I'm revising a web form which has a 'relationship' drop-down, e.g. mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle etc etc. There are currently around 20 relationship options, ordered seemingly at random. It's difficult for users to quickly find the relationship they're looking for.

At the very least I'd like to follow a web standard. Is anyone aware of a convention / standard for this sort of drop-down list?


1 Answer 1


There's no easily-findable solution I can find. Searching is complicated by the multiple meanings of the word 'relationship'.

In cases like this, it's reasonable look to an organization that can be assumed to have done some homework on this, and then borrow inspiration from them.

Given their billion users and the tens of thousands of tests that could be running at any one time, you've got to think the list of family relationships in the Facebook 'Add Family Member' feature would make a good reference point.

Go to you profile > About > Family and Relationships > Add a Family Member

It even includes 'gender neutral' options.

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  • Dennis, this is a terrific answer - thanks so much. I tried to think of somewhere to look for inspiration and for some reason Facebook didn't even cross my mind. I'm pleased to see the gender neutral options too. Many thanks.
    – Tom H
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 16:11

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