When I first weighted the reasons for building an application wide tooltip solution I had a different idea in mind. Since many of our product entities are comprised of complex forms I needed a system that can deliver both informative text about the current field and much more importantly a next step trigger mechanism which will interact with the user and guide her through the next step or functions.
The wizards will undoubtedly save you hundreds of development hours, speed up you delivery and much more. Since I’m testing this initiative for the time being I wanted to give you a taste and share this post with you. If you find this interesting, share your thought and questions with me (comment or send an email to email@example.com).
In order to achieve the desired result we built the tooltip on top of ms createPopup window. That enabled us to add interactive next step scripts to each tooltip which eventually sets the focus to the next field or triggers a desired functionality.
The following images describe best the tooltips you can build using the tooltip wizard. You can create context menus and buttons, add custom logic or just be satisfied with simple informative html.
Another reason I considered while contemplating on building such a wizard was that I could not know in advance where I would need to put interactive tooltips. In order to make this decision easy or eliminate the need to even think about it I came to a conclusion that such a wizard is the best way to go.
There are many more good enough reasons to implementing this type of functionality. Here is a partial list or incentives which I consider important and eventually made my decision easy:
Tooltips are considered to be preliminary validation steps. They teach the user how to interact with the system in the most efficient way.
Tooltips are pro-active mechanisms as opposed to validation alerts which are considered re-active since they only pop after the user makes her move.
Tooltips play a very important role in application acceptance. You don’t have to be Freud to understand that users like to be self sufficient. A robust
tooltip mechanism helps the user solve most of her daily application stuff on her own.
Tooltips support organization shifts in regulations and accepted practice. Consider situations where the user’s daily routine of filling new account
information changed due to a new regulation. What would be best if not revising the tooltip that guides the user with the new practice?
I’m sure there are more incentives then mentioned above. The bottom line is that such a system is more then just a nice to have feature.
If you think the way I do then you’ll find the tooltip wizard a true companion.
Specifications and technical stuff:
The tooltip wizard enables you to fully control the creation and editing of tooltips through out the Dynamics application.
The wizard supports dynamics multi-lingual environment and is available in all base languages. It’s also supports Dir LTR (Left to Right) and RTL (Right to Left).
To rewind the flash presentation simply right click on the flash movie and click rewind.
The Tooltip Wizard Features
- Lets you manage and control application wide tooltips.
- Allows you to cut design and development time.
- Allows you to enrich application look and feel by designing highly elaborated and richly colored tooltips.
- The Tooltip Wizard contains a fully-featured easy to use HTML editor which lets you choose the font size face and color.
- A link option lets you create various hyperlinks. You can switch between HTML source and Text modes at any time with a click of the mouse, and any changes you have made will instantly be reflected in both modes.
- You can adjust the ToolTip's background to match the appearance of your application. Preview mode lets you instantly see what your edited tooltip will look like.
- Compare option make translation convenient by letting you compare to your sibling tooltips in other system languages.
- The wizard lets you decide whether the tooltip will be displayed at the top, bottom, left or right of the control or the label.
- Dynamic layout mode - adjust the tooltip size to the control or the label which it's attached to.
- Fixed layout mode - fine-tune (while previewing) of the tooltips size. Fadeout Interval - adjust when fading will start after hovering out of the tooltip control or label.
- Publish and Un-publish are done at the entity level. While a single field tooltip will be viewed according to its Active \ De-active state.
The wizard is now available online.
Please send your comments / enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.