Geolocator design tips
A geolocator is a tool that allows an object, such as a mobile phone, to identify its location. Web-based applications can use a geolocator to request their users’ location with the aim of improving the service they provide.
A geolocator can help users filter out relevant results quickly by showing them products and services that relate to their geolocation. Personalising your geolocator can help streamline user journey and improve the user experience.
You can design your geolocator to ask for a user’s geolocation as soon as they land on the relevant page. An automated request is useful if you:
- Have the same product or service that is available in many locations
- Want to display different content to different users depending on their location
- Have a page that includes a map and the user needs to view information about their local area
- Provide a service that tags information based on location, such as photographs.
H&M is available in multiple countries across the world. On arriving at the store locator page, H&M requests the visitor’s geolocation.
If the user accepts, the geolocator refines the search to the country the user is in. The example below shows a user in the United States.
When the user searches for a location, H&M can autofill the search based on the country the user is in. For example, the search, ‘San’, brings up San Francisco in the USA.
The same search brings up Sandback in the UK.
The geolocate control allows the user's location to be obtained when the user clicks on the associated UI button. However, there is currently no way to have the geolocate functionality trigger when the map first loads.
You can design your geolocator to have a specific button that the user needs to press to access their location. A geolocation button is useful if you have a product or service that focuses on location. The user may want to use their current location, but they might also be searching for locations and routes that are not relevant to where they are at the time of the search.
For example, Google Earth provides multiple services for location analysis and visualisation. Users can view locations in 3D, layer the maps and measure distances.
Given this functionality, the user experience might be stunted if there was an immediate request for location. Therefore, Google Earth provides a button to give users the option.
Do you use or need to create a geolocator tool? We have a free geocoder tool powered by the TravelTime platform, get an API key.