Website design: Global companies vs visitor locality

Why do I, as a visitor to a company website, have to tell the website where I am located? Why do I have to decide which countrys website I need to visit? It’s just obnoxious and poor design.

Case in point: I went to www.canon.com to get drivers for my mothers scanner. They had a Drivers link on the first page which is commendable.

But then they display a MAP!!

They show five options on this map: Americas, Europe/Africa/Middle East (yes, because, it’s the same, right?), Japan, Asia, Oceania

I don’t know what they want with this map. For all I know they want me to tell them where they would find the best coffee. But I’ll play. I select “Americas” as I want the english version of the drivers.

Then they display MORE options, this time I have to select which part of the “Americas”: Canada, Latin America, Mexicana, Argentina, Brazil, Chile or the USA. When I select USA I am transported to a new website. And there thay have a new menu with a new Drivers link. I have already pressed Drivers for crying out loud!

I wouldn’t bother if it was just Canon, but I’ve seen so much of that kind of design lately.

Choosing a location, whether it’s the visitor’s location or the website location, should be OPTIONAL as far as possible. I don’t mind having the choice of language on every page, in fact I think it’s excellent. But it should not mean being transported to another website. It should just change the language on the website you’re on.

Capiche?