Earlier today someone asked me if I could find out in which cities the Formula 1 races are being held for Japan, South Korea and Hungary…since I am normally incredibly fast at researching tidbits like this, I thought, no problem, just a second. How wrong I was.

I’d like to preface this by saying that I am probably not the intended user for this site, but that doesn’t mean the information shouldn’t readily be available. That’s what usability and user experience (and GOOD design) are about: creating the BEST experience for ANYONE who encounters a site, no matter what their gender, age or sports preferences are.

Immediately I searched for the official Formula 1 site; where to find this sort of information? After a brief scan of the top menu bar, I clicked on “Tickets & Travel”, which brought up a table of countries:

Oh, there’s Japan! I clicked on the flag, and Japan was highlighted. But what city are the Japan Formula 1 races in? My immediate instinct was to again click on the text “Japan”, in the hopes that this would link me to the information I wanted.  But nothing happened!

Eventually after scrolling, my eyes scanned the bottom of the page where it read, “Book Now“, which took me to a separate booking page. All right, I was sure this would give me what I need. Who would book a trip to Japan without knowing what city they are visiting?

The next page header reads: “2- or 3-Day Pass to the 2011 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (Suzuka)” with a picture and then “Tokyo” next to the header:

But I am immediately suspicious. What is “Suzuka”? Is that a subdivision within Tokyo? Or another city? I scroll down some more. And scroll and scroll and scroll.

FINALLY, at the bottom of the page I see this:

The Suzuka circuit is located about 37 miles (60 kilometres) south of Nagoya. The most convenient airports to use are:

  • Nagoya: 42 miles (68 kilometres) north
  • Osaka Kansai: 102 miles (164 kilometres) south west
  • Tokyo: 250 miles (400 kilometres) north east

Wow, Tokyo is like 250 MILES from the race track! What if I hadn’t known that, and booked a hotel in Tokyo too? Even Nagoya is some distance away. I experience the same frustration with finding the nearest cities for Formula 1 in South Korea and Hungary as well.

Eventually I find a page listing the calendar for the 2012 races. Though the city or location is in parentheses next to the race, it’s still not immediately clear where the race location is.

How about a geographic map of ALL the races together, instead of just individual race maps, huh Formula 1? The tix are pricey enough anyway…