I'm working on a holidays site that has its content displayed based on the users' location by analyzing the IP address. I was wondering what are the pros and cons of having a pop up that requests from the user to choose the destination country once the site is loaded vs using ip detection and display, potential destination content.

e.g the first thing the user will see is a light-box that will request to choose a destination, and according to that it will display he relevant content? The issue with that is that it blocks the access to the site on loading.

  • It's a holiday site, how do you know they want to look at holidays in the same country as they are currently in? – JonW Sep 11 '14 at 13:15
  • I think this question needs to be unpacked a bit. Sounds like there are two things going on. 1) You're detecting IP and displaying content based on it. 2) You're asking users for a location country and showing content related to their selection. How are these related, if at all? – dennislees Sep 11 '14 at 15:47
  • I'm sorry for not being clear. At the moment the way the site works is that is using IP detection and according to that displayed relevant content, this has implication on the navigation menu it makes it very long, what we ate trying to do is simplify the navigation by asking the user to tell us where he would like to go and we will Display personalised content according to this .. , – J_pech Sep 11 '14 at 22:59
  • May I suggest using an inline popup instead? Actual popups can be quite annoying, and if you use inline popups you don't need to worry about whether the user has blocked popup windows or not. If you decide on inline, just make sure it's easily dismissable. – jay_t55 Sep 13 '14 at 0:06

You don't need a modal; instead, have it straight on the site:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

This way the user isn't blocked by a modal. However, the downside is this is an added layer before they can start shopping, but it won't be intrusive in any way.

Also, this can be saved by cookies so it won't be a repetitive way of choosing a path.

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Negative First Experience

You've already pointed out the first problem. Access to the site isn't exactly blocked, but the first impression of your brand and web experience for a user, all hinges on the quality and implementation of a popup. According to NNG popups are the most hated advertising technique While you're exactly advertising, it's clear that most users prefer not to have to navigate popups.

Poor Mobile Experience

Popups rarely result in delightful user experiences on mobile devices. Balancing your first touch with a mobile customer is risky.

Category Search Problem

Unless you have a small list of destination countries, how will you cater for a user who only has a rough idea of where they want to go e.g. "Africa", or "South East Asia"?


Sounds like a search-based homepage design might be a safer option here. A big search box with a prompt like "Where do you want to go?, perhaps with typeahead search to direc to specific entries in your list of destinations.

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You can make a prediction from the IP, fetch whatever content you believe is relevant, but allow the user to select a different destination.

At the top of the home page add a large destination field that can be changed by the user. This field will be the first element to be loaded on the page, other related content will follow. The user may choose a different location from the moment the destination field is displayed.

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  • 1
    Yeah i think this is what i will probably end up doing. – J_pech Sep 13 '14 at 11:08

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