I'm trying to create a UI that relates the timing of a series of events to each other. Each event has a start and end point which can then be related to the start and end points of other events.

After struggling to come up with clear language to label each field, I thought maybe the simplest way to present it would actually be in a sentence.

Something like this: https://jsfiddle.net/tvfwbqwt/

The idea being that the user would dynamically add sets of these for each additional constraint they wish to create.

My questions/concerns:

  1. Is this a workable idea or a non-starter?
  2. Is the purpose of each field clear?
  3. While overall most usage will be by repeat users, the "sentence" concept needs to be obvious to new users. Other than adding a tooltip, what more can I do to make it apparent?
  4. I'm particularly concerned about how it will translate for mobile users where more than likely the fields will become stacked, making the concept that much harder to see at first.

Any suggestions on a different way of accomplishing this are welcome.

1 Answer 1


Technique that you're trying to utilize called "Natural Language Form".

enter image description here

Do they work better than normal forms?

There's no right or wrong answer. Try A/B testing it.

In some scenarios it increased user conversion by 12.4%

The results:

After running for 20 days, I finally have enough data to see the overall trend.

As you can see, there wasn’t exactly an earth shattering outcome, but surprising nevertheless. The 10.49-11.79% change is actually a 12.4% increase for the mid-lib style form. That’s 24 extra leads in this case. It wasn’t the 25-50% increase the other study had shown, but to be honest I was just happy it didn’t lose money.

In other scenarios it decreased conversion by 22%


I ran this test until A/Bingo, my A/B testing framework for Rails, told me that further testing was just a waste of my time. It didn’t take long at all — 34 hours after the test alternative went live for the site, the first time I checked the results, they were already overwhelming. Let me copy/paste right off my public results page: Signup Madlibs Versus Standard

Standard (21.73%) winner 95%
Madlibs (27.55%)

By my count that is a 22% decrease in conversion rates for using the madlibs signup style over the standard signups style, and the fact of the decrease (but not the magnitude) is significant at the 95% confidence level.

Some further reading - Mad Libs” Style Form Increased Conversion by 25-40%

  • Thanks, this gives me a better starting point for researching. Mar 4, 2017 at 19:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.