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I need a simple and effective way by which I can let my users know that a particular column in a table has more information attached to it when you hover over it. It is not a link, just text (a number more specifically). When you hover over it, it shows you more information attached to that number as a tool tip text.

Any ideas on how to solve this usability problem? I do not want to stick a 'more info' icon on every row of data.

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So you want to skip the most common solution for your problem? Any reason for that? Can you post a screenshot of your actual design? – PatomaS Mar 4 '14 at 13:04
If that information is only available on hover, it won't be possible to access it on a tablet or phone ui, which might not be a problem in your particular case, but is probably worth considering. – Racheet Mar 4 '14 at 13:42
It also wouldn't be accessible to keyboard-only users. – eleanor.mal Mar 4 '14 at 21:51

What kind of data are you making available on hover that can't be placed into a column?

By adding the hover info, you are essentially creating "work" by having the info only available on demand and only on the Desktop experience. Hover should only be used for secondary and non-critical information as it's not a very future-safe convention.

Here's how I imagine you would want it: enter image description here

Here's how it should be treated with perhaps a small corner icon like in MS Excel: enter image description here

Without knowing who your audience is at all: I'm assuming many users who are looking at tabular data already are used to the conventions set by Microsoft, therefore this might be a more beneficial solution.

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In HTML/CSS we just add an icon :after an external link object. There's no reason you couldn't use a similar visual protocol in an app to indicate additional information.

enter image description here

I've always found simple, universal visual cues like a link arrow or in information icon to be most effective in making this simple/critical point.

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Stick the 'more info'/'read more' (or similar) icon/text on the column when the user hovers it.

Add "..." at the end of the columns text to highlight that there's more info to be seen. The "..." could preferably use another color than the text to highlight that it's not a part of the text itself.

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