Required category fields shouldn't always default
If a choice is a required field, it's important. People are human, and sometimes forget to fill in a detail.
If a field is a text or number field, we can set it required, and Podio helps us; it doesn't let someone create an item without filling in that field.
But if we make a category field required, Podio automatically sets it to the first option. People are human, and if you set a field for them, they may not notice (especially if it's a drop-down list) or remember to correct it. So actually if a category field is important, marking it as required may be positively unhelpful, as Podio makes it easier for someone to miss it. For an important category field, we're actually better off not marking it as required, so at least then we know that the user forgot to supply the information.
It would be helpful if the behaviour of setting the first option by default could be a selectable attribute, separate from 'required'.
I find the current behavior actually very helpful, because it can save a lot of time if you can provide good default values. However, I understand that in some cases it is important to know if a person simply forgot to choose a category. For these use cases we usually make something like "[Please choose...]" the first option. That way we can filter those items where the category was not set. (Yes, I know, it's not perfect because people can still create items with missing values. It's just something that works for us.)
Just my two cents.
I agree it's nice to to have the option of a default option! In fact that's now how I use 'required' on a category field; when I want there to be a default choice that users can change if they prefer.
I suppose what I'm really saying is that the behaviour currently implemented under the name "Required field" should be labelled "Default to first option" - and is a useful and valuable behaviour. But it would be nice to also have the option to require users to make a choice, which is what "Required field" means for other field types.
(I've also tried the route of a 'please choose' first option - as you say it helps a bit, but it still leaves us with incomplete entries.)
Thanks for your response,
If you set the category field to multiple choice, it will not default when also set to 'required'. This works, but may lead to inconsistent data in some cases, like a YES or NO question.
I too would like the ability to do both have a default AND set required WITHOUT a default, for instances where a Boolean response is required AND you want the user to not be able to save without answering the question.
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