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I've got a table like web page and on only one column you can hover over the rows and tooltips appear. At the top of the column I've got a little info symbol ('i' in a blue circle) but I don't think it's intuitive enough. What is a decent way to indicate that tooltips are possible?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

A tooltip is a helpful thing, but should not be used to display information that might be essential. If the information is additional rather than essential I believe your approach is pretty decent.

Let's have a look at someone else who did it exactly like you did:

enter image description here

This is taken from the Audi website, where you can choose and configure you car. Some options such as some types of mirrors need further explanation in case you don't understand the difference and have the little "i" icon next to them, as shown on the picture above. The user can hover on the i icon and then gets to see additional information:

enter image description here

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The key to the Audi site working is that there is an "i" button everywhere a tooltip is needed. I believe the original design of a tooltip indicator just at the top of the column is insufficient. You need some visual cue of where to put the mouse! –  Drew Beck Feb 20 at 9:23
    
Indeed, the i icon would have to be repeated for every single row where a tooltip exists. –  Bart Gijssens Feb 20 at 9:25
    
Do you guys think that having the "i" on every row almost decreases it's prominence and effectiveness as a tool tip? You could be more obvious and have an underlined link explaining exactly what the tool tip is. Such as "more features" or "more information" - making this individual for each one. Based on cognitive learning, one a user rolls over 2 rows with the tool tip appearing, the user will know to rollover the rest of the rows in future to get that tooltip. –  DLM Feb 20 at 10:33

You could change the color or style(italics, underlined, shadowed,..) of particular line for which you want to show tooltip.

Follow that style uniformly across all text/object in your site which has tooltip.

enter image description here

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Not good. When you position your mouse over the site and start to scroll, tooltips show up where they shouldn't. –  uxfelix Feb 20 at 10:19
    
Yeh, In that snapshot, cursor is missed out. I too try making out that point only. –  vengets Feb 20 at 10:27

Some days ago I've registered at slack.com. And they've implemented rather interesting solution.

At first users see animated visual cues which pop out due to animation - it's hard to skip them: enter image description here

And after click on the cue an user sees the information box: enter image description here

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interesting solution! –  strudelkopf Feb 20 at 10:32

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