Overview

For my Independent Study, I designed a digital platform for REI that makes outdoor culture more accessible and inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Role

Strategy, UX/UI, Product Design

Toolkit

Figma, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects 

BACKGROUND

BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people have historically been shut out of natural spaces

The outdoor industry, which claims to be for everyone, has long suffered from a lack of diversity. Recreation that should be available to all is inaccessible to millions of Americans. Many others do not feel safe or welcome outdoors due to ongoing systems of inequity, injustice, and racism.

REI is working towards creating a more inclusive and accessible outdoor culture for all

REI is one of the leading outdoor brands and advocacy work is a huge part of their brand identity. They celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community beyond Pride month, unlike many other brands. The REI Cooperative Action Network was launched as a collective effort to bring health, strength and equity to the outdoors through fundraising and political action. 

PROBLEM

There is still a lack of resources for LGBTQ+ people to feel welcome in the outdoor community.

Even though REI is leading the way for positive change in the industry, there is a lot more that can be done. 

OPPORTUNITY
 

Create a platform that connects LGBTQ+ people to the outdoors and to each other

By focusing on building community, creating more inclusive resources, and providing access to outdoor adventure and spaces, we can empower LGBTQ+ people to reclaim the outdoors.

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COMMUNITY

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INCLUSIVITY

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ACCESS

SOLUTION

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REI Pride is a safe space within the REI community where LGBTQ+ outdoorsfolk can connect to each other and the outdoors through resources, groups, and adventures.

KEY FEATURES

 

Onboarding

Users can create a new account or login using their REI Member ID. Prompts throughout the profile setup help tailor the experience to the users interests and preferences.

Home Screen

  • Read the latest articles from Outside with Pride, REI Pride's free online publication that highlights LGBTQ+ news and people in the industry.

  • Discover LGBTQ+ events, programs, partner organizations, job boards, and other resources.

  • Shop the REI Pride collection and used gear, or be redirected to the online REI store in your browser.

Groups

Search the REI data base of LGBTQ+ outdoor groups with filters for identity preference, location, distance, and activity.

Users have the ability to join or create their own group. The app serves as a place to get to know each other, share their experiences and invite new members. 

Insight

Outdoor adventure groups are a great way to meet people and get more involved, but discovering LGBTQ+ specific groups can lead to dead end internet searches if you don't already know people in the community.

 

Potential users said that they might feel more welcomed if they had a way to access people like them who are interested in outdoor adventure.

 

Adventures

Search for your next adventure with filters for identity preference, destination, and activity. Sign up for a trip or you can apply for a REI Pride Adventure Scholarship

Insight

REI offers lots of great adventure trips, some of which are women only, however, there still aren't trips offered to any LGBTQ+ groups. These trips often put people in a vulnerable situation, being in a remote area amongst strangers. 

 

Potential users said they often feel like they need to hide their identity until they know that it's safe to be out. They would feel more comfortable traveling amongst other people like them.

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Basecamp

By leveraging their partnership with the National Park Foundation, REI can establish campgrounds located in and around U.S. national parks. These members-only campsites would not only help diversify our parks, but also provide LGBTQ+ friendly job opportunities, programs and events in the area. 

Insight

Many U.S. national parks are located in areas of rural America that have low equity ratings, which means that LGBTQ+ people visiting these parks are at a higher risk of discrimination and even hate crimes.

 

By creating a LGBTQ+ safe space within these areas, potential users said that they would feel more at ease when visiting.

REI Basecamps are designed to be safe and inclusive for all.

There are gender neutral bathrooms, several large group site areas, private lodging options, and there are always staff members on-site.

These member-only campgrounds would be equipped tent/RV campsites, primitive camping, and cabin lodging. Campers can also visit the REI Camp Store where you can shop for goodies and supplies, rent gear, and sign up for REI trips, events, and activities in the park with other campers.

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MOVING FORWARD

Having all of these resources in one place can position REI as the go-to source of information and inspiration for the LGBTQ+ outdoor community. By partnering with other LGBTQ+ outdoor organizations and initiatives that are doing their own great work, we can encourage even more to get people outside and take action in the climate movement.

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