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fakeGeek

Geek-ol-o-gy (n). See Geekology
MSN IM Icons and Tooltips: A usability view

Couple of days back i was using MSN IM v 7.5 and i came across an interesting observation. There are quite a few icons placed vertically on the left side of IM and when you place your mouse over them they are supposed to show you some relevant tooltip text. As you click any of these icons you are taken to the relevant web page. I found something interesting. When you place your mouse over Gift BoxIcon the tooltip says Make your own Messenger, as shown in the following picture.

SecondScreen

Well, the Gift Box Icon has nothing to do with Make Your Own Messenger. I mean it comes very intuitive that a Gift Box Icon will take me to some sort of shoping website as in EBay, Amazon and etc. This is as if you place a road sign, showing purple cows, to direct customers to a Ferrari car show room :)

Ironically, when you place your mouse over Nerd Smile Icon, the tooltip says Holiday Shopping. This is a paradox, this is again as if you place wrong sign boards along the highway that connects five major states and you keep coming back to the same point after four hours of drive :) Here is the screen shot

firstscreen

Please note that i have taken these snapshots couple of days back and since then i am caught up with Dementia and i have not used MSN IM since then :-)

Published Friday, February 3, 2006 11:42 AM by fakeGeek

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Comments

# re: MSN IM Icons and Tooltips: A usability view @ Sunday, February 5, 2006 6:49 AM

This is one of the problems with hit testing being done on rectangles - the tabs down the side are just graphics designed to flow continuously. I suspect you are holding the mose over the tab (from a graphical perspective) but over the following box from a rectangle point of view.

Mitch Denny

# re: MSN IM Icons and Tooltips: A usability view @ Sunday, February 5, 2006 10:00 AM

Mitch,
Thanks for dropping by. I had intentionally drawn those red rectangles to highlight the tooltip text. Moreover,I held mouse over tabs shown vertically on the left and tooltip texts shown above relate to these tabs shown vertically on left as i described above.

fakeGeek

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