Fireballs and ToolTips

Published 2009-07-31 on Farid Zakaria's Blog

So this probably my first none software related post ( /hurray?). Anyways I'm still learning and tinkering around with Wordpress (will probably eventually change to a custom theme) and learning PHP.

You might have noticed I had just installed Now Reading Reloaded plugin, so that I can attempt to try and keep track of books I have read/reading. Will add the large list of books I have already read soon.

I have just finished reading Raymond E. Feist's new book "Rides a Dread Legion". Although not the best book he has written, it is still quite good (and I am pretty thankful he is still writing additional novels). I think the problem for me is that Pug&Party have just gotten so powerful that I am just surprised when something exists that can even be bothersome to them. This novel had introduced the new spell lore of Demonology; one of the key reasons for my enjoyment of the book. It was very interesting reading the experiences of someone who had through trial and error mastered the art vs. through studies.


What is people’s fascinations or rather intrinsic need to desire everything in a user interface to have a tooltip? I really value the information most tooltips provide however I think that there are a lot of applications (including the one I am developping on) that have gone to far to place a tooltip especially when it is unneeded.

Today I noticed one of the applications I have been using has tooltips for the “OK” & “Cancel” buttons, with the tooltips saying “OK” and “Cancel”as well.

This really brings up an issue taught in my User Interface course to build user interfaces under the assumption that every piece of software you will write can be assumed to be operated/used by someone who has the IQ of a shovel. Where has the idea of developping for power users’ disapeared to? I understand the benefits that developping for all users in an attempt to achieve a curb-cut phenomenon, however the choice to develop a lightweight/simple implementation designed for power users seems to be neglected.