A tooltip refers to a small pop-up box or message that appears when hovering over an element or icon on a website or application. It provides additional information, clarification, or context about the element, helping users understand its purpose or functionality.
To understand a tooltip, imagine a helpful hint or a short explanation that appears when you hover your mouse over an icon or unfamiliar term. It provides instant guidance and clarification without requiring the user to navigate away or search for more information.
Tooltips are often used to:
- Provide Descriptions: Tooltips can offer brief descriptions or explanations of buttons, icons, or interface elements. They help users understand the purpose or functionality of the element without the need for extensive documentation or instructions.
- Display Additional Information: Tooltips can show additional details, such as the meaning of abbreviations or acronyms, the full text of truncated content, or the date and time of an event.
- Offer Help and Guidance: Tooltips can provide helpful tips, instructions, or guidance on how to use a particular feature or complete a specific task. They enhance the user experience by offering contextual support when needed.
- Validate Input: In form fields, tooltips can validate the format or provide error messages when the user enters incorrect or incomplete information. They assist in ensuring accurate data entry.
Tooltips are typically triggered by hovering the cursor over the designated element but can also be activated through other interactions, such as a tap or click on touch-enabled devices.