How error labels and tool-tips help end users?

Most forms these days are available online. Additionally, you have to fill a form every time you sign up for a new website or register for online subscription. Form validation is a basic tool for these pages and ensures proper registration processes are followed. Before we get into more details, let us understand a few basic terms about online forms.

What do the terms mean?

There are three basic terms related to forms that you need to know and understand before we proceed.

  • Form validation refers to the rules that are programmed into a form wherein you have to fill in certain details before you can submit the form successfully. The forms are programmed using PHP for most websites. It is also called form field validation.
  • Error labels are error messages that are displayed on the form next to fields that are required, but have been left blank or those fields that have been filled in incorrectly
  • Tool-tips are pop-up messages that give details about the information required in a particular field in a form. They are usually displayed when you move the cursor over the field or information icon.

How error labels and tool-tips help end users?

How error labels and tool-tips help end users? -

Both error labels and tool-tips are enabled in forms to help end users to fill in online forms correctly and completely. They help websites get all the required information from users and tell you what exactly needs to be put in before submitting the form. They ensure that no vital information is missed out while filling a form and do not let you submit information that you may have incorrectly typed. It also helps you understand what information needs to be filled into a field if you are confused at any point.

Difference between error labels and tool-tips

These are the two basic functions enabled in most online forms. They are both designed to help the website and the end user with filling the form completely without errors, but work differently to achieve it. Here, we look at the differences between these two functions used in form validation.

Error labels

  • They are usually displayed when you have left a mandatory field empty while submitting a form.
  • They also tell you if you have filled in any details incorrectly, with details of the error in most cases.
  • They are usually displayed in red and will not go way until you have corrected the mistake on the online form.


  • They give you information and tips on how to fill a certain field within an online form.
  • They are displayed only when you move your cursor over a field or click on the information icon next to a particular field on a form.
  • They are especially helpful in filling complicated and long online forms that ask a lot of information to be given in and may be confusing at times.

Error labels will be found on just about any form online, tool-tips are becoming more common, but are not necessarily found on all forms. Error labels are more basic in their function, while tooltips make forms more use friendly.