How not to design for user experience: the Ferrari example

Ferrari runs into a UX nightmare with their Formula 1 steering wheel. When the use of something as intuitive as a steering wheel takes a nine-minute video for just a brief overview, you’ve got a problem. Amazing that Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are even able to drive the things.

 

KERS, btw, was a power recovery system from the car’s braking used last year. Thank heaven they “simplified” things by getting rid of it.
 

Video: Felipe Massa’s new “simplified” steering wheel explained…in nine minutes

 

Despite what you might assume after traveling on America’s highways and byways, operating a vehicle isn’t terribly complicated. At most, there are three pedals, a steering wheel and a gear shift lever. Everything else is just periphery. While the onslaught of infotainment doodads and climate control wizardry have turned the cockpit of your favorite conveyance from an exercise in simplicity into a buffet of dials and buttons, we assure you it’s nothing like what Felipe Massa has to contend with.

You see, for 2010, Ferrari decided to make things easier on Mr. Massa by simplifying his steering wheel. The old tiller was a maze of controls, thanks largely to the KERS system the team employed for 2009. Now all it takes to get cozy with the interface that controls the F10 racer is a mere nine minutes of your time and a memory like a steel trap. 

Is it possible to have any more respect for our favorite Formula One pilots? We didn’t think so until we caught sight of the video after the jump. Somehow, imaging trying to remember whether or not the engineer said the front wing should be at a seven and the fuel consumption at a four or vice versa while lapping a circuit at mind-bending speed just makes our heads hurt.

 

 

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