I have recently designed/developed an interactive PDF form that provides all the bells and whistles containing a script-driven popup menu along with a number of other form features to facilitate filling out the form making it simple enough for a 5-year old. However, I soon realized that this may have been presumptuous on my part when an individual of the company (with whom I've been corresponding for input regarding the form's redesign and feature enhancements) didn't even realize that the form provided tooltips for each form field much less know what a tooltip was until I explained the concept. This in turn informed me that it may be beneficial to provide a handout to list and describe the many features the form provides. All considered, my question is should I consider providing a separate PDF listing the features of the form along with their intended use or should I add another submenu item to the forms popup menu to accomplish the same task? As I am unable to find any studies on this subject matter, I am hoping that those who design/develop interactive PDF forms can provide some useful feedback or suggest what the protocol is, if any, regarding this subject matter. Thank you ahead of time.
More seriously, you should use a default text displayed in the text field, as explained here:
I think one point is that people who don't know what tooltips are are unlikely to want to read a detailed description of how to use a form. If they were the sort of person who liked reading instructions, they would already know this stuff. Many people will not be told, but prefer a sort of click-and-grumble approach. This is human nature, not a criticism.
I've been thinking about this, I think there's a general point. Many people assume that tech stuff explains itself, and that TECH STUFF EXPLAINING ITSELF IS DESIRABLE. But what a great many people want is a human to sit with them and take the time to explain what they need to do, why it's important; to give them nurture and motivation. This may be outside the remit of a form implementor, but it certainly needs to be in the remit of a workflow designer...
What I eventually decided on was to add a 'Help' menu item to my main menu that when clicked displays a message to download a PDF to learn more about the features the form provides. Since the majority of people have an attention span of a mouse (so I've been told) much less the time nor the desire to read a novel, I decided to provide a visual form consisting of several images with captions beneath that can be viewed and processed in less than a minute. Given the images display sample tooltips displayed for each and every checkbox, text field, signature field, etc., and as I am in complete agreement with Test Screen Name's response, I believe this to be more than adequate. Thanks to everyone for their input.