I am creating a new multilingual website where we have a single primary domain (.com) and the language is handled via different URL routings e.g:


I have the facility for the user to change the region from those available at any time during their stay on the website. The selection is stored in a cookie and is automatically applied on any subsequent visit.

Should a user navigate to a URL without any region specified e.g.


The system defaults to US and redirects automatically to


This is working perfectly and the client is happy with this.

The client has now asked that on the first visit to the site the user is presented with a "pop-up" that forces them to choose a region - to ensure that they are looking at relevant content.

Whilst I appreciate his concern I am looking for a less intrusive mechanism of clearly highlighting that a region selection is available on first visit - this must also work well on mobile devices.

The currently selected region is displayed using a clearly visible "flag" icon at the right-hand side of the top navigation bar (24px x 24px) - but I am thinking I could just highlight this somehow on first visit to make it more noticeable than normal, but I had also considered a sliding div (from top or side of page) or a bootstrap dialog.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to handle this cleanly without irritating new visitors?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you don't want to be intrusive and block the content for your users. Showing relevant content is important, but you don't want to do that at the cost and risk of annoying some users.

If it is clear that the site is international, most users will be looking for a way to select their respective local version themselves. All you need to do is make it easy and seamless.

The sliding div from top seems to be a sufficiently elegant and effective solution. Make it stand out a little bit, and allow it to be dismissed, in case the user is satisfied with their current locale.

Also you should plan for the occasion when a cookie on the computer is set from other user (on shared computers) and it should be possible for user to change their locale even in cases of a cookie being present.

  • Have you seen any examples of a sliding div (even for something other than language selection) that I could use to demonstrate to my client? I will obviously prototype but still nice to rule it in or out as quickly as possible. Apr 4, 2014 at 16:17

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