Pop-Up Windows in Online Ordering

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I like to order pizza online from Pizza Hut. There are two primary reasons for this. First, I don’t have to go hunting for coupons because Pizza Hut shows both its current coupons and its advertised specials under “Deals” on the website. Second, I can see how much more an order ends up costing based upon changes in which pizzas I split in half for toppings purposes.

As an added bonus, I can double check and make sure that the right-half has olives and the left-half has ham, or vice versa, and not just hope that the person who answered the phone in a noisy restaurant got my overly complex order correct.

However, today I ran into a bit of a snag with Pizza Hut’s website. It seems the folks who designed it are from 1990.

Don’t Use Pop-Up Windows on Legitimate Websites

pizza-hut-website-failWhen I finished entering my order, I clicked to finish by entering my credit card information and clicked the button to submit my order.

Nothing happened.

This is a problem because clicking the order button more than once can end up submitting your order more than once.

I’m betting that the guys at Pizza Hut would probably notice that two identical orders for the same address came in seconds apart, but that doesn’t mean that the computer wouldn’t charge my credit card twice anyway. I waited a couple minutes to see if anything happened and then clicked the submit order button again.


Now, I’m frustrated and worried. Did I just order twice or did I not order at all?

Fortunately, Pizza Hut sends confirmation emails when I order online, so I checked my email. Finding no confirmations, I checked my spam folder to be sure and then tried again.

Still nothing.

At this point, I would guess that the average potential online Pizza Hut customer gives up. If the company is fortunate, those people call and place their order, but there are, no doubt, plenty of instances where potential customers are irked enough that they just don’t bother to place their order at all.

On a hunch, I tried one more thing. I went into the settings for my browser and added PizzaHut.com to my exceptions list for the pop-up blocker. When I clicked the order button, a small window popped up saying that my order was processing.


Everyone Blocks Pop-Ups

Dear Pizza Hut,

I know that you guys make pizza, but I assume that you have an IT guy on staff somewhere that handles some of that “computer stuff” for you. You either paid someone a lot of money for your website ordering system, or you built it in house with some full-time employees. Either way, someone doesn’t know their head from their butt when it comes to building usable websites. I suggest you get them some training right away, or at the very least, that you remind them that EVERY SINGLE WEB BROWSER THERE IS currently blocks pop-up windows by default.


The Customers Who Actually Use Your Website



  • Internet Explorer blocks pop-up windows.
  • Firefox blocks pop-up windows.
  • Google Chrome blocks pop-up windows.
  • Opera blocks pop-up windows.
  • Safari blocks pop-up windows.

See the pattern?

The worst part is that the pop-up window on Pizza Hut’s website does NOTHING. It’s a dialog box that says it’s processing, only this is an online application and not a desktop application. Apparently, if that window won’t display, the order won’t process.

At least when other companies insist on using pop-up windows, they are smart enough to tell you that you need to allow pop-ups. Pizza Hut’s website just sits there.

Don’t Use Pop-Up Windows

I already “dumb down” my web browsing when placing online orders with non-online companies like Pizza Hut. I make a special effort to use Internet Explorer with no plug-ins or add-ons and not Firefox or Chrome because I have had too many experiences where the clowns who end up designing and implementing big brand websites never bother to test anything other than IE.

In other words, pop-up windows are so out of date, and considered such bad practice that even Internet Explorer blocks all pop-up windows by default. That means that Pizza Hut’s online ordering system is failing for everyone who has a recently purchased computer but who doesn’t know that they have to go in an make a special settings configuration change for Pizza Hut online orders to work.

Note to Pizza Hut: If you are wondering why there are an abnormally high number of users who fill in an order but never complete the transaction, turn on some tracking to show whether or not the pop-up window fails to display. You’ll find that is a major contributor.

Or, just get with the program. No one uses pop-up windows anymore.

What other websites do you use that require pop-ups be enabled to function properly?

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