Hash browns: an in-depth UX evaluation

September 22, 2016

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It all started out as a casual chat that went on for months without a resolution. Our FCV Vancouver User Experience team felt we needed to finally put the debate to rest.

So we gathered together all the skills, insights and methodologies we’ve acquired over years and years of testing, researching and evaluating in order to determine once and for all…

Which fast food chain serves the best hash browns?

The Entries

In order to qualify, entries had to be national franchises within a 7 minute walk of our Vancouver office and included:

  • hashbrowns logos 630px

The Test

Entries were evaluated on a 5 point scale (1 = worst, 5 = best) using the following criteria:

Ideal greasiness
Ideal saltiness
Visual appeal
Overall flavour
Likelihood to recommend (Net Promoter Score)

Every entry was timed to arrive at the same time from each location. Each restaurant was labeled on the bottom of each plate and the hash browns were rapidly prepared into bite-sized pieces.  A third party moderator assigned each plate with an anonymous number and fed a sample of the first entry to 5 blindfolded evaluators. After each round of tasting, each evaluator gave their scores for the 6 criteria and took a palate-cleansing swig of hot, black office coffee. Evaluators were permitted to adjust their scores at any point during the test. With all scores submitted, the final average total scores were calculated.

The Results

If you’re looking for the very best hash browns in downtown Vancouver, then A&W is your best bet, scoring 24.4 / 30, followed closely by McDonalds with 23.4. For context, here’s the full table of results:


  • hash brown table


Fun and games aside, at FCV, we really do keep customers at the centre of everything we do. We believe in an evidence-based approach to design and base our decisions on understanding customer's true needs. In this case, we were the customer and the product was a hash brown - but our multi-talented, full-stack team brings this passion, rigour and empathy to every project we undertake.

But just in case there’s any doubt, we’ll be working on a breakfast sandwich follow-up in the near future… :)

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