Design Critique: DoorDash App (iOS)

The DoorDash App is primarily a food delivery app. It connects users and restaurants by providing an interface for users to order food from any restaurant on the app within a certain radius. The food is delivered by “dashers” and the process from order acceptance to delivery can be tracked on the app.

The application is designed to be a convenient way for users to order food by giving users the ability to order from many different restaurants using just one app. Frequent users can also buy a subscription to the app for a monthly fee that lowers the cost of their delivery. The DoorDash app is generally pleasant to use while accomplishing its purpose, but has a few areas where it can improve, which I will explore further.

DoorDash Home Screen

The home screen is split into a few different sections. It starts with a fixed top navigation bar, which contains icons that act as signifiers for current location, profile, cart, search bar, and map. Next, there are three horizontal scrolling sliders with icons with text that act as filters, another horizontal scrolling slider that showcases deals and advertisements, and many more horizontal scrolling sliders that group merchants together by category. At the bottom of the screen, there is another fixed navigation bar, which contains even more icons with text that navigate to specific screens. 

All of these signifiers make the home screen cluttered and confusing – the lack of constraints present makes it difficult for a user to decide what action to take in order to complete their chosen task. This is a result of “featuritis”, as previous versions of the DoorDash App contained noticeably less affordances and signifiers and as a result had greater understandability. One option to simplify the home screen and increase discoverability would be to remove the three rows of filters underneath the top navigation and move them to the “Browse” screen. 


The filters also present an issue. Although they are signifiers, they are poor signifiers with inconsistent actions occurring when they are clicked on. 

When a user clicks on the “Acclaimed” button, it directs them to a different screen, where only top-rated restaurants are shown. On the same row, there is a “Breakfast” button – there are visual similarities between the two buttons, so a user may expect to see a similar response. However, the user will have to go through multiple cycles of execution and evaluation to understand how the product works, since the two buttons do not have functional similarities. The “Acclaimed” button leads to a separate page entirely, while the “Breakfast” button returns a list of restaurants at the bottom of the same page. 

In order to bridge the gap between the gulfs of execution and evaluation, the “Acclaimed” button can be moved to the bottom navigation bar, where the rest of the buttons lead to different pages. 

Order Submission

Once a user places an order and a merchant accepts it, the ability to modify the order or cancel the order entirely is severely limited to protect the merchant. However, this poses a problem for the user in the case that they placed an incorrect order or an order that they were not meaning to. The rate of this error occurring was high, as the checkout process previously only consisted of two buttons – “Continue” and “Place Order”. 

One new feature released by DoorDash is this confirmation screen, which aims to lower the rate of this error occurring. After clicking on “Place Order”, the confirmation screen shows for ten seconds, giving the user the opportunity to go back and edit or cancel the order as needed. This screen poses a constraint on user actions – they have only three options: 1) wait for the timer to run out for the order to place, 2) select “Confirm” or 3) select “Go Back”. By placing this constraint, the user is forced to evaluate whether or not they want to place the order, thereby reducing the risk of mistakes or slips happening.