User Experience Tool Tips And Tricks

These are labels that appear mostly on hover and focus anytime the user hovers around an element with a cursor, upon touch in case of a touch UI/screen, or focusing on an element by using a tab on the keyboard. Tooltips usually have textual identification that appears on the element in question. Some have a short helper texting to guide the user on the function(s) of the element. However, the label/tooltip cannot receive any input focus. Tooltips have other limitations, for example, they can’t display formatted text and images.

Tooltips should not be confused with ALT-attributes, which is purely used for static images. Don’t expect to see directional arrows on tooltips, instead, they primarily depend on motion emanating from the user to convey direction.

There are some people who argue that there is no need for tooltips. Well, to be honest, there are numerous times when we need to use these user experience tips. So, if we have to use these labels, what user experience guidelines should we consider during the design stage?

Below Are Some of The User Experience Tool Guidelines

Limit The Usage

Just like other user experience tools, too many of these labels can be unhelpful. Imagine a situation where every user experience tool tip is competing for user’s attention with other data elements on the screen. This means that more of these tooltips can lead to less impact on the screen’s overall view which will affect the user’s process or main call.

Info-Tips Must Be Short And Sweet

When users click on the info tip, they don’t expect a book to pop-up on the screen. In case this level of information is required, then;

– There is likelihood that someone needs to proofread the work

– The process has become too complex

– Maybe the information is very important to the user.

Above all, it’s important to keep tooltips short and must be concisely written to aid in quick scanning and skimming. Users will be happy to be presented with what they really need, in a small/tiny package.

Tool Tips Can be Deprioritized

The main purpose of a tooltip is to remove the excess on the screen and hide to a tiny hiding compartment purposely to assist the users to get a place where they get information whenever they need it. Tooltips should simplify the user’s screen so that the call to action is louder.

Open Via Click And Not a Hover

There are cases where a tooltip can open automatically upon a mouse hover. This means the tooltip doesn’t port over has it should with other channels. The user experience tool is supposed to drive the engagement with the help of an interactive element. If any interaction occurs with little or no explicit input, then there is an issue with undercover user experience design. This can be very frustrating especially when you’re trying to do something uninterrupted.

Tooltips Must be Fully Visible

Tooltips are great when it comes to saving some space on your screen. That is the reason why in some designs they appear in some obscure areas. Just keep in mind when you’re putting tooltips together that the user will expect to see the tooltip appear in the window irrespective of where the scroll bar is set. However, the modal pop-up which centers the tooltip appears to be elegant and versatile implementation.


With the above list of user experience tooltips, hope you understand the importance of this little, simple design element in our day-to-day work.

Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)