John Leufray

Digital Product Designer

The Green Book

March – June 2020

Brand Strategy / Visual Design / UX

Project Vision

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. 

Challenge

RVers and other nomads that belong to marginalized communities often face discrimination when attempting to camp overnight.

Solution

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.

The Green Book location detail page

Why The Green Book?

While traveling in my RV full-time and being a member of the nomadic community, I have 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.

User Cases

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.

Rick

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

Nurse, 29

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.

Pain Points

Competitive Audit

  Harvest Hosts iOverlander Hipcamp
Membership fee
Free booking
Reservations available
Private locations
Public locations
Add locations
Emergency contact
Guaranteed minority friendly

Ideation

Paper wireframes
Digital wireframes

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. 

Round 1
  • Users wanted the option to use maps offline
  • Users want to know if locations are verified
  • Stakeholders want to encourage reviews
Round 2
  • Users wanted weather info
  • Users want to notify emergency contact of live location along route
  • Users want info on gas stations and mechanics

Brand Guidelines

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.

Solution

The Green Book home page map

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.

The Green Book location details page

Public and private locations listed

Locations listed include free public parks and hotels as well as private properties all in one app.

The Green Book check in

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.

The Green Book add location

Community monitored

Anyone can add new locations, and they are marked verified once they receive multiple ratings and reviews.


 

Takeaways

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.

Next Post

Previous Post

© 2021 John Leufray. All Rights Reserved.

Theme by Anders Norén