Spritacular is a new NASA platform designed to facilitate collaboration between citizen scientists and professional researchers in the of study Transient Luminous Events - mysterious light emissions that occur in Earth's upper atmosphere. I contributed to the project as a consultant, conducting user interviews, usability tests, and auditing the developer’s designs based on external & internal feedback, best practices, and 508 compliance.
How I helped
User insights and ideation
I reached out to subject matter experts through Facebook and Reddit, as well as internal stakeholders, to conduct discovery interviews and gain insights into user needs and preferences. Through user interviews and usability tests, I gained further insights into user behavior and identified pain points that required improvements. I synthesized my findings and recommended changes to the platform's design and functionality. My work helped ensure that the platform met the needs of both citizen scientists, professional researchers, and curious visitors.
Design audit and improvements
UI design was handled by third-party designer contracted out by the development firm. As a consultant hired by NASA, my responsibility was to audit the designs for Section 508 compliance as well general design review to ensure the work was kept at a high standard.
I recommended changes to improve accessibility compliance, such as increasing color contrast, adding alt text to images, and implementing proper labeling for form fields. I also recommended changes to the layout and visual design of the platform, such as increasing font sizes and providing more white space, to make the platform easier to use for individuals with visual impairments.
I was responsible for writing the majority of the microcopy for the platform. The goal was to make the content not only informative, but also engaging and easily understandable for a each of our target audience groups.
My process included internal and external stakeholder interviews to gain better understanding of the user’s goals and motivations as well researching adjacent tools for reference. I worked closely with the design and development team to ensure the copy complemented the visual elements and overall user experience of the site.I also conducted research on Spritacular’s mission and recent discoveries to infuse the copy with a sense of excitement and wonder.