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The Power of Defaults (26 Sep 2005)
In forms and applications, pre-populate fields with the most common value if you can determine it in advance. For example, on the registration form for my usability conference, if people register for an event in Boston, the country field will say "United States" by default, but if they register for London, it will say "United Kingdom." Obviously, many people come from other countries, and they'll have to change this entry to specify their own country -- but they'd have to specify it anyway if we'd left it blank. By choosing the most common country as the default, we save many users that bit of work.
Article URL: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/defaults.html

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