Before we get started, you may like to view a demo of the end result.

How this form works?

When an input field receives focus, a tooltip with a small blue icon is shown under it. On the other hand, if validation fails, an error message is shown in the same place. Both cases are shown on the screenshot below.


Let’s start

We are not going to recreate the entire form, but rather a few fields just to see how it works. Let’s take a closer look at the code sample. Each field row has a label, an input field, an info message and a validation message. Below you can see the HTML structure and CSS classes.

Note that, by default, both info and validation messages are hidden, which is set in tooltipContainer CSS class.

Now let’s add some interactivity

So far we have a static HTML structure and hidden messages waiting to be shown. We have to write a few lines of code to make them appear/disappear. Of course, this can be accomplished by pure JavaScript, but let’s involve jQuery. The reason for this is quite simple – less coding.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this tutorial, an info tooltip should be shown each time an input field gets focus and hidden when it loses it. Turn this into jQuery code and you get this:

Simple, isn’t it? Now, let’s see how to handle validation messages. We are going to create fake validation just for the purpose of this tutorial. We’ll use jQuery again.

In essence, what the code above does is it shows a validation message for each field that the user hasn’t entered text in. Please keep in mind that this is not real validation, it just simulates what would happen if validation failed. You would have to implement your own logic, eg. check for mandatory fields, email address format and so on.

Ok, after pressing the sign-in button, validation messages will be shown. Signup form on hides these messages and replaces them with info tooltips when the user starts to type. So we are missing a piece of code that will hide validation messages that were previously shown.

Let’s do it the dirty way. We’ll extend our jQuery code that controls the appearance of tooltips to hide corresponding validation messages each time an input field gets focus.

This way we have recreated the signup form. You can check out live demo or download full source code.


You saw how to recreate the signup form with simple CSS and just a few lines of jQuery code. However, there are a few pieces of advice I’d like to give you:

  • Do not overwork the form – there is really no need for a tooltip that says “Enter your first and last name in the field that says First and Last name”. Instead, you can provide a message that shows a constraint, for example “Maximum 35 characters”.
  • Use tooltip/validation color other that text color – try hitting the “Continue” button on signup form before entering any text. The form becomes very hard to read and it’s difficult to distinguish where one field ends and the next begins.