Friday, October 07, 2005

NASA Website Analysis: Visual Imagery

* History of the Challenger disaster and investigation: I found that the information on NASA's website regarding the Challenger was very detailed, almost to the point where it was hard to read from an outsiders perspective. I found many of the details, especially where they are giving outline of what specifically went on up to the minute of the disaster. That problem aside was semi-shocked to see pictures of the disaster itself. When I clicked on the picture section I was expecting to see images of the crew, days leading up to the launch, and possibly debris. I wasn't expecting to see the disaster itself, i.e. the smoke, explosion,... etc.

*History of the Columbia disaster and investigation: In switching over from the Challenger information to the Columbia section of the website was the organization of the section. There was a specific "Remembering the Columbia" page, whereas the Challenger information was harder to navigate. I really liked the CAIB Fact sheet, it summarized the finding in the CAIB report to make it simpler and easier to understand. It was interesting to see that this summary made a point to note the organizational problems that occurred, as well as the scientific errors that were made. The board pointed out the impact of the budget constraints that NASA was facing at the time of the Columbia tragedy. I new from our reading that this had been one of the problems, however I never realized how much of an impact that it had on the problem.

*organizational Culture and Climate of NASA: After going through different sections on NASA's website I got the impression that NASA has grown into a very supportive climate. They seem to have taken their problems of the past and focused on making the NASA community stronger than ever. The website uses "we" a lot. There are also many pictures and links to exciting things that are going on. The website is also very detailed in who and how you can contact someone within the agency depending on your specific inquiry. I really liked the "meet our team" section. It makes sure to give recognition to NASA employee's that are doing well. I was also impressed that it was in an accessible location rather than deep within the website. The NASA facts on the left side of every page was a nice addition as well.