Onboarding: Lab Walking Tours Map (Front)
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is in the business of space exploration. The Mysteries and Curiosities Map is all about Lab exploration, encouraging JPL’s employees to discover the Lab (and its culture) through 9 themed walking tours.
RESULTS: Personally approved and overseen by the Lab’s Director, the Mysteries Map was given to all employees at the Lab’s 76th birthday party. It is still given to every new employee and intern at orientation.
Onboarding: JPL Insider’s Guide (back)
Flip the map over to see an "Insider's Guide" to JPL, containing information to orient new employees to the Lab. This onboarding tool can be hung as a poster, used for impromptu exploration, or can serve as a conversation aid the next time you talk with your local rocket scientist!
RESULTS: There are two editions of the JPL Mysteries and Curiosities Map. The 2nd edition, updated three years later, featured 9 brand new tours as well as a complete redesign of the Insider’s Guide.
Onboarding: Welcome Jet Pack
Inspired by the aesthetic of the Mysteries and Curiosities map, my design team overhauled JPL’s onboarding material. Our resulting collateral included folders, postcards, a tote bag, and stickers —all housed in a box designed to look like a Jet Pack.
RESULTS: For offer packets, we changed the packaging from a standard manila envelope to one used in the Lab’s Clean Room—an inexpensive material that reflects the Lab’s culture while reinforcing a metaphor of transparency.
Onboarding: Mysteries Walking Tour App
We took the original Mysteries map and turned it into a digital scavenger hunt. The app included check-ins for each walking tour and encouraged JPLers to photograph, describe, and submit their own mysteries for consideration in the next addition of the physical map in order to foster a culture of collaboration.
RESULTS: After completing all 9 tours, explorers were sent on one additional mission to the top floor of the JPL’s executive building—inverting a traditional power structure and putting the Director’s Office literally on the map for JPLers and interns alike (plus a secret prize).
Internal “Viral” Video: Day in the Life Digital Time Capsule
For JPL’s 78th birthday, we encouraged JPLers to capture the ordinary and extraordinary at JPL using traditional crowdsourcing techniques (#discoverJPL). While the primary audience was JPLers, the public also got a sneak peek behind JPLs closed doors via the website discover.jpl.nasa.gov.
RESULTS: This one-day event created 12,000 views from 25 different countries with average of 8 minutes spent on the project’s webpage.
Corporate Storytelling: Storytelling Booth
Created specifically for JPL’s Take Your Child to Work Day, this storytelling prototype explored capturing stories without a human intermediary (hint: it’s difficult and not great).
Upon entering the booth, children were greeted by JIM, a beam of light projected inside the booth. Using Wizard-of-Oz-like technology, JIM asked ‘What do you think we do at JPL?’ and encouraged children to leave a message for the future.
FUN FACT: JIM was inspired by HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Alex Smith, Erin Ellis, Joby Harris, Christina Holzheid, David Mikula, Julia Tsao, Matthew Au