Space Telescope Science Institute

Digital Refresh Improves Branding and Communications


AgencyQ worked with the Space Telescope Science Institute to create a digital brand with a website designed for search engine optimization, functionality, 508 compliance and security, and a social media strategy focused on communication, education and brand building.


The Challenge

Established in 1981, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI or “the Institute”) was formed to support the launch, science operations and guidance of the Hubble Space Telescope. In addition to supporting the launch and operation of the James Webb Space Telescope, STScI also supports scientific operations for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope.

Often referred to as a “25-year-old science experiment,” STScI was founded in the 1980s to support Hubble’s launch. It was not anticipated that the Institute would continue as long as it did, so cohesive messaging was never conceived.

Now a thriving multi-mission organization with cutting-edge expertise in astronomy, scientific research and public outreach, STScI needed to build a brand with strategic positioning and communicate it to their broad range of audiences. The Institute partnered with AgencyQ to overhaul their digital strategy, including the redesign of their website and development of a supporting social media strategy and implementation plan.


The Solution

To focus STScI’s brand and strategy towards their target audiences, AgencyQ reviewed their many user groups and developed personas. This process informed many of the elements of web design and digital strategy AgencyQ produced. AgencyQ created a refreshed visual identity that highlighted the modern capabilities of the Institute and showcased STScI’s mission and vision.

With STScI’s personas in mind, AgencyQ developed page templates to meet the needs of the various audiences. AgencyQ built the streamlined front-end user interface to ensure search engine optimization, functionality, 508 compliance (GWAG) and security. After development, AgencyQ collaborated with STScI’s in-house team to integrate the new front-end code with their template builds. AgencyQ migrated the site to a stable CMS platform that enables more efficient content updates.

To enhance STScI’s outreach in conjunction with their newly refreshed website, AgencyQ performed a comprehensive audit of STScI’s social media properties. AgencyQ reviewed STScI’s social presence for tone, consistency, brand match and best practices. From this audit, AgencyQ developed a social media strategy to guide STScI’s social media efforts, build their followings, and improve engagement with their audiences.


The Results

By providing a modernized user experience on a better designed site, STScI can engage their many target audiences more effectively. The visual refresh and improved page templates and branding on the site showcase STScI’s vision and purpose more clearly to their stakeholders. The CMS upgrades enable better understanding of STScI’s mission and capabilities, as subject matter experts have more control to update content easily and accurately. With a focused social media strategy in place, STScI can communicate to their audience, educate the public of their mission and build their brand.