[RE:] tooltips standards

10 Dec 2004 - 10:54am
11 years ago
1 reply
1642 reads
Stacy Surla

There's something on this in "Research-Based Web Design & Usability
Guidelines" (Sanjay Koyani et al); guideline 7:10 Use 'Glosses' to Assist
Navigation. It says, among other things, "Users prefer the preview
information to be located close to the link, but not placed such that it
disturbs the primary text. However, designers should not rely on the
'gloss' to compensate for poorly labeled links."


Stacy Surla
Information Architect, Content Management & Stewardship
R305/Information Management & Practice
The MITRE Corporation
Email: ssurla at mitre.org
Phone: 703-883-3493

Message: 1
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 13:08:04 -0800
From: "Julie Stanford" <julie at slicedbreaddesign.com>
Subject: [ID Discuss] tooltips standards
To: <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
Message-ID: <20041208210836.B714117D190 at enforcer.dreamhost.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"


I am adding tooltips to a desktop application and am trying to find out what
the standard/best practice is for tooltips associated with fields. Should
the tooltip appear when the user hovers over the field label, field itself,
both? How long should they hover before it appears? Any online documentation
about this would be super.


Julie Stanford
Principal, Sliced Bread Design | www.slicedbreaddesign.com


10 Dec 2004 - 2:35pm
Jon Ochenas

The default time it takes for a tooltip to show on hover (In the MS
world) is 500 ms (Cooper also describes this as the acceptable delay).
That value is drawn from the mouse double-click time in the control
panel. You can tweak it however you like for your app, though. In the
app I work on we needed to slow tooltip display significantly because
we were bombarding the user.

The standard for placement of the tooltip WRT a text field is that it
be centered underneath. The control has built in support to make this
happen (This is opposed to tooltip for a button which floats around to
make sure it appears on-screen). This is drawn from the Windows User
Experience Guide.

I have at least one example showing that tooltips show when hovered
over the name of the text field and not the field itself, but do not
have a definitive answer on that point. Hope this helps,


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