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Tooltips appear on vote, flag, edit, share, favorite, and badges buttons, and probably many other places I'm not thinking of. Fancy JS/DHTML tooltips appear on tags and usercards.

However, there are no tooltips over the "review", "chat", "meta", "about", and "faq" buttons in the toolbar, or on the large "Questions", "Tags", "Users", "Badges", "Unanswered", and "Ask Question" buttons in the content header. Since these are probably the most prominent UI interaction elements on the entire site, it kind of surprises me that there are no tooltips on them.

Should SE add tooltips to these buttons could be helpful for new users to explain the purpose of these areas and to guide them to the right location what they want to do?

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marked as duplicate by jadarnel27, Bo Persson, Martijn Pieters, ChrisF Mar 19 '13 at 8:40

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Show me one site having tooltips for each and every single link and I'll agree to support your suggestion. – Shadow Wizard Mar 18 '13 at 21:00
@ShaWizDowArd The suggestion was actually inspired by the observation that the review label on might be slightly misleading – p.s.w.g Mar 18 '13 at 21:04
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The elements you describe are, as you say, prominent. But they're also more self-explanatory than the "favorite star" icon/button. I don't think you really need a tooltip to explain what the "Questions" link does... what would you even write in it?

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In addition to this, adding tooltips adds HTML to be sent to the client. This should probably only be done when it's completely necessary. – jadarnel27 Mar 18 '13 at 20:42
I thought I was a helpful suggestion, but fair enough. – p.s.w.g Mar 18 '13 at 20:57
@jadarnel27 This entire thing is build on tables and inline CSS your point is moot ;-) – PeeHaa Mar 18 '13 at 22:14

Review isn't visible to new users.

Chat is fairly obvious

Meta - I suppose.

About - Que?

Faq - No way

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review may not be visible to brand new users, but when it does become visible, don't you get the same problem? – p.s.w.g Mar 18 '13 at 20:46
@p.s.w.g: No, when I got the capability about a year or so ago, there was an introductory text – Brian Mar 18 '13 at 20:51

I think in essence, it's a good idea to label important things with a little description, and tool-tips are perfect for that. However if a tool-tip is needed, it might be a sign that the UI element doesn't really portray the action behind it.

In the examples you give, such as Questions, Tags, Users, Unanswered, their meaning and functions don't really need any further information (do they?). For other links, Meta and Chat, they have their very own FAQ pages which is the best place for a general introduction to an area of the site. Finally, the links to the about and faq pages really don't need tool-tips.

There is much to say about each of the main elements that you have referenced - too much to cram into a tool-tip IMO.

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