Skip to main content
Close PromoBar
Take the survey Take the survey Our 8th annual CX Industry Survey is here!   Take the survey

UserTesting Tuesday: A Form, A Calendar, and Captain Kirk

Phil Sharp  |  February 24, 2013

Every day it happens to you. I guarantee it.

You stare at your computer screen, shake your fists in the air, and shout:

“WHERE SHOULD I PUT THE CALENDAR IN RELATION TO THE INPUT FIELD OF MY FORM? WHERE!!!?!??!?!!?!??!”

It’s okay to admit it…you’re in good company. I’m pretty sure that’s what Captain Kirk is yelling in the picture below.

Captain Kirk yelling

If Captain Kirk does it, then so can you!

To help answer this question, we used this week’s UserTesting Tuesday to run a UserTesting.com test on one of my favorite sites: Hipmunk.com. Here’s a 58 second clip --

UserTesting Tuesday:

Website: Hipmunk.com

Task: Use Hipmunk.com to find the best round trip flight for you to New York City at some point in July of 2013. Talk through your thought process and stop when you've found the flight you like.

Phil's 3 Key Takeaways:

  1. A/B test your forms – Forms are important. They’re a way for us to find out more about our visitors, build relationships, and take orders. A better form in a shopping cart, whitepaper download, or date selection can have a HUGE impact on your business. Test it!

  2. One calendar per input field –If you’re like Hipmunk.com and have a date input field, then test giving each field its own calendar. In our user testing video clip, our tester seems to be confused by the fact the “depart” field and the “return” field share the same calendar:

    Hipmunk calendar form

    On Hipmunk.com the “depart” and “return” fields share the same calendar

    Perhaps this tester would find a site with one calendar per input field to be easier to use. This is what Google and Kayak both do for flight searches -- when you click inside the input field, a calendar appears.

    Google Maps form

    Google shows one calendar per input field

    Kayak calendar form

    Kayak also shows one calendar per input field

  3. Proximity matters – One way to show our web visitors that things are related is to keep them close to each other on the screen. Maybe our tester was confused by the form because the calendar isn’t next to the “depart” input field. The folks at Webdesigner Depot have written a great post about the principle of proximity in web design. If you’re interested in learning more, then you can read the post here.

Enough from me…what did you take away from the video? How do you make the most of your forms? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Insights that drive innovation

Get our best human insight resources delivered right to your inbox every month. As a bonus, we'll send you our latest industry report: When business is human, insights drive innovation.

Thank you!
Get ready for some great content coming to your inbox from the team at UserTesting!

About the author:

Phil is the former VP of Marketing at UserTesting, where he directed the marketing strategy, communications, online campaigns, and web optimization.