The Australian Space Agency is at the heart of space in Australia operating as a division of the Australian Government. It works across industry, government and academia to advance the nation's position in the global space economy and to inspire and improve the lives of Australians.
Prior to Icon’s involvement, the Australian Space Agency’s web presence was integrated into an existing government department website. Icon was commissioned to design and develop a standalone site for the Agency that would enable a more rich and immersive user experience.
Background and challenge
To further understand the sector and business and user needs, Icon conducted a series of discovery workshops with stakeholders, a landscape review of similar websites, a content audit and an analysis of user data. This allowed us to identify key issues, opportunities and strategic goals and to understand the diverse needs of different audience segments.
The Agency had grown from its initial foundational phase and was entering an implementation phase in which it sought to grow audience awareness and expand capabilities.
However, the web pages associated with the Agency we embedded into an existing departmental website that restricted the overall user experience.
The Agency required a website that ensured a clear navigation structure, strong branding, and the capability for engaging content for its national and global audiences as well as the nation's future workforce.
To meet the key objectives of the Agency, we delivered a dynamic, interactive online experience with a strong brand presence and clear signposts for each audience segment.
Our solution is designed to:
Drive awareness of the Agency and convey the excitement of space exploration
Highlight regulatory information, funding opportunities and educational programs
Showcase responsible growth and sustainable management in the sector
Demonstrate how space exploration benefits all Australians through technological development, jobs growth and a globally recognised space industry.
The new user interface uses innovative design features and dynamic content to draw users in, encourage return visits and convey the excitement surrounding the space industry whilst still remaining accessible and functional, especially for industry users.
We explored new ways to extend and apply the Agency’s visual identity to work better within a digital realm and appeal to its 6 distinct audiences ranging from primary school students to scientists.
We introduced a dark-mode theme that incorporated subtle gradients, overlaying orbital lines and graphics to frame content, complement the rich, emotive imagery and create an immersive ‘outer-space’ experience.
We also incorporated subtle micro-interactions and smooth parallax transitions between pages and sections to improve the fluidity of journeys across the site and provide more intuitive interactions.
A critical task for the new website was to design a holistic IA that structures the information for audiences to support not just functional content findability but meaningful user journeys that are more fluent, cohesive and satisfying.
For example, we uplifted and enriched the space career and education user journey. Functional career and study pathway information alone is not enough to inspire the future space workforce. Future space workers also need to experience the excitement of the sector’s successes, understand the everyday benefits and impacts of space, and feel connected to the dynamism and entrepreneurship of the industry as it grows. They must also have visibility of the industry’s diverse international network, and see their potential to become part of it.
In response to these needs, we built out a well-structured space careers and space education journey with narrative depth and breadth to provide ample inspiration for this future workforce.
In January 2024, The Australian Space Agency website received a Web Excellence Award.
Visit the Australian Space Agency to explore the website.
User testing to improve and validate usability
Design component and template design
Drupal 9 development
Accessibility and user acceptance testing