How to show user that here you have to hover cursor? All we know that if it is something convex it's clickable. How to show hoverable element?

  • Some help texts on websites I saw had a dotted underline to indicate "hover me, I show you a tooltip".
    – Uwe Keim
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 9:55
  • 1
    @UweKeim Acually I've used this type of phrase before, but I want to know better solution Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 10:08

1 Answer 1


What you are addressing in your question is hover affordance.

Usually, clickable elements have also their hover states, but these point to click affordance rather than hover affordance. In other words: oth design of an element (or: its style) gives a clue thet the element is clickable. One of the popular conventions to show hover affordance is dashed (or sometimes: double) underline of some text.

You can also give user a temporary clue, as described here: http://www.loop11.com/affordances-can-point-your-users-in-the-right-direction/

Here’s what’s interesting: the “Hover” affordance is temporary. It’s displayed only when the page is first loaded, and after a few seconds it disappears. You’re given just enough time to grasp how the six-pointed thingy works before the training wheels come off and you’re left simply with their cool design.

The other idea, is make element semi-hidden, so that attracts user to point the cursor to that position. Then, s/he is going to suspect that there si something to uncover, which is what you want to achieve. So, a label saying "pull me" (not neccessarily: in words, it may be just proper design) may be a good direction. You may read more about it in this question: How can I make it obvious that a page element is to be hovered over?

  • 1
    +1 for dashes, but keep in mind this convention has the negative connotation of "hover ads" embedded on trigger words in web page content. They're almost never correct in context and they're almost never welcome to the casual browser.
    – KeithS
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 23:28
  • @KeithS - true that. Just if not that, I don't actually know any other pattern that would be at least recognizable. There are not many ways to make the action on text emphasized. Underlining is reserved for links, altered background is widely used for tags. Bold just emphasizes the text, maybe italics could do something similar, yet users would have to learn that it is so. Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 8:12

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