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Vox Pop: What default settings would you change?

As I am wont to do, I was thinking out loud on Twitter this morning.

Twitter message: 'I wonder how different the world might look if the default 'new meeting' time in calendar programs were 10 minutes instead of 1 hour'

I'm convinced that, for better or worse, a lot of computer-related habits come straight out of using the default settings. For example a stock Mail.app install checks your email every 5 minutes (I reset mine to 'Manual') and, without interdiction, Apple's mail program will also create all your new messages as "Rich Text" (Nuh uh. Mine? 'Plain Text').

And then, in some cases, even if you want to do things differently, you have to swim upstream to do so. In the case above, I can't set iCal or gCal's default to anything but 1 hour (any more than I can autoset multiple alarms1). God only knows what poor John Gruber would give to have Mail.app more easily let people quit top-posting.

The Question to You:

What default settings would you love to change in popular applications? Taken a step further, what excellent habits could be taught to users by looking at defaults as something beyond familiarity and day one ease-of-use? Could the aggressive use of smart or personalized defaults create a generation of short-meeting-makers and intersperse-responders?

Quadrant IV's picture

Well, I'd love to see...

Well, I'd love to see Outlook not give a default reminder. I can't change my work settings and it reminds me about all sorts of things I just don't care that much about.

On the same vein, I'd also like to see people actually looking at their calendars once a day rather than relying on the reminder to get them to a meeting. That way, when I do remember to turn it off on a meeting request, I'm not the only one to show up.

Oh, and .doc attachments for invitations and announcements. I understand you want pretty pictures, but what is wrong with pdf? It's smaller and there is a much better chance that all those pretty pictures will appear on my screen the way you want them.




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