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Submission details

51 +57/-6 votes

Some tool tips are 100% useless or they hide important controls

Submitted by tino on February 20, 2009 to Aesthetics, Annoyance, Usability

Tool tips should help users instead they are starting to be a plague. They should only be used if they make sense and they should never ever hide other controls!

First example is from the Scenic Ribbon, second example is from WMP12 in full screen mode.



Not fixed

Discussion (9 comments)

BlasterNT wrote on February 20, 2009, 11:38pm

i think next's tooltip is actually informative, cause not everyone knows that holding it will fast forward

tino wrote on February 20, 2009, 11:55pm

@BlasterNT: I agree but it should not hide the other buttons. I'm not sure but I believe this was no problem in Vista.

hoopla_punta wrote on February 21, 2009, 2:33am

i think it should have some sort of algorithm to make it move away from buttons. +1

logic_earth wrote on February 21, 2009, 5:19am

Move your mouse away from the button and the tooltip!
The tooltip appears right where it is suppose to, Right side of the mouse pointer offset to the bottom. Now the position changes based on space, if there is a lack of spacing at the bottom it moves to the top right, etc.

There is nothing to change. And yes, tooltip cover buttons in all versions of Windows. Just how it is, the nature of the way tooltips work.

tino wrote on February 21, 2009, 8:51am

@logic_earth: No, it's a bad experience and just because this also happens in older versions doesn't mean it was right there. They have added 6 words to that tool tip so it now hides the volume control. There is enough space at the bottom. They should learn from the Office 2007 UI. They do not have to re-invent the wheel here.

logic_earth wrote on February 21, 2009, 3:28pm

@tino, Tooltips appear in one of four locations around the mouse pointer, bottom right (default), top right, top left, bottom left. It will adjust position based on space and breathing room from the sides of the screen. Moving the tooltip to another location would be inconsistent and pointless.

Next you say they added 6 words to WMP (I assume) to the Next button. That is incorrect, its exactly the same in Windows Vista. It functions the same, its position the same, it covers up the same. The tooltip is placed in one of the four locations around the cursor and it will always be that way.

"They do not have to re-invent the wheel here."
Changing the position of the tooltip is re-inventing the wheel.

tino wrote on February 21, 2009, 6:41pm

@logic_earth: In my german Vista edition it only says "Weiter" (= Next). They have changed the tool tips locations on a lot of other elements like on the Taskbar where tool tips never be in front of other buttons. And you may take a look how the tool tips are positioned in Library mode when the window is not full screen.

nyxtom wrote on February 26, 2009, 8:49am

These are examples of usable tooltips:

A tooltip, as you said is informative. The first example of:
Show Quick Access Toolbar Above the Ribbon with the tooltip of
Show Quick Access Toolbar Above the Ribbon.
adds absolutely no value.

This is an issue of what tooltips are being used for. Aspects of Windows 7 take advantage of this quite well. This is a guideline that just needs to be followed is all. Tooltips need to add value.

tino wrote on March 7, 2009, 7:38pm

They have solved the first example in build 7048. :)

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