There are two main points of view that I'm hearing:

  • My preferred point of view is that if the user denies access to geolocation, we should assume that they have done this on purpose and will not change their mind. If they do change their mind, they will find out how to do this by themself.
  • The user may deny access but then change their mind and want to reenable it. They may not know where to clear the browser setting so we should add a page to our website that describes how to do it.

Which one is "correct"? :)

  • 2
    What happens if they try to access a feature that requires geolocation but have disabled it? I would assume you give them some feedback as to why that feature isn't available - if that feedback is just a message saying "feature unavailable because you've disabled geolocation" and leave it at that then you've introduced a brick-wall into their progress. Never send users down a dead-end, you should always give them somewhere else to go - in that case some information about how to address this. Be it a link to another page, or some info right there on the same page. – JonW May 7 '14 at 10:21

Don't think there is a correct way necessarily, but providing the user with the information they need to continue is beneficial. The issue would be that keeping an up to date set of information on how to allow locations on each browser could become tiresome and result in out of date information, which is potentially unhelpful.

If you rely heavily on geolocation, than having a message informing the user that they have denied access and will need to enable it before they can make full use of the application would keep them informed and allow then to reassess their decision later if they need to.

I would say it's more the job of the browser to make setting location permissions for certain sites easy and not yours to tell the user exactly how to do this as there are variables for each users, such as browser and version.

  • Agree - When using Geolocation provide the user with the ability to switch it on. Obviously how you handle this needs to be considered. You don't want to annoy the user when they have clearly made a choice. Also consider whether Geolocation could be stored as a setting somewhere? SO the user can turn it on/off as required. – Sheff May 7 '14 at 11:19

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