Ashlee Phillips


The Nearby Friends feature on the Facebook mobile app required “Allow all the time” location access. If users didn’t grant the app that level of access, they couldn’t use Nearby Friends.


We added a full-screen “roadblock” before the Nearby Friends landing screen. It gave us a little more room to explain the necessity of “Allow all the time” location access.

How I helped

  • Content
  • Collaboration with a Product Designer and Technical Program Manager



  • Interviewed the Technical Program Manager to understand the feature constraints
  • Iterated with Product Design
  • Consulted Meta’s Legal and Privacy team
  • Finalized work with the UX Consent Guidelines and a content design quality review

My recommendations

My recommendations that were accepted

The team initially wanted to use the term “Background Location.” I recommended we use words consistent with mobile OS standards—in this case, “Always allow.”

It felt important that we treat the screen more like a troubleshooting moment and lead with what the user should do rather than what they did wrong (especially since they didn’t do anything wrong).

My recommendations that weren’t accepted

Let the users use the feature without requiring “Allow all the time” access.

Start the body copy with, “To share the neighborhood or city you’re in...” to get to the point quickly and succinctly. However, the Product Manager wished to reiterate the name of the feature.

Make the primary CTA “Go to Settings” rather than “Change Location Access” because the button takes them directly to Settings. But one of our quality principles states that CTAs must reuse words from the header.


This feature was flagged by Apple’s HIG guidelines in late 2021 and ultimately removed from the app. Funny enough, this work is now featured in the “What not to do” internal HIG training at Meta.

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