Overview

Designing the Solar System

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An interactive infographic visualising the journey of NASA's Voyager spacecraft through the solar system. Voyager was designed with responsive solutions for mobile & desktop experience. It uses a distance calculator to pose the question 'How long would it take you?' to travel the length Voyager has.

The main visual style, aspects of UX design, and 'guerrilla user-testing' was carried out for this project in close collaboration with journalists, UX developers, and editorial designers.

View project here.

DATE
2012 - 2013

DESIGN TYPE
Illustration & User Experience

ROLE
Design Trainee working alongside Senior UX Designers.

TEAM
BBC Visual Journalism News. Working with UX Designer: Helene Sears



Approach

Visual style

The illustrative style adopted for Voyager was that of simple clean graphics that sat boldly against a colour palette of dark ‘space’. The highest priority was given to maintaining a clear visual hierarchy so that the user could interact with the information panels and easily navigate through the piece.

This illustrative approach included visual subtleties such as the planetary shadows and animations that illuminated selected objects (on the desktop version only). Creating a completely solid colour background for the entire page formed the immersive backdrop appropriate to the space theme.



Considerations

Thinking responsive 

The challenge of this piece of work lay in designing a responsive treatment for a complex set of information and Voyager offered us a fantastic opportunity to dive head first into a longer-term project that would explore responsive-design thinking in depth. Close collaboration with developers during the responsive design process allowed us to negotiate the feasibility of the design as it was adapted across various sized screens.

In this case that meant adapting the calculator to match different device capabilities. For instance, feature phone users received their static calculated results at the top of the infographic, while users with newer smart phone models were able to experience the calculator dynamically, adjusting its calculation based upon their location in the long infographic.

Read more via the BBC Blog.