Eyes on the Solar System,and new horizons for NASA.

In my career I had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most brilliant people, representing top brands and projects. For a geek like me however, working with the National Space and Aeronautics Administration (NASA) was the best experience, bar none.

First of the projects below landed me as Director of Innovation at Seattle’s Blink UX. The second – was one of the highlights of the last year of my tenure there. Both were driven by the same goal: To help NASA share fascinating stories of their explorations through modern, entertaining and accessible user experience.

NASA: Eyes on Solar System: Navigation Demo

Eyes on the Solar System

When the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) approached us about giving their EotSS app a facelift, we very quickly realized the potential of elevating the user experience beyond the initial ask. Rather than simply updating the UI, we re-imagined the application as a narrative vehicle for exploring the tales of our Solar System and its exploration.

Working closely with NASA’s engineers and Blink’s information architecture and visual designers, I developed the system of narrative scrollyteling modules (shots, layouts, transitions, camera moves, etc.) to serve as templates for building stories and articles using the EotSS engine.

The modules were then used to produce a demo experience – a story of Voyager missions, presented in a media rich environment filled with facts, imagery, video and real-time 3D visualizations.

NASA: Desktop Story Demo

Horizon Design System

Blink’s engagement with the Eyes on the Solar System project resulted in revitalizing NASA’s attitude towards visual and UX design. As a result, a new initiative was created – one that would recombine 3000+ websites, mini-sites and domains currently used by NASA into a singular, cohesive user experience. The new system would utilize modern design techniques, re-establishing NASA as a worldwide design thought leader.

We called this design system “Horizon”. Once again I was invited to lead the process of designing its kinetic identity (motion).

The overall process of designing Horizon was a truly massive undertaking, spanning over a year of work for some of Blink’s finest talent. The modular, atomic system was then used to construct a set of template elements for the new generation of scrollytelling. As with the previous project, we packaged the demo in a format of a short narrative – this time telling the story of 24 Hours on the International Space Station.

NASA: 24 Hours on the ISS


As of the date I publish this, both the EotSS and Horizon updates are still being implemented internally at NASA. After handing off the blueprints, whitepapers and design documents – the development is now in the agency’s hands.

On February 18th, 2021 we had the opportunity to see the first teaser of the design systems, when NASA used new EotSS UX to live-stream the historic Mars 2020.

You can re-live watch it by clicking the Entry Descent Landing MARS 2020 banner in the embedded window below.

NASA: Spacetime Stories

Eyes on the Solar System, and new horizons for NASA.

ClientNASAProduced byBlink UXMotionQuba MichalskiPublishedApril 2022