Website ordering experience, weird and convoluted UX

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 team@huel.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. :slight_smile:

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I agree with most of this. I always use a subscription to save money, but I have never, not once, allowed a subscription to renew automatically without altering or cancelling it. Cancelling a sub triggers the whole “you broke our hearts!” rigmarole. Altering a sub that contains different product lines splits the sub into multiple subs until you change them all to have the same shipment date. My last order arrived, then the next day I was sent an email telling me my order had just been shipped, which made me worry I’d been charged a second time.

They save them for the bottom of the page.

What is the v2.3 like? We only have v1.1 in the states.

I doubt there’s much difference. Huel did their bug testing on Europeans, then when we got to version 2.1 or something, they released it in the US as your 1.0.

They’re almost identical, the main differences are in flavour because of the different tastes of the EU vs US.

I didn’t think their was a difference between EU and US tastes. Don’t we eat mostly the same foods anyway (US and UK mainly) what’s the US one taste of?

US vanilla, as an example is slightly sweeter. Again not major differences really.

Sorry @infinity for not addressing your points, thanks for the detailed feedback, it’s really helpful to improve what we offer you guys. It’s not my bag so I will tag @TimOfficialHuel to help you out.

Whatever you do - don’t ever eat American chocolate.

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There isn’t meant to be an option to add a single Bar to your order, that’s why you aren’t able to add them. We’ve had the option before but now we offer the RTD single bottle instead as it’s a more popular product.

Currently there isn’t a way to add a single bottle of RTD to existing subs. Sorry about that, the reason is essentially because we’re doing an awesome revamp of the account area to a new one
which will include this.

Nothing is broken here, we have many CRM flows, cancelled sub is one of them. I understand your frustration though that you shouldn’t have had to cancel your sub.

Again, this is intended. The option to add one RTD is to see if you like it. If you do like the product, the intended next step would be to purchase a case of 12.

Thanks for the flag, we can likely hide that module if you’re logged in. I’ve raised it with the team and they’ll sort that out.

This used to be an option at check out, I believe it’s being added back in. We really love scoops here on the forum!

Thanks for the feedback and sorry for the frustrations. Thank you for the great feedback on the articles and general tone of the site. Really appreciate that.

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As RTD has a relatively short shelf life (maybe 2-3months from the date of receiving a case), from a point of view of being environmentally friendly, I’d personally like to be able to add maybe 3 or 4 to my powder order, so I can use them when it’s impossible to mix powder, but not as a regular product (I prefer not to use plastic bottles as much as practically possible).
I do buy cases of RTD, but struggle to use them all by the bbe date and the taste does deteriorate once past the date. Not a major issue. Especially now they are becoming available in shops. Still, id like to see a move towards being able to add a small number of bottles to regular subs for the reasons given above.
Just feedback for you guys to think about… :slight_smile:

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Small packs of bars too please!

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The holy grail here is the mixed-pack of 16 bars, 4-6 of each flavour. I personally would love to see more bar flavours too!

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A 4th bar flavour not based on cocoa is long overdue :wink:

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@infinity, you should thank your lucky stars you weren’t here in the early days of the site — back then you had to log out, log in and dance through the full 12" version of “Never Gonna Give You Up” before you could get your home address re-attached to your order, and just don’t ask any old-timers about changing flavours :scream:

I was just thinking on my last order how much smoother the site is than it used to be. Hope the revamp is well-tested before rollout :pray:

BTW @TimOfficialHuel it’d be nice to be able to delete old subscriptions in the new system: I seem to have half a dozen pointless suspended ones that I can’t get rid of…