There is no doubting that drop-down boxes are useful. However, when drop-down boxes provide only a single option, (and this can happen for different reasons) the need to select that option seems cumbersome. By definition, there should be at least two options when you pull-down a drop-down box. So, when a user is faced with a single option, it does seem pointless to ask the user to “select” that option. There is nothing to select.
There is a simple solution: automate the selection when the drop-down box has only one option. I don’t know how hard it would be to program but I can’t imagine that counting the number of options available in a drop-down and then doing a certain action if there’s only one option would be difficult. (Smart developer-person correct me if I am wrong.)
I’m writing about this because I’ve come across single option drop-down boxes a few times recently. I understand that this “state” (single option) can happen because of a particular choice made previously (in the user interface) or a combination of choices. What I’m hoping for is that someone will obviate the need for that extra pull-down and selection, essentially two actions.
What do you think: am I asking for too much?