Unusability: How NOT to do geolocation

Sometimes when doing business online, you want to know where your users are coming from. If you don’t do it the right way, they’ll waste little time telling you where you can go.

Zinio, a digital publications company, wants to know where you live:


But they don’t geo-locate IP addresses, which would accomplish the goal without any user intervention. Instead, they provide this “handy” layer over their webpage.


  1. Extra action
    They force users to do something instead of geo-locating.

  2. Map not clickable
    The map is not clickable. So, most users who assume when seeing a map and a query about where they are, they can just click on their country are going to be sadly disappointed. They’ll click a couple of times. Some may leave. Some will see the drop-down menu and, swearing under their breath, use that.

  3. Map loads last
    The layer with the map loads after the rest of the entire page. Even over broadband, this means there are several seconds of inability to do anything – not fun.

How many chances to do you get to make a first impression? Yeah, I thought so too.

When you fail on your first impression, you’ve got an uphill climb for your second and subsequent interactions with potential clients. Now they already think you’re a difficult-to-work-with company.

Save the trouble and make it right from the beginning!