Design a tablet app using focusing on NASA JPL missions for middle schoolers.
Designlab Holiday Exchange 2021
In recent years, NASA has struggled to capture the attention of preteens and attributing it to the emerging interest of becoming a YouTube influencer. As a result, the company came with the challenge to reinvigorate preteens through a tablet app. For this project, my partner Chris and I collaborated over the course of a week to develop a solution.
Since Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon, NASA remains a symbol of hope to the American people. However, in recent years, youth's interest in its programs has dwindled and look to social media influencers instead of the stars for aspiration. Knowing the importance of diversity in people and thought, NASA came together with Adobe to host a hackathon in attempt to revitalize preteen's interest in the company so that they can continue to inspire future generations.
The goal of this project was to revive interest NASA as a potential career path for preteens.
The high level objective was:
- Design a tablet app unaffiliated with but informed by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
I collaborated with Chris Xenophontos
as a UX designer on this hackathon over the course of a week in May 2021.
Using Bloom's taxonomy of learning as a guide, we focused on helping users acquire knowledge, comprehend topics, and apply what they had learned. This took form in integrating the concepts users learn in the virtual world with the real, with the main features and screens we designed below.
To increase interest in NASA, users engage with a curriculum that is based on real NASA JPL missions. Each mission includes a series of experiments that users receive instruction through the app but conduct offline.
Users can collaborate on their experiments with friends, or otherwise known as lab partners, through voice chat. This further blends digital learning with the real while building connections with others who possess similar interests.
To infuse a sense of fun to the missions and encouraging ongoing use of the app, users can engage in different challenges pertaining to their experiments. These can also be completed with lab partners. Once completed, a user receives a virtual reward they can display in their lab.
The high-fidelity wireframes were then configured into a prototype on Adobe XD. This finally gave us the ability to send over our work to the judges.
While we didn't place in the hackathon, we were fortunate to receive feedback from one of the judges and co-founder of Center Centre UIE, Jared Spool:
- Due to the time constraints of this project, we were unfortunately unable to complete a round of usability testing. Besides understanding whether this app truly reinvigorates preteens in space travel, we would have also liked to ensure that the sizing of different interactive elements were effective for our targeted age group.
- Chris' insights into preteens and educational apps due to his background as a Product Owner for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was invaluable. I truly enjoyed collaborating with him, and the overall experience reminded me how much I love working with other designers.
Additional illustrations by Alex Muravev, Olga, and Tatyana from the Noun Project.
Primary illustrations by absurd.design