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Location in this context means current city user is residing in.

I am designing a classifieds home page and I would like to know what would be a good UX flow is it:

  1. If I ask the user his location at home page using some form of prompt

  2. Set the location by default and show it in the home page allowing the user to change it if he/she pleases

  3. After user has searched for a product, in the search results page show listings according to his location and give him the option to change the location

Let's say for e.g

X is residing in city Y. X would like to buy a second hand car. In a real world scenario X would search for results in his local newspaper or search the streets for a second hand car showroom and proceed to make his purchase. Applying this in the digital world would mean we must always show search results of a classifieds catered to local listings. Is this a good approach?

If I use the approach in which I ask the user for his location then it would add one additional step in the information-flow. Home page>location>Search results. Whereas if I dont ask the user for their location and use their current location to set their city the information flow would be home>search results. Asking the user to set their location would give them the added flexibility but not asking them would reduce one additional step in the process.

What would be a good approach to this problem?

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I think that this approach would provide the most control:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

4

I think you can have both worlds in the scenario you described. First, add the "choose location" as optional input box when searching. Insert it near the search field so that it will be seen, but don't require the user to fill it.

Then, if location wasn't entered and user searched - he may receive too much irrelevant results. Then you can have a helper text at the top of the list saying: "If you want to focus results on your location, enter it here." where "here" is a link that clicking it will focus on the location input box. So:

  1. You allow the location to be optional. But -
  2. Help the user understand that using the location is recommended. This will stop him from leaving your site in frustration for the irrelevant results he got.

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