at Huel.
I ordered Huel powder. In my very first order, obviously I did not intend to mentally commit to myself to order the same two flavours, at a fixed frequency. But the website strongly encourages you to select the (easily cancellable) “subscription” option, so I did that, for what was essentially a one-time purchase. I’d have had to pay extra for the convenience of not having to click the “cancel” button later, but that convenience is not worth the £4.5 to me.
So that was the first order, now to the second order, which is the actual topic of this post. I was going to order more Huel powder. I wanted to try the RTD bottle and the bars as well. I still had the subscription active (just with a shipping date way into the future), so I went to the page where one can add more stuff to the next box. It won’t let me add a single bar or RTD, weird. So I check on the forums and it turns out there is a way to get a single RTD along with a powder order, for which I had to cancel the existing subscription and create a new order. This is bad UX - if a user ever needs to go to the forum to find “One Weird Trick To Order A Single RTD” rather than it being obvious on the site itself, the site has failed to make itself obvious to use.
So I cancelled the subscription, and got a “We’re sorry to see you go” email. I wasn’t going anywhere. I didn’t want to have a subscription or cancel it at all, this was just what the site is encouraging me to do by its pricing and ordering policies. Ok, then I created another subscription, and it let me add RTD bottles… but at most one of each flavour. So if I want two bottles, they can be one vanilla and one chocolate, but not two vanila. Bizarre. Somewhere in the checkout flow there was text saying “Benefits of creating an account”. Weird, because I already have an account and was logged in to it while placing the order!
Finally, after placing the order, I got an email saying “Thanks for signing up to our subscription service, it’s great to have you here! To help you get started and make the most out of your subscription:1. Create an account using the same email address we’ve emailed you on. …”
Again, weird. I already have an account! I was logged in to it while I placed the order! So why ask me to create an account?
The whole subscription/ordering thing is broken. Please fix.
Look, users expect online retail stores to work a certain way. You have an account on the site, which you create only once. There are a bunch of products available. In one order, one can order any number of any product (subject to reasonably high maximums (but not minimums)). All products are available whether it’s one’s first order or not. Ordering one product does not depend on ordering other products. The total price is the sum of the prices of the things ordered, plus a delivery charge which may depend on the order value. Huel deviates from this in all sorts of strange ways, such as:
- The two-bag minimum.
- The contortions needed to get a single RTD if one has an active subscription (as mentioned above), and the non-discoverability of it.
- Weird emails and UX about account creation when is logged in.
- This is minor, but still : to get more scoops later one doesn’t add it as an item to one’s cart, but… maybe adds it as a note to the order? Email email@example.com about it?
Please fix this for simple, intuitive UX. The pricing and ordering decisions you make incentivize user behaviour in ways you may not have expected initially - try to take that into account.
Note that the Huel website does lots of other things amazingly well. I really like the transparency, it’s way better than almost all other commercial/retail sites I’ve seen. The ingredients, nutritional information, stuff like that. The forums also contribute towards the transparency significantly. It’s fantastic how it’s presented on the website in a matter-of-fact, straightforward way, not shying away from large blocks of black text on white background when that’s needed. And no useless stock photos of happy models using your product, that’s another positive. More factual content and less “marketing” fluff. Makes the brand seem more trustworthy and confident in its product.
Now just fix the ordering flows.