I am designing a desktop system (using Material design) that shows information on a side panel related to objects on a map. Some of this information is in editable input fields. The panel does not have a save button, but the changes are immediately stored to a virtual database after an input field is edited.

How should users be able to revert back to the default input field value if he has typed a new value?

The idea I currently have is to show an icon at the end of the input field in case the default value has been changed.

enter image description here

I found other similar questions, but to my understanding they were talking about a placeholder/input value, in my case the default value is not a placeholder.

1 Answer 1


I think this depends a lot on how users interact with the field and how they change the default value. If, for example, the default value acts like placeholder text, then a 'clear' symbol such as an 'x' will do the job.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

However, if the field can be left clear, with no value, then I would suggest a button that actually says something like "use default".


download bmml source

The 'refresh' symbol is too ambiguous and could easily leave the user feeling that the interface is behaving in unexpected ways.

  • Thanks for the answer. It should be something similar as in your later example. Sometimes there can be no default value. Also it must be noted that probably the word "default" is not so informative either, I just used it in this example. In my system, different users can edit the same value. E.g. user A changes it today and then user B changes it one week later. So I am not sure can a word "default" be used for something that is set by another user. Maybe something like "Use previous" would be good?
    – jakapo
    Nov 27, 2017 at 10:02
  • 'Default' and 'Previous' have very different meanings. It also sounds like you want 'Reset' more than anything else. Nov 27, 2017 at 16:17

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