Is it okay to change the default value of the dropdown based on the last selected action and use it as default for the next list? What's the disadvantage for the users? enter image description here

On the Table, the dropdown defaults is always changing after the last selected action.

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  • 1
    I'd say yes, but perhaps a better way (if you can store the users setting) is to ask the user 'would you like this setting stored for the next time you use it' - or something along those lines..? Feb 18, 2016 at 11:43

3 Answers 3


I would default to the most frequent action. In the example shown, I wonder if changing a password is the most frequent action taken. Just because I changed my password yesterday doesn't mean I want to do it again today.


Can you give some more information about the context of this dropdowns? What is the impact to select an option and whats the action behind this.

Normally there is no disadvantage, provide you put a descriptive label above or on it. If you dont do this it is difficult for the user to see why he filled the field and what the intention behind it was. Especially in long forms, which the user has to fill many of these fields, it is complicated and triggers a high cognitive load for the user.

  • This is refer to a mostly table has, an actions column/button on the farthest right.
    – Sknny
    Feb 19, 2016 at 4:34

Much in agreement with Eric of defaulting to the most frequent action.

There's a lot to be said about muscle memory. If the top action changes all the time, the user is forced to read the label every time to confirm it'll do what they want it to do.

Having a static placement of options may involve an extra click, but you can go pretty fast once you've learnt the location.

That said, if there are 10+ rows of data to change at once, you probably want to provide some sort of bulk action option for the user.

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