The Idea

I have a layer list that is being created like this d3 version here and I want to append some sort of information icon to the lowest level nodes. To give some background, the user will be selecting geographic layers and the button would give the user information about what the layer means. For example, if the user isn't sure what a "Monolith" is or what is considered as a "Minor Road", they can get supplemental information by clicking on this icon, but I'm having issues appending and displaying the image because they are being created as svg elements. I have thought about using tooltips that would appear when the user hovers over a layer for a specified amount of time, but that doesn't seem like the best option as they can be kind of intrusive and if someone doesn't hover for long enough, they won't know it exists.

The Question

Which do you think is the better solution for my particular situation?

  1. Find a way to append a button that users can click and get information

  2. Use a tooltip that appears after a specified amount of time?

Any opinions are appreciated!

  • Is this is a singe icon for each item (like ?) or they are different icons? What is going to happen after pressing this icon?
    – Serg
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 15:23
  • It's a single icon for each item. So each one will have an icon that looks similar to this on the right hand side of it. After the press, there would be a new page that would most likely link to an external page with information about it (Wikipedia, a university site, etc.) If I was going to use tooltips though I would get rid of the external page and write my own summary based on the sources.
    – BDD
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 15:27
  • And what is going to happen after pressing lowest level nodes?
    – Serg
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 15:35
  • The lowest level nodes will add the geographic layer to a map on the page
    – BDD
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 15:36
  • Thank you, now it's clear. I added some ideas as my answer.
    – Serg
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


I think having any buttons inside tree bar is not good because user have to position precisely to select one of possible actions after pressing tree bar. So how about tooltip located to the right from tree bar, containing your icon which links to detailed information pages? Tooltip appears immediately on hover but styled as single icon button for example.

  • I agree. After doing some research this afternoon, that seems to be the most logical way to do it.
    – BDD
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 22:23

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