Engines of Creation
National Air and Space Museum
"How can take a complex topic and make it easily digestable for non-experts in this field "
"How can we engage younger audiences"
"What are ways we can make the experience fun and immersive for our users"
Assignment Requirement: Create a design artifact that explains, documents, and translates a natural process or ecology for a specific audience. Form an investigation into the tactility and formal qualities of the naturally occurring phenomenon, organism, or ecosystem
Project Overview: Create a website over supernovae that has interactive elements directed to audiences of an equivalent education level of a high school student. that are seeking to learn more about supernovae
The Challenge: While there are many interactive websites about space, many of them fall short of being engaging and easy to learn from. Initial research showed competitor websites felt more like "school work" or "not easily digestable". It was determined that the main goal of this website was to educate the users without feeling daunting or a heavy mental task.
The solution: The website was tailored to be an engaging environment that keeps the users immersed while learning the lifecycle and history of supernovae, without using large bodies of text or complex language.
My Role: Considering this was a student project, I developed a concept and conducted research to narrow down what problem I was trying to solve. After finding the challenge I need to solve, I conducted further research in search of finding effective solutions to those problems.
Through my rounds of ideating, analyzing my research, and refining, I confided in my professor and classmates to help me get user-feedback.
Initial User flow
Referenced Case Studies:
Journal of General Internal Medicine "A practical guide to developing effective web-based learning"
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute "A Distinctive Method of Online Interactive Learning in STEM Education"
Creating a balanced mix of text to read and interactive infographics aid the learning process and keeps students engaged
Way-finding through the site is of vital importance in educational website due to users need to reference back to information. It has also been shown to increase comprehension because users are easily able to refer back to information they need a deeper understanding of.
Keeping terms simple and as concise as possible decreases the chance the user will feel overwhelmed.
An appropriate mix of interactivity, text to read, and videos to watch
An accessible navigation system to easily refer back to for class assignments or to develop a deeper understanding
After solidifying the macro-layout, research was then devoted to typesetting research along with determining the color palette and creating the appropriate mood through color and language used.
User Testing Analysis and Solutions:
User felt unsatisfied with the amount of information learned. Additional information about the topics presented on the site were added.
Navigation was unclear due to the initial arrow button on the landing page, and then only having the circle progress bar at the button of the page. The best solution was determined to develop a consistent navigation system that also kept track of the users progress.