I am making a website where user's location plays an important role in UX. How can I make users share their geolocation?

  • I feel that lots of users might not even notice the geolocation popup. Is there any statistics on how many people notice geolocation popup and out of that how many accept, denies or just close the pop up?
  • Are there any best practices that I can follow so that more users share their location? I am thinking of showing a message telling how sharing location can enrich user experience on this website, but this approach doesn't seem very effective. Anything else can I do?

geolocation popup

  • can you provide some more context? how good do you know your users? do you have a mockup of the screen which uses geolocation? how is the flow? this might help us to help you better
    – Pascal
    Dec 23, 2014 at 7:55
  • You can get a close with the IP address. How close do you need to be for the UX.
    – paparazzo
    Dec 23, 2014 at 19:47
  • @Blam I am making a local books search platform for book readers so that they can lend/borrow with each other, so I need to be very precise. May be at least within 100 meters.. Dec 24, 2014 at 4:25
  • @Pascal mockups are still not ready but flow will be: 1. Getting to know user's current location 2. suggest user books that are available nearby (with other book readers) to borrow. am I making sense? Dec 24, 2014 at 4:30
  • You should put that in the question. A 100 meters for a book? I go a 1000 meters on foot to buy groceries.
    – paparazzo
    Dec 24, 2014 at 4:36

3 Answers 3


If a website wants to know my location I will immediately assume it wants to use it for targeted marketing.

A vague "it will enrich user experience" won't make things better as I take this as a petty excuse still assuming the above.

Tell the user exactly what you need the location for, how it will be used and how the user benefits from it. If you have a hard time faithfully explaining any of that then this is a strong indicator that a users reluctance to share his location is justified.


Preparing the user and giving them control is key. Coercion is likely to disengage users from your site altogether.

  1. Explain why you need the information
  2. Provide an alternate route to acquire the information, one that the user is fully control of.

    Remember the goal is to get a users preferred book trading location, not to have 'geolocation enabled'

    This is especially useful if user wants to exchange books at a place of work or study, frequently visited shopping mall or is accessing your app while travelling

    Options include:

    • enter text address and location search

    • pick on map (starting point based on rough IP location).

    • provide postcode

    Because user sees a route they can control, then more likely to trust providing auto detected geo-location.

  3. Prepare user to handle browser interaction

    If you detect the exact browser and version (user_agent string) then you can prepare the user for the exact request they will see. e.g. location and message using a screen overlay hint

  • The question was "how can I MAKE users share their location" emphasis mine. If users won't play ball, then they aren't users and the marketing or the product may change at that point. Further The OP may want to give users a way to directly navigate to one another and your answer assumes several design choices we do not know, including the designers goals. Dec 25, 2014 at 23:23
  • 1
    @PatrickPease You have a point. Knowing a strong coercion technique may be useful in some cases. However in many cases process abandonment is likely if a user feels coerced. OP and future readers can interpret answers to fit their specific case.
    – Jason A.
    Dec 26, 2014 at 19:13
  • Yes good point yourself. Knowing how to be forceful and how to play nice with users are both important skills. Dec 26, 2014 at 20:37

No offense to users but I know for a fact that they blindly and ignorantly deny required features without reading the popup. There is a fairly simple solution to this...

  1. Explain that a pop-up is about to pop-up requesting geo data. Explain early why its needed. When the user clicks "Ok" or whatever...

  2. Make the geo request

  3. If the user denies this request, lock the app somehow and say "we need your location to provide you with this service" and then send them to www.yourwebsite.com//directory. Note the two slashes, which makes the browser treat your page as a new page, allowing you to make another geolocator request. Also, for every additional denial you have to add another slash.

  • Also, once you have permission simply having https:// makes the permission reasonably permanent. Dec 24, 2014 at 5:25

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