March – June 2020
Brand Strategy / Visual Design / UX
The Green Book was created to give travelers of marginalized communities information that will keep them from running into difficulties and embarrassments, and to make road trips more enjoyable. The membership-only network has listings in three main categories – parks, stores, and tourist homes. Lodging in all locations is free and reserved for self-contained vehicles only.
RVers and other nomads that belong to marginalized communities often face discrimination when attempting to camp overnight.
The Green Book is a platform that connects travelers to minority-friendly public and private camping locations to make life on the road safer and more enjoyable.
Why The Green Book?
While traveling in an RV and being a member of the nomadic community one summer, I had several conversations with monitory travelers about facing discrimination in reportedly public locations. A 2020 New York Times op-ed also states that “Too often, black travelers say, they are made to feel like they don’t belong.”
Inspired by Victor Hugo Green’s guide for Black travelers and the Oscar winning film of the same name, The Green Book app also accommodates LGBTQ and handicapped travelers as well as all racial and religious minorities.
Since the locations are verified to be inclusive of marginalized groups, all travelers can feel secure knowing listings on The Green Book are friendly and safe.
I conducted interviews and created empathy maps to understand the users I’m designing for and their needs. The primary user group was minority full-time nomads searching for free and inclusive camping locations. A secondary user group identified through research was single female travelers looking for safe overnight camping.
Initial research revealed that users wanted to use fewer apps to locate both public and private camping spots, a larger concentration on free locations, and the ability to check-in with loved ones in the app.
US Navy Retired, 55
Rick lives and travels in his RV full-time. His lifestyle is dependent on him finding safe and free parking places everyday. He wants to make sure the places are open and have a good reputation, but he’s not tech savvy and wants a solution that’s simple to use.
Martha searches for directions and books camping sites on her phone, and needs an app that will allow her to find safe and friendly locations. Between raising her kids and driving across the country, she doesn’t have time to do a ton of research when looking for safe places to camp.
|Guaranteed minority friendly||○||○||○|
Usability Study Findings
I conducted two rounds of usability studies with producers and film fans. Findings from the first study helped guide the designs from wireframes to mockups. The second study used a high-fidelity prototype and revealed what aspects of the mockups needed refining.
- Users wanted the option to use maps offline
- Users want to know if locations are verified
- Stakeholders want to encourage reviews
- Users wanted weather info
- Users want to notify emergency contact of live location along route
- Users want info on gas stations and mechanics
I wanted to keep this brand as true to the book from whence its name came as possible. The title makes the primary color obvious, and since I knew the map and icons would be colorful, I kept the secondary colors neutral greys.
Safe for all
Originally created for Black motorists in the Jim Crow era and now expanded to include other racial minorities, the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and the handicapped, The Green Book features safe locations for all travelers.
Public and private locations listed
Locations listed include free public parks and hotels as well as private properties all in one app.
BUILT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN MIND
Whether you’ve arrived at your location or you’re still in route, you can check-in with loved ones directly in the app so the people closest to you know where you are.
Anyone can add new locations, and they are marked verified once they receive multiple ratings and reviews.
Being a nomad and a minority myself, working on The Green Book was extremely rewarding. It’s a product that not only helps me and members of my community, but any traveler looking for a safe and friendly place to camp. Designing the app taught me a valuable lesson in accessibility, and proves that creating solutions for traditionally marginalized groups truly helps everyone.