We have an application where users can update a "description" portion of their personal page. For the description, we are using a plain
textarea. The textarea we are using is unmodified except for CSS changes from Foundation. We have its size set to
rows="6" and width of 100% of its parent container (which has a
max-width of 970 px).
We recently had a client complain that the "resizability" of the textarea was not apparent, and they wanted a tooltip or some other piece of "helpful text" that indicated the textarea could be resized by dragging the bottom right corner.
This feature of a textarea is standard on the
textarea element. My initial reaction was to be against this (what I perceived to be) and un-needed bit of instruction on the form.
This to me brings up a larger issue. That is, when to explain to the user about basic standard web components they might encounter on any given website.
My question is, is there any literature on when and/or when not to explain how to use basic web elements? In my particular case, explaining how to interact with a standard
At some point, I have to imagine that you have to trust the user knows basic facts about how to interact with a website / use a computer. At what point does "helpful text" or instructions become overkill? In my opinion, putting something like this on your form:
Click inside this box to focus the element so you can use your keyboard to type a message
Is overkill and unnecessary clutter. I'm curious to see what others have written about where that line is drawn though.