Salvus - Explore the world with pride
Salvus is a social map application dedicated to LGBTQI members. The main feauture is to show LGBTQI members nearby LGBTQI-friendly stores, cafes etc..
"I'm a designer, and my job is to find problems and then to solve them."
In a progressive world, we still have some ideas that are dominant and not helping us to grow as a society. People are always getting judged by how they think, how they act, and how they live since the foundation of societies. LGBT community is one of those types that got judged because of being different than 'normal'. They are struggling with these predominant zombie ideas. My idea in opposition to that zombie ideas is to create a platform that is LGBT friendly, so that the members can freely express themselves without any concern.
Defining the Problem
Even though numbers are growing day by day, it's still pretty hard to find LGBT-friendly businesses around the world. Most of the people aren't treating LGBT members as humans, the rights given to them isn't enough and not equal with given rights to the rest of the citizens.
As you can see from the image there are regions that accepts homosexuality but we all know that not everyone can afford to immigrate. Most of Asia, Africa and Middle East aren't accepting homosexuals as a society.
In western countries it's much easier to find LGBT-friendly places but the problem I want to solve was "How can we help LGBT members to find places that are friendly in non-LGBT-friendly countries too." So I picked a country from Middle East, Turkey. Turkey is where I reside currently so I know a little bit about how most of the people treat to LGBT members. Don't get me wrong I'm not making this app only for LGBT in Turkey. I used Turkey as a testing place because it has general problems that our users would want to exceed.
Cyber-world is where they can feel honest about themselves. Says the %73
The question that I asked is "As a gay traveller, how does having to hide or even lie about yourself in some countries affect your travel experience?" You can read the medium post for more details, to summarize I illustrated the answers they gave as message bubbles:
Even though people won't ask whether if you are gay or not there is pressure to hide your identity. Being online is helping them to express themselves but they aren't digital beings, they are humans and they need to find places in real life that are open-minded about LGBT community.
After summarising it up I've created some potential user personas that can make use of our app.
After finding out about the problems and listening users I asked these questions to myself:
- How to make travelling more efficient for LGBT members?
- What can we provide to them?
- How to make a safe local-community for gays to express theirselves freely?
Therefore I started to sketch my ideas out and make this app into reality.
The application works like Google maps. It's a map application that only shows LGBT-friendly places and with the LGBT-users' feedbacks you can learn about that places much better.
LGBT-friendly businesses can become a Salvus member and add their locations to our map. LGBT community can also add places that they think is LGBT-friendly. Remember there is a report violation button to report any kind of malicious activity.
Other than location info Salvus has events function. Events can be created by community centers or members by using external Meetup application but can share on Salvus.
"Gilbert Baker the creator of the iconic Rainbow Flag sadly passed away. Mr. Baker was both an LGBTQ activist and artist, and was known for helping friends create banners for protests and marches. To honor the memory of Gilbert Baker."
I'm using Gilbert typeface because it's fighting for the same cause as Salvus stands for. You can find detailed information about Gilbert by clicking here.
Colors are selected to represent the pride flag and also they are a little saturated to make them look vivid.
While researching I've learned to empathize more than I did in real life. Designing for real people is a great experience and in my opinion this is what design is in 21st century. This was a successful project for myself but I would love to hear about what would LGBT members say.
Thanks a lot :)