Guide on better tooltips for mobile user interface


August 2, 2021

Tooltips are strong design patterns that are used to improve the user experience by delivering more information just when they need it. Mobile designs should, in theory, be seamless, requiring no technical documentation, online support, or tooltips. Even the best ideas, in fact, might benefit from additional data. When users tap an icon, photo, hyperlink, or other elements in a mobile user interface, a tooltip appears, providing this more information (UI).

The tooltips above make it simple for users to select the drawing function you need by indicating the “Solid Fill” and “Radial Fill” functions. These tooltips are not obtrusive and appear in the appropriate context. The significance of each icon is easily understood by a first-time user, while experienced users find it difficult to consider these tooltips bothersome. In short, the designer has struck a good balance between the needs of novice and experienced users. Users will regard tooltips as a logical extension of the design experience as a result of this effective balancing. Below we have mentioned a detailed guide as also referred by the website designing company in Delhi to give you insights about tooltips for mobile user interface.

Designing effective tooltips

The key to making tooltips that blend in with the rest of the design is to think about them early on. Creating useful tooltips necessitates the following:

1. Appropriate timing

As during sketching and early development stages, pay attention to tooltips and associated design methods.

2. Implementation that is correct

Tooltip context, placement, and readability are all factors to consider.

3. Timing

When it comes to tooltips, timing refers to when they should be considered during the design process. We can determine the relevant phases in the design process of making decisions regarding design features like tooltips by referring to the commonly used design sprint. The sprint process entails defining the problem, drawing solutions, selecting one, developing a prototype, and testing that prototype. In other words, come up with a concept, construct it, then test it. Because potential areas of misunderstanding emerge as the layout and early content take shape, sketching is the appropriate place to start when considering tooltips. It is not required to identify every conceivable tooltip or even to add all designated tooltips during this point because early sketches frequently do not include comprehensive or thorough content. Rather, the goal is to find areas in the UI even a tooltip could assist users in completing tasks or better understanding content. Early consideration of the requirement for tooltips and other extra information improves the chances of creating an effective and viable prototype.

4. Implementation

Designing good tooltips is becoming increasingly difficult due to the increasing sophistication of mobile apps and the limited space available on mobile devices.

Designers can tackle this issue by concentrating on the following:


Every tooltip’s context should be double-checked, triple-checked, and quadrupled-checked. What may seem clear to you so that the designer can easily be perplexing to a first-time user. All areas of UX and UI design are affected by the principle of context awareness. It’s especially crucial for tooltips, because their shortness will leave consumers perplexed if the context is unclear. Tooltips should be visible and easy to discover, but not in the way of critical data on the screen.

Clarity and conciseness

Each tooltip should be edited for clarity and simplicity. “Cut, cut, and cut some more,” as many editors advise their writers. In early revisions, it’s fine to create longer tooltip text as long as you recall to keep revising and condensing for clarity. The tooltip in the accompanying example satisfies these requirements by giving critical information without interfering with the mobile form’s flow.

Utility is important, but it isn’t enough. Effective tooltips must be so unobtrusive that users are scarcely aware of their presence. Tooltips are only missed when they aren’t present. This technique to tooltips exemplifies the long-held belief that great design is imperceptible. Users never see the design from this vantage point. Instead, they are engrossed in the work at hand and do it quickly.

Users complain about smartphone tooltips for a variety of reasons, including poor placement and unclear explanations. The redundant tooltip is a surprisingly prevalent problem. The tooltip example following is a brief part of a smooth animation demonstration using cascading style sheets (CSS). The animation is functional, and the graphic is understandable; nevertheless, the tooltip merely duplicates the button text.

Where you can use these tooltips

When choosing where to use tooltips, consider the context as well. Because tooltips perform best when they compliment a well-designed user interface, they’re especially useful for:

  • Contextual help
  • Brief instructions
  • New features

1. Contextual help

Whenever users are in a certain portion of the UI, contextual help emerges. Contextually relevant tooltips emerge when users require further information.

2. Brief instructions

When consumers require additional information, instructional tooltips should show. The distinction is that some features of a mobile app may require explanation at each stage in order for users to perform the work at hand. In this section of the IRS app, each tooltip corresponds to a distinct action, such as providing a social security number, date of birth, or street address. Users can readily learn what they need to complete during each stage and why the IRS requires this information since each tooltip is context-specific.

3. New features

Tooltips are a great way to bring new features to the user’s attention. Twitter presented a full-screen message to users to promote and popularize its new GIFs before gently educating them on how to add GIFs into their tweets using a typical tooltip. Although the GIF feature was released a few years ago, it continues to be a helpful way to present a new feature. It’s simple and straightforward, standing out without taking over the user interface. Also because tooltip is well into the UI and does not obscure other screen elements, new users will notice it, while experienced users will not be distracted.

Wrapping up

Tooltips enhance a mobile user interface by delivering more information at the precise moment when it is required. Consider tooltips when sketching designs and constructing early prototypes to get the most out of them. The abovementioned tooltips guide is popular amongst most best website design company Delhi so make sure you don’t miss out on them in your next project.

Read Also: All you need to learn about breadcrumbs in web designing

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