Material Design has rich tooltips which can also be persistent. As it's explained here, these tooltips:

  • remain active even when leaving the target region
  • can contain links
  • only disappear once you interact with another UI element
  • not triggered by hover, they are only triggered by clicking the parent element

I know there has been a wide practice of not including links inside the tooltip due to usability concerns. If you have ever used or considered using them, what do you think are the usability risks of these?

My specific use case is using these persistent tooltips to show a link in them: 1- User is viewing a graph showing employee payroll. 2- When they click on a specific employee on the graph, they can see the name, lastname, phone number of the employee and a link in a tooltip. 3-The link would take the user to the employee details page.

  • This is a bit of a broad question. "Have you ever used..." could theoretically get 1000s of answers. Can you focus this to your specific situation? What is the specific purpose of the tooltip you want to show, and what would the link be doing? Each usecase is unique so without specific detail you'll not get an actual useful answer.
    – JonW
    Jun 7, 2023 at 15:20
  • 1
    thanks, edited.
    – fury
    Jun 7, 2023 at 15:42
  • This is a quite old pattern, think of app-cues, onboarding or simply click on the search box on top of this page. What makes you think there are usability risks?
    – Devin
    Jun 7, 2023 at 17:23
  • My specific with the usability risk concern is losing the focus on the interactive element before getting the chance to click on the link. Thats why i brought up clicking instead of hovering to activate the tooltip
    – fury
    Jun 14, 2023 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


Tooltips being seen as a bad thing would be based on implementation. I mean browsers have tooltips for elements if you set the title attribute. I'm more than certain the negativity you noted around their use was specific to certain forms of implementing tooltips.

Now, as for your question, 1 concern with your proposed implementation: I don't think showing the tooltip after a click is good. Tooltips are almost always triggered on mouse hover (unless you are using them for a product tour of course, that's different). I'm sure the user will be clicking to see the page and not the tooltip.

As for a case study (if you need one) of a good implementation that relates to what you are doing, I think Wikipedia would be a great place to start. You have no idea how many tabs they saved so many of us from opening when they released the tooltip feature.

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