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Tipani - How Much to Tip Anywhere in the World

The Problem

If you've traveled internationally, this may sound like a familiar predicament:

The check at the restaurant has just arrived; or the bar tab needs to be settled; or the cabbie has pulled up to your destination; or the porter has dropped your luggage off in your hotel room. As you reach for your wallet, the question pops up in your mind, rendering you nearly paralyzed with fear that you're about to commit a major social faux pas:

How much am I supposed to leave for a tip in this country??

That's where this application (working title: Tipani) comes to the rescue.

How It Works - The Intro and Select Screens (updated 5.6.13)

Users can choose to select a country from a dropdown menu, or allow the phone's GPS location services to automatically choose the country for them. In addition, users can save their favorites for easy access, or create an itinerary (see below) which would allow them to save all countries they plan to visit in a multi-country excursion on a single page.

The Main Screen (updated 5.6.13)

Once a country is selected, the main display will present tipping advice for that country under five main categories:

  • restaurants
  • bars
  • taxis
  • luggage
  • miscellanea (hair/beauty, massages, translators, tourguides, etc)

Tapping one of these rows would expand the field and provide either an explanation or more information when available. For example: an explanation for why you shouldn't leave a tip in Japan (answer: it's considered an insult.)

Other Elements - Considerations for a version 2.0 and beyond (updated 5.6.13)

The bottom row of icons (see sketches above) could allow for some cool, useful tools:

  • info: a screen detailing some basic information on the country and currency.
  • currency converter: connected to a constantly updated source, so you know exactly what the current conversion rate is.
  • favorite: click the star to add the country to your go-to list of countries. Useful if you're in Sweden on business quite often, and ca never seem to remember how much to tip for your Swedish massage. 
  • itineraries: if you're going on a big multi-country trip, you'd probably prefer to have all the tipping information quickly and easily accessible. This option would allow you to create a list of countries that you could then view as a single screen.
  • export: send an e-mail or text with the tipping information to someone who needs to know (a subtle tactic, perhaps, for educating that chronically lousy tipper).

In future iterations, I had the thought of adding an actual tipping calculator, which a user could access in each category by tapping on the icons themselves. This would prove particular useful for group situations (or for when you've had a bit too much vodka at that bar in St. Petersberg).

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