Space Telescope Exploration UI
This is the main user interface for the Touch The Sun exhibition at Chabot Space and Science Center. It is driven by imagery from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO): a NASA telescope in orbit -broadcasting imagery of the Sun. This interface is located in a public gallery, allowing visitors to explore near-live SDO data.
- Create a UI aimed at novice users that would not compromise on the amount of text made available to users
- Provide live images with zoom and pan options, as well as three "blends" of imagery to highlight select features.
- Provide an easy-to navigate special events selector for events like solar flares and eclipses. These are often the reason the public takes an interest in the SDO.
SDO UI Design Brief
This simple chart was the main design instruction when work began on the SDO UI. It details the channels used to display three "blends" of images. We would later add an introductory text and what was called a "special events" widget.
SDO UI Flowchart
This diagram outlines all the functions that was ultimately demanded of the UI. It divides the interface into two distinct areas, SDO image viewing and the Special Events Widget. These two functions shared much screen real estate making for a simplified UI.
SDO UI Wireframe
This wireframe is close to the layout of the final user interface. The main development here is the introduction of the "Live and Archived Views" widget down to the left. To the bottom right, the text next to disabled "channels" is greyed out to ease the appearance of large amounts of text on the screen.
SDO UI: Keynote Prototype
This prototype is created in Apple Keynote and demonstrates most of the interactions in the interface. Aesthetically it is very close to the finished UI.
The final 30" UI is the site of manipulating the images, and resides in a stand-up podium. The image viewing takes place at a 90" screen in front of the user station. The feed is near-live, often with just a few minutes delay.
Final Version UI
The sun image interface allows for panning and zooming of images. The blocks of text to the right are used as tool tips, set next to a toggle button. As users hit "on", the text highlights and the sun image reflects the usage of the tool, in this case an SDO instrument.
Widget for Archived Events
A "widget" on the bottom left allows users to access special solar events. It reflects the coding philosophy behind the data delivery, changing nothing but the date stamp of the images. This approach allows the UI to stay consistent, changing only the event selector menu and the text above it.
Single Channels: AIA 304
The blocks of text on the home screen lead to information about the separate SDO channels. User testing led me to the side arrows: the right-hand one takes users to additional channel screens, while the left one brings them back to the homscreen
SDO UI Video Guide
A short video guide to the SDO user interface. This clip describes the Touch The Sun project as a whole, and goes into detail about the SDO UI.