[openbeos] Re: Tool tips (was Re: Quick questions on Filetypes and Tracker)

  • From: "Cyan" <cyanh256@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 10:20:27 +0100 BST

> Also is anyone opposed to the idea of adding tool tips to the 
> interface kit now?

Sorry for the intrusion, but technical issues aside, tool-tips
actually irritate me from a usability standpoint.
They usually show redundant information (assuming the GUI is
designed logically), and tend to obscure important information
on-screen whenever they pop up without warning.
To counter this, the first thing I do when installing a new
application is to disable the tool-tips, even if it makes the
application less intuitive to use.

Rather than just including them because everybody else is doing it,
surely it would be best to evaluate the situation in more detail,
to see if there's a better way of doing what tool-tips try to do?

Something I've seen in other applications before the tool-tip
fashion took off is displaying mouse-over help text in the status
bar. That's not necessarily the best option, but it's a good example
of what I feel is a better design -- for someone seeking help,
status bar text responds with no delay (unlike tool-tips) and has
much more space for a description, and for the experienced user,
the help text isn't obscuring anything else on-screen.
That also means there's no need to have an option to disable the
feature, which is a good sign in GUI design.

I can see tool-tips perhaps being necessary in one or two apps,
in particular Web browsers, but if they're available system-wide
programmers will just start using them everywhere like they do on
other platforms.

Apologies if this has been discussed before; I don't recall anyone
questioning the necessity for them here, but I'm sure there must
be some people out there who find tool-tips irritating at times?

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