ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

Automatic Defaults

6/27/2008 6:06:20 PM

ryanair-hertz Every time I go to car rental sub-site of I get frustrated with smarty-pants "Pick up Country" dropdown. As you can see on the screenshot, it automatically selects pickup country by visitor's IP address (or something like that).

Now I don't know how many people fly from UK to UK or from Germany to Germany, but I know for sure that you just can't fly with Ryanair from Lithuania to Lithuania. So this automatic selection super-feature is at the very least useless and in reality it's annoying. As I said you can't fly from Lithuania to Lithuania with Ryanair and what are the chances that when you're already in Lithuania you will go to to rent a car? I think something like 1:10000. On the other hand automatic selection in "Country of Residence" is actually a nice little feature which probably works correctly 99% of the time.

So what should be in that pickup country dropdown by default?

The most obvious option is the message "Choose one" like in that "Pick up Location" box. And by the way there's only one Ryanair "location" in Lithuania so why the hell it's not selected by default? While just leaving "Choose one" seems most logical to me and easiest to "implement", I accept that it might be not fancy enough for someone at Ryanair. In this case they could've determined my location and then get the most popular destination from that location and make it the default.

Are there any other logical default values for that dropdown? I don't know. What I know is that seeing my own country there annoys me. In most cases no AI is better than seriously flawed AI.

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