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smart default

Last updated May 4, 2022

Smart defaults are an absurdly powerful tool for product designers.

Want to give users a choice while not requiring manual input every time? Implement the option that will work 80% of the time or guides user behavior in a particular way as a smart default, while giving users the option to manually adjust from there. This reduces the amount of effort people need to put in.

Another situation to use smart defaults: It is almost always advantageous for users to do X over Y. However, Y is the default (outcome if user does not make a choice). Why not switch the default to X?

Smart defaults can ease the workload for power users. If the app can learn from user behavior, the user shouldn’t have to tell it anything twice, Infer user intent and fill out the best guess as a default based on the user’s history of manual input. Jump claims to place a focus on this.