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

  • From: "Nigel Malthus" <malthi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 22:11:21 +1200 NZST

> > 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?

Agreed. To me, they're a big part of the intrusiveness and clutter 
which I use BeOS to avoid.

Of course, many people like them - or the subject wouldn't have come up 
- and I suppose NOT having them may be a turn-off for new users, so I 
wouldn't be too dogmatic about it.

At least let them be toggle-off-able.

Nigel Malthus,
Christchurch, NZ.

The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more
annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.
                -- Oscar Wilde

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