I came across a small dilemma in my development, namely whether as a designer I should rely on a user to actively review settings before submitting an action, thereby justifying having it pre-set, or letting the user actively choose setting before submitting.
An hypothetical example:
Consider the examples above. The user will perform a fairly sensitive action and has to select which company should be the owner of some valuable asset. The combobox will contain a small amount of items, many times it only contains one and rarely more than five. In the case of a user choosing the wrong owner it will lead to additional efforts and headache to sort up the situation.
Note, this is a hypothetical scenario.
The examples above differ in the fact that the upper auto selects the top item in the combobox with the chance of it being the intended owner and the user can proceed immediately. In the second example the combobox has no selection and the user can't proceed before a selection has been made.
Which of these two examples would be the most suitable in this situation? I have been running with the second since the action was introduced but has lately come to question whether it should be pre-set or not. Especially after I noticed that my banking service has pre-set comboboxes of which account I want to transact from and to which account the money should be transacted too every time I perform an online transaction. They apparently take for granted that the user will review the settings before continuing, and therefore has it pre-set.