Making Scientific
Data Usable & Useful

Through a series of engagements with NASA, Blink is helping make data more accessible, easier to find and faster to use, for scientists, educators, students, science enthusiasts and the general public.

Challenge


Making terabytes of data easy to use

NASA's Earth Science Division develops, launches and operates a coordinated fleet of over 50 satellites, missions and instruments for long-term observations of our planet. In other words, NASA gathers massive quantities of data that enable an improved understanding of the Earth as an integrated system.

Data collected by NASA are public and must be distributed in a way that is easily accessible for users to enable research that will answer fundamental science questions about the Earth, deliver sound science to decision-makers, and inspire the next generation of scientists.

NASA recognized that accessing this huge amount of data is difficult. For scientists to work across data sets, a common component of doing innovative groundbreaking research, they must navigate a disparate collection of websites and tools which often have poor user experiences, which are time and labor intensive and not intuitive to use.

earth earth
07 terabytes

TERABYTES

NASA collects 7 terabytes a day, from over 50 satellites, missions and instruments focused on our planet from space.

30K petabytes

PETABYTES

It has over 30 petabytes of data in archive, all free for public use.

3.2 million people

PEOPLE

In 2017, 3.2 million people downloaded scientific data from NASA's databases.

With this in mind, NASA came to Blink with the goal of making it easier for scientists to find, download, and use data across these sites and tools. With the ultimate goal being to enable scientific advances and discoveries to happen faster, our UX journey began by wanting to remove barriers to accessing this data.

With the ultimate goal to enable scientific advances and discoveries to happen faster, our UX journey began by wanting to make accessing this data as simple as possible. We began by creating consistency in both usability and the user experience across our twelve national data distribution centers, through extensive user research and evidence-driven design.”

Kevin Murphy, NASA

Process


Understanding specific user needs and motivations

Through a series of strategy, research, and design projects over the past five years, Blink has helped NASA better understand their users' needs and motivations. Data and educational websites are now more intuitive, consistent across NASA, and intuitive for individual user needs.

Evidence-Driven Design Process

Raw Data
raw data graphic
arrow
UX Design

Challenge

  • Routine labor-intensive tasks
  • Accessing unfamiliar data sets & products
  • Understanding new data sets & products

Solution

Transform raw data into usable & useful information making analysis more efficient

arrow
Scientific Knowledge

Understanding how scientists wanted to interact with Earth Data, allowed Blink to design a system that meet users' needs intuitively, more efficiently, and engaged them through a beautiful.

Through a series of strategy, research, and design projects over the past five years, Blink has helped NASA better understand their user's needs and motivations. Data and educational websites are now more intuitive, consistent across NASA, and intuitive for individual user needs.

Journey Map

  • A
  • B
  • C
User Details

Doesn't like having to use the GUI. While the level of effort might greatly decrease, they're still not happy about it.

arrow

Effort

Emotion

Finding

Evaluating

Downloading

Result


Advancing science through evidence-driven design

Today, Blink's evidence-driven design work has expanded into a multi-year effort to understand and improve the UX of several scientific tools and data sets across Earth Sciences.

For NASA, taking an evidence-driven design approach has changed the way they serve their scientists, as they drive towards transforming their understanding of the Earth in fundamental ways. They have also made progress aligning distributed teams around user needs and to create a unified NASA experience.

Looking to reimagine how big data is delivered in any environment or industry?

Blink's evidence-driven design process can guarantee an intuitive and effective solution by focusing on user needs from start to finish. Say hello to learn more.