I'm looking for a different wording for the "default" view. The user is able to customize their view and choose which one they would like to preview by "default" (or maybe the default one will be set as default). The problem is that during usability testing we've discovered that our target audience might have a problem with the wording "default".

Does someone have some suggestions on what a better option would be?

  • 2
    Sounds like a missed opportunity to ask the target audience about how they would call it. Alternatives like "standard" or "main" could evenly be misunderstood. Maybe it isn't the word but the concept that is misunderstood.
    – jazZRo
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 10:53
  • Can you explain more about the problem you're observing? What behavior were you expecting, and what did you observe?
    – Izquierdo
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 15:57
  • I used to work on software for Real Estate systems, and those folks didn't like the word 'default'. It was like a swearword to them. Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 1:54

5 Answers 5


1. Ask the users

First of all, ask the people using your software.

The word default is used quite a bit in source code to signify "use this value when nothing else has been specified" -- for example, defaultValue = 0, defaultSettings = {}, defaultTheme = 'dark', etc.

In general, the language in the code sounds more stressful in the UI -- using SegFault 4487921xFF occurred! as the title of your error popup isn't as good as Something went wrong!

When language in the code leaks into the interface the only way to truly know if it adds friction to your users is to ask them (as you've already found out)

When users express confusion at a label or word it is best to stop the script and listen right away. Ask an open question such as, "Which label would be more clear to you for this view?"

2. Check a thesaurus

Typing thesaurus.com/browse/word in the address bar of a browser (where 'word' is the thing you want to substitute) will let you browse a list of similar words. Go ahead and try the link below...


3. What exactly does Default contain?

The word default doesn't say much and the thesaurus option isn't super helpful. The final step is ask yourself what exactly is being represented.

  • Standard

    signifies that the system is highly customizable and most people find these things somewhat useful and/or expected

  • Initial, Baseline, Primary, Fundamentals, Essentials

    tells the user much more is available but these are the basics.

  • Main, Start, Home

    indicates a place to begin

  • Dashboard, Overview, Summary

    a high level look of more detailed information elsewhere

I hope this gives you a good starting point and best of luck in finding a word your users understand.

  • 1
    Agree with the first one. Standard view.
    – Praasshant
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 13:16

'Initial' is the normal English word you want.

It's where things start before you change them.

(default is a 'technology term'. If you go back decades, no non technical people would have had a clue what you meant).


What about using the phrase "baseline"?


Is it possible to add "view" to "default view" or, if you can give the "default" an associated noun such as "dashboard"? Then you can expand on the concept as "Customize your Dashboard" - something along those lines ?

"Reset to Defaults" or just "default" is something I would say you generally associate to a sub-setting, whereas "default view" or "dashboard" gives it more of a specific as a feature and understanding its the first thing to expect to see "by default".

(Apologies, wanting to help out but not feeling particularly articulate...)


As there aren't many synonyms for "Default", in this case, consider the word "Primary".

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