Educational Space Tablet App
Astro Flight is an iPad app made to educate children aged 11-13
The goal was to get users excited about space travel, technology, and exploration beyond our planet - topics that have lost some popularity over the years among young people
This project was a submission for a NASA x Adobe XD Creative Jam design challenge and was done with a team of 2 people
The Adobe Creative Jam is a competition that invites designers to tackle a challenge while increasing their skills using Adobe XD. I, along with a partner, had one week to collaborate remotely to plan, design, test, and iterate on our design.
Educate users about NASA JPL missions by designing a third-party app (not NASA or JPL branded) app for tablets that get users excited to learn about space travel, historical moments and missions, and the technology that makes it possible.
When doing competitive analysis of apps that exist on the market today, we found that there are many space-related apps that targeted a younger age groups. They had a visual style that felt childish and used juvenile illustrations, and the information was very surface-level. Since our age group for our users was 11-13, we knew we needed a visual style that wouldn't deter users for feeling like it was 'for little kids.' We also knew we needed to go a little deeper with the type of information we were providing to build on existing knowledge, and spark curiosity to learn more.
We designed and ipad app the immersed kids into the world of space exploration. We allowed them to pick an astronaut character and a rocket, and offered a visually engaging experience with vibrant illustrations and subtle animations that would get kids excited about learning exciting new facts and provide them a real perspective into our universe. We also included a gamification aspect which challenged users to retain the information they learned as well as encoruaged healthy competition with friends through social media account linking and sharing.
To begin, downloaded and played around with space educational apps and analyzed strengths and weaknesses
High-level key takeaways
Lack of an intuitive home screen with a practical and actionable dashboard
Felt childish with kid-cartoon-like animations and illustrations
Some were over-guided and had excessive prompting, rather than letting the user explore, with subtle onboarding tips
Mid-Fidelity Wireframes & Prototyping
Visual design and UI components
Challenges and takeaways
With a short time constraint of one week, my partner and I had to be very diligent with our planning and execution. From the beginning, we noted how important our communication was going to be, as well as the need for some delegation for certain aspects.
We sometimes had different ideas or visions, but we heard each other out, objectively discussed pros and cons and what each decision would mean, and ultimately did what we agreed would be best. In the beginning, this may have been a little challenging, but as we worked on the project, our collaboration skills got better and better.
Everyone talks about the importance of effective collaboration and communication, but these are extremely important to me when working with people. Overall I'm very happy I participated in this experience that allowed me to grow as both a designer and a collaborater.
Being a 1-week design challenege, we didn't have the time to test and iterate with users from the target age group.
Creating and executing on a thoughtful and effective testing plan is such an important aspect of design, so that would definitely be a priority moving forward.
Specifically, I would like to ask questions and test user flows related to the menu structure, quizzing, and social features.
I'd also like to expand the astronaut and rocket choice to give more options, and even utilize real rocket names and imagery, to help facilitate learning, and further engage the user with the world of space travel.