Clearly the UI allowed you to form a mistaken impression of how these presets operate (and there may be some room for improvement there).
In certain other contexts within LR, such as when you are setting up a watermark, that dialog's purpose is the creation and management of presets. In these cases, the dialog shows the name of the preset you are currently working on, and adds the word (edited) to show when you have made alterations to the settings, which have not yet been saved. However, these dialogs do nothing else apart from manage presets.
The more usual way that presets work in LR, is that you work manually - with recalling presets is a purely optional aid. The Export dialog's purpose is the exporting of images, and no matter how you have set things and then changed your mind and set them differently, all that truly counts here is: what were the final settings when you clicked Export. These "last used" settings ARE remembered for the next time.
In this kind of context, whether the settings you have made are worth saving into a preset is entirely up to you - just as the recording of Develop settings into a Develop preset is entirely up to the user to initiate. There would be no particular benefit if as you altered images in Develop, you were continually being prompted that the individual adjustments of your current image were not saved into a preset. Only at specific moments and as a deliberate matter, will the user wish to make (or update) such a preset. LR cannot know which preset would be most suitable to update, or whether a new one is required, or not, once the user has started changing things around.
Similarly, some aspects of Export are of the nature that one might wish to update into a preset, and others - such as, the custom description in a destination subfolder for one individual import, or a particular set of keywords belonging to this particular batch of images - are inappropriate to be saved into a preset. Or the user may have a momentary requirement which will never happen again. LR cannot know.
So the way Presets work in these kinds of dialog, is the same as in Develop: when you click on the name of a Preset it OVERRIDES the current settings of the dialog so as to recall what was earlier saved. The occasion for saving a Preset is when you think: "these settings will probably be useful on future occasions". The occasion for recalling a Preset is when you think: "these current settings are not what I want, at this moment - I want those other settings instead." These two occasions are quite distinct.
LR cannot know what is in the user's mind: have the settings been changed because the user is planning to alter some presets, or is the user - as is much more typical - simply individualising the export of some images as a routine matter?
Peter the famished wrote:
It took me a long time to figure out why the changes that I was making to the presets weren't working and that if I wanted any changes to stick I would have to "Add" and create them under a new name and that there is no editing despite there being dropdowns.
Not really. Call up the Export dialog, select the preset that you want to change, make the change, then right-click on the preset name and choose "Update with Curent Settings", see attached. I do agree, though, it's not obvious. (though it works exactly the same way with Develop Presets).