NASA (Various)

The Sunset City team has worked on a variety of projects with NASA—Famelab, NASA's version of TED talks geared toward emerging scientists, and NASA Astrobiology. 

+ User Experience Design
+ Visual Design
+ Strategy


"Life in the Universe" and "Exploring Earth and Beyond" are intimidating taglines—how do you begin to shape a story around something as broad as the universe?



While our team had extensive space knowledge and enthusiasm, visiting the Ames Research Facility was fundamental in understanding the potential impact of successfully communicating the work and ideas surrounding FameLab, and eventually Astrobiology.


The immersion phase has proven vital for successful working relationships and project outcomes. It allows both teams meet face to face and gives everyone a chance to share a vision for the future and set expectations.


To make something beautiful, engaging, interesting... that's a given, part of the job of being a designer; the real task is identifying how the work can help propel a client towards their long-term goals. 


With NASA we identified a few underlying themes that helped us shape our design and strategy work: 1. How do you communicate to the public the complex breadth of work NASA scientists are doing, not only in a way that's engaging, but in a way people can understand 2. How do you communicate the impact the work is having/will have/can have to continue to receive funding 3. How do you create a resource to connect scientists, research groups, emerging scientists, etc. 4. How do you make people care? How do you inspire a younger generation? How do you get people involved, to share, to want more?  


Hello Monday set the foundation for the Sunset City team to build upon for Astrobiology. Tasked with implementing changes from content strategy to site-wide structure based on user feedback and testing, what you see today is a combination of smart thinking from both teams that maintained Hello Monday's groundwork but further addressed NASA's needs. 


The process included new wireframing and UX flows, visual design implementation all the way through front-end development. Over the course of the past year we've continually strategized with the NASA team on new additions to the Astrobiology website, with a strong focus on funding, elevating scientists and their research and brainstormed how to continually engage the public.


FameLab is like NASA's version of TED talks—the program helps researchers and scientists better communicate their complex ideas to the public, with the knowledge that a huge component of funding is based on being able to talk about the work you do. 


We were tasked with re-concepting FameLab from the ground up—a new visual design language, user experience and front-end implementation. The FameLab redesign gave the team at NASA a much easier-to-manage venue to highlight talks and engage new, emerging scientists to participate.


"We're at 103,000 feet. Looking out over a very beautiful, beautiful world … a hostile sky. As you look up the sky looks beautiful but hostile. As you sit here you realize that Man will never conquer space. He will learn to live with it, but he will never conquer it. Can see for over 400 miles. Beneath me I can see the clouds… . They are beautiful … looking through my mirror the sky is absolutely black. Void of anything… . I can see the beautiful blue of the sky and above that it goes into a deep, deep, dark, indescribable blue which no artist can ever duplicate. It's fantastic." 

- Joseph Kittinger