Year : 2019
Duration : 3 month
Type : Personal Startup Project
Role : UI/UX Design / User Research / Branding
Tools Used : Figma / Sketch / After Effects / Illustrator / Photoshop
I have been living in the U.S. for about 6 years. Most people might assume I know everything about American culture since I'm living here that much period. However, I still question a lot of things, and tipping etiquette is one of them. The country, South Korea I came from doesn't have tipping culture at all. I sometimes struggle and feel awkward in a certain tipping situation since I have a lack of experience.
I often witnessed some folks from different countries, struggle how to tip in certain situation. We can't blame those people because tipping etiquette knowledge should be taught and accumulated naturally and gradually while folks are grown up in the community.
So, I thought it would be very useful if there is a tip calculator educating foreigners like international students, workers, or travelers in the U.S. for various tipping situations. Eventually, 2 designers including me and a developer are remotely collaborating and developing the android app for the solution.
Tipping culture around the world
We discovered that the most countries in east asia and the south pacific area don't have much of a tipping culture. It was very interesting to see this because other continents tend to share similar tipping culture and pattern.
Narrow target audiences
We wanted to check if there would be enough numbers of potential users in the U.S who come from those east asia and south Pacific area. I researched which countries sending the most people to the U.S. We found out that mostly eastern asian countries are on the list. This validates there is a market for our new product.
We selected the 4 countries which are China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan base on the research. We wanted to validate if this conceptual idea applies to the audiences from those countries. With that said, we conducted a Google form survey with key questions on 67 people from those countries. We found out many people need help for American tipping etiquette and they would use the app if it educates them.
Top 4 Tipping Scenarios
We created the 4 tipping scenarios, which are Restaurants, Transportation, Hotels, and ETC base on the 67 users responses. We prioritized the most user picked sub-services under each 4.
Restaurants : Table service, cafe, take out, and buffet
Transportation : Taxi, Uber, shuttle bus, and valet parking
Hotels : House keeping, room service, front desk, and limo driver
ETC : Hair dresser, nail shop/spa, home delivery, and tour guide
Once the new user opens the app, they walk over location permission and quick tutorials. Geo-location permit helps automatically embed the sales tax on the tip calculation depends on the region.
Then, a user is driven by prioritized scenarios & categories, and then type the subtotal of the service, and then it brings the tipping amount convention to the 3 different types of summary pages reflected from various tipping scenarios. Also, the user can change the tip amount by moving a slider. If a user wants to learn more about the tipping etiquette of the service, they can go to Tips for Tips page.
We applied 6:3:1 color rules base on the dark theme for more sufficient color contrast.
Primary 60% : Dark Green 02, #121617
Secondary 30% : Dark Green, #1E2223
Accent 10% : Money Green, #00FFB4
This rule improves the legibility specifically for this type of heavy number driven design (There is proven research). Sufficient color contrast between foreground and background help the user to read the numbers easier. Also, carefully designed the outlined- iconography to get along Montserrat font for the overall design consistency.
We designed the first product on the Android platform since our target audiences are mostly from emerging countries.
Simple user flow and well-planned interface designs improve the seamless tip calculation in many different types of service they are getting.
Our next goal is monetization from the app. We are researching possibilities for opportunities. There are number of things we try to add like viewing exchange rates with a preferred currency, tip etiquette for the different countries, and etc. We are keeping all the processes recorded as well, so that we can use the strategy and method for future iterations and other projects.