Oneupweb Reviews: The Taco Bell App — Is Mobile Ordering Good to Go?

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It’s lunch time and the Oneupweb Design and Marketing Departments are hungry. Not just any kind of hungry but the kind of hungry that can only be satisfied by a massive mound of tasty delicious Taco Bell. That’s right—Yo quiero Taco Bell!

Satisfied with our choice, it leaves only one question. Do we dare try the new Taco Bell mobile ordering app, so brilliantly advertised to us over the last few months? Do we dare order our burritos, crunchwraps, and chalupas on our smartphones, avoiding the lines, bypassing the cashier and ignoring the status quo?

Well, duh! Of course we do! We are digital marketers; diving into the wild blue (Baja Blast anyone?) is what we do.

The Download

Shortly before leaving on our grand group lunchtime adventure, David K. and myself downloaded the Taco Bell app. A quick search and a tap on the install button in the Google Play Store and both of us are locked and loaded.

The Interface

Big beautiful photos. Strong, condensed typography. Wow, Taco Bell, your design sense has really grown up—but I have no clue what is going on here.

For all its strengths (and it has many strengths,) the Taco Bell app has one major flaw: It suffers from a fairly large case of what we like to refer to as “form over function.” It’s so pretty, but I’m having a really difficult time as a new user interacting with the interface.

Here’s a few reasons why:

  • The mixture of beautiful, large type and photos on the small mobile screens takes up an inordinate amount of real estate on the small screen, forcing users to spend more time searching for items.
  • The navigation menu is placed at a non-standard location in the lower right corner of the screen. Typically navigation is always placed in the upper right corner of the screen. This can cause a bit of a hiccup in the user’s thought process, since they now have to go looking for the navigation bar.
  • Calls to action such as “Order Now” on the opening screen are (somewhat) diminutive in comparison to other elements.
  • The menu doesn’t follow the traditional order of the behind-the-counter boards, nor is it alphabetical, which makes it difficult to find specific items. For David, this was the killer, and he gave up. Unfortunately, after 10 minutes of searching he was unable to find the menu item he was looking for (rolled tacos) and opted to join the rest of the team and wait in line like the plebeian he is.

The Order

Selections made, it was time for me to check out.

Can I say the checkout process was easy? Yes I can. For every fault in selection process, the checkout was a breeze. It’s simple, clean and clear in what you need to do. The hardest part was entering my credit card information as we drove down Front Street—bump, pothole, swerve. Which, If you are wondering, yes you can have the app save all your credit card data so you never have to enter it again.

Taco Bell App Order And Checkout Screens

It’s All about Proximity

Once you have checked out, Taco Bell confirms your order and asks you if you are picking up your order in-store or via drive-thru. We were eating-in, so I pressed the button anxious to see what would happen next.

We were still a little too far away so a dialog box popped up telling me to press it when we were closer. I waited anxiously. Just a little farther. Aha! Close enough!

I pressed the button and the order was on its way to the Taco Bell kitchen on Front Street in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan.

Cars parked, we began to pile out and into the busy pseudo-Mexican eatery. And I waited. And everyone else got in line. I tapped my foot and looked around. Was I supposed to say something? Should I wave my hand in the air?

And then I heard my name called. “Nicole!”


“Order up.”Taco bell food ordered using the App

“Thanks.” I say, feeling elated and somewhat unsure.

The cashier looks over at me. “Wait,” she says, “I didn’t take your order.”

I smile and hold up my phone. “I ordered online.” I pause to check make sure my order is right. “Oh, and I had a drink with this.”

She hands me a large cup and I thank her for the help.

So, I guess I will just go wait for the rest of the team to finish their orders while I enjoy this quesadilla.

Good to Go?

On a scale of grade A beef to grade F (pink slime) chicken nuggets, I would happily give the Taco Bell app a solid grade B shredded pork tacos.

The initial ordering processes can be problematic for first-time users, but repeat use of the app shows that it is fairly easy to get a feel for its organization and, if you are someone like me who happens to order the same thing, the app saves your orders allowing you to reorder at any time.

In addition, once all your information has been entered and saved it doesn’t have to be entered again, making it extremely easy to move from one step to the next in the ordering process.

So, that leaves only one more question.

Would I recommend the app to others?

Yes I would.

If you like Taco Bell, dislike lines and talking to cashiers—this may be the perfect app for you. The Taco Bell app is designed for repeat use. It saves your orders and remembers who you are.

And if you don’t think you are an app person, just think about this: Taco Bell runs all kinds of promotions in their mobile app. Today’s promotion is a free Doritos Locos taco—Mmmmm free taco!

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