"What's this?"

Please stop flooding us with tooltips and symbols!
What you’re doing is a nightmare in the making!
More and more symbols, more and more tooltips!

Tooltips have considerable downsides, especially for cognitive performance!

It is important to be aware of the fact that they remove the need to memorize things,
because they’re literally everywhere and extremely easily accessible!

Instead of memorizing it, the brain will always simply look it up!
It’s just a muscle movement away!

They’re completely unnecessary,
sometimes distracting,
sometimes annoying,
sometimes not visually fitting!

There is a better approach to what you want to achieve,
and it’s called “What’s this?”

At the bottom of the right-click-menu.
Always at the bottom, never at the top!

“What’s this?”

And behind this rightclick-option, there’s a window thoroughly explaining whatever the thing is!

You can do that for everything!

I know this, because I’ve implemented this in the past!

When your code can check for a rightclick,
and when your code can spawn a window,
then this is absolutely possible to implement!


  • Everyone always knows where to find it!

  • Everyone always knows where to look something up!

  • It’s completely intuitive!

  • It’s completely non-intrusive, especially for older players!

  • It does not visually impact the game!

  • It can not pop up when you don’t actually want it!

  • People will memorize it instead of looking it up, because it’s more complex than simply moving the mouse, while at the same time more informative! It also creates a distinct situation (there’s a window now) compared to dropping a small amount of information onto the screen next to everything else!




When I think of what I hate most about the Eve user interface, it is definitely the tool-tips. They constantly pop up and I cannot click through them, so I have to move my mouse away from the tooltip just to be able to make it disappear so that I can activate a module or use the scroll bar, for example. They are also very unpredictable - the better my internet connection, the more I have to deal with tool-tips.


Joel Spolsky, of Joel On Software Blog / creator of VBA and Designer of Excel V, have some books about software and UI design. One of the main ideas is “the users are happier when thy think they have some control”.

We have no control, and have UI designers who dont play the game. Then users are unhappy.


This is what developers do when they don’t know what they should be doing.

It is referred to as “Fighting the Distractions”.

Do you know there is a setting in the Esc menu > General Settings called Tooltips Delay that you may set to a greater value?

Interesting… my former most hated UI feature was that round context menu. I found the delay for that. I must find this tooltip delay. Thanks, Knowledgeminer.

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