Dear user: Where are you?

This week we were thinking how do we should ask users for share its location, since this is the most important part because if users are not willing to do it this project will fail. Studies on consumer willingness to share personal data such as location have yielded mixed results. A 2015 IBM study found that “42 percent of consumers see the potential benefit of sharing their location via GPS with retailers, but only 28 percent are willing to do so—even with a trusted retailer.”

When users open for first time an application, messages pop up asking them if they agree to share their location. Some of them may have thoughts like: “Why do they want to know my location?”. Maybe that kind of standardized message, that almost all the apps use is not the appropriate; what about replacing them with more informative ones?

A better strategy is letting your users know what exactly are the services you are going to offer them so that they can develop trust in your company and thereby more willingly opt in for your service.

It is very important to mention privacy issues, such as why and when the application will use users’ location as well as when and if it will be shared. Many people claim that they don’t trust applications to track their location and find this intrusive. Let them know that this is done in their favour and that nothing will be shared without their permission.

All in all, don’t follow the mass. Reply to your users doubts about your notifications before they even express them. Inform them the best and most simple way you can and they will definitely appreciate it.

Two examples of how apps face this inconvenience:

FOURSQUARE – When users first open the app they receive a message stating that Foursquare will use their location to send them recommendations about interesting places even when the app is closed. It is also mentioned that their location won’t be shared to third parties unless they choose to check in.

GOOGLE NOW – When opening the app for the first time Google Now explains how it will use your location and gives you the possibility to see examples of how it works.

Another important part is the possibility of “rewarding the user”.  According to a Microsoft study The Consumer Data Value Exchange found that people are willing to share data in exchange for cash rewards, discounts, and other perceived benefits. Aimia and Columbia Business School came to a similar conclusion after surveying 8,000 consumers from five countries. The results were:

  • 80 percent would share data for rewards from a company
  • 79 percent would share data for cash back
  • 77 percent would share data for coupons
  • 69 percent would share data for location-based discounts

In our case, we are developing application which will be used by cyclists. How about the possibility of giving them coupons for energy drinks, points to reduce or cover the cost of their subscription to miBici program, discounts on sportswear, etc. But this would be a matter of revising later in the project, and directly with the client of this project.







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