Re: tooltips/balloon help on menubar pulldowns

On May 21, 12:22 pm, Bryan Oakley <oak...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Kevin Walzer wrote:
Just out of curiosity, why do you want to do this? It strikes me as
something that would present serious usability problems. I'm envisioning
a case in which I've pulled down a menu and have selected the menu item,
and then all of a sudden a tooltip pops up, grabbing focus away from the
menu item I've selected. I can't imagine this being anything but jarring
and annoying, and I'm not aware of best GUI design practices on any
platform that recommend this.

(not speaking for the original author; just tossing my 2 cents into the

Tooltips don't always have to pop up in a floating window. Some will
argue that as you mouse over a menu item it's a good idea to have a long
description of that item appear down in the statusbar.

Personally I tend to waffle back and forth on the issue. You can point
at it and say "gee, isn't that neat?" but I'm not convinced it truly
makes the program any easier to use. When you're focused on a menu it's
easy to miss text flashing in a statusbar several inches (cm, whatever)
below your line of sight.

Bryan Oakley

There is one other situation in which I have used tooltips over menu
items of a sort, namely with character entry charts. The tooltips
gloss the characters. This is very useful when you need to enter
characters in a writing system you don't know well or where you can't
read the letters on the display very well. Have a look at my character
entry toolkit: