mad libs style form
Mad Libs style form
While following what’s happening today from my personal Twitter account, I stumbled on (and later retweeted) a tweet that led me to an interesting article about website form design that can converts better.

The article, written by Luke Wroblewski, the Chief Design Architect at Yahoo! Inc. who also runs LukeW, an internationally recognized digital product designer, is about a “Mad Libs”-style of form that successfully increases conversion by 25-40%.

What is “Mad Libs” anyway?

According to Wikipedia, Mad Libs is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts another for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story. An example to give you some idea:

Initially, a Mad Lib looks like this:

Mad Lib example - initial

The completed Mad Lib looks like this:

Mad Lib example - completed

Mad Libs for business website forms: A case study

Luke reported in his article that after the online A/B testing ran by Ron Kurti and his team at Vast.com, comparing the traditional web form layout with a Mad Lib style form layout, Mad Libs forms have proven to be able to increase conversion across the board by 25-40%.

Here’s the before and after forms look like:

Mad Libs implementation
Image courtesy of LukeW.com and Vast.com

Apart from the phone form fields that are consolidated into one filed, the creative (and somewhat novelty) idea of changing the Comment form text-box into a clickable text link labeled “personalize this message” is also responsible for increasing the overall conversion of the Mad Libs style web form.

You can see the form live at Kelley Blue Book.

What does this mean for small businesses?

There are usually two venues we can do to get more clients or leads – Increasing traffic and/or conversion.

You could try to increase traffic, but you must bear in mind that increasing visitors and overall traffic to your small business website is very challenging, if not difficult and resource-intensive. The best bet for us is to look for ways to convert the current rate of visitors we have more and better.

The Mad Libs style form is one of various ways that you and I can implement to increase conversion rates. I am truly intrigued with the Mad Libs style form. Why?

All I can say is that we are all fed up with the traditional web forms – all feel a bit too formal. The Mad Libs forms we rarely see feels more personalised. Looking at the form on Kelley Blue Book, I even inclined to fill in the form even though I have no interest on the Chevrolet Silverado 1500LT because, to me, the form shouts “personal,” “trustworthy” and “we will be well-taken care of.” I bet you want your web forms attract visitors in such a way; I know I do.

Any thoughts on the Mad Libs style form? Please share yours by sharing your comments on this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Mad Libs mad