I agree with you, we see this at the newspaper in Norway and we have users in all ages, making the floating formats very unclear, a specialy when they are combined with the minimal design style of a line. The lack of a visual input box causes confusion where to start.
One more point is that sometimes css styling is done wrong for a browser and the labels seem to highlight the above making it even worse.
Thanks for writing thing up.
Ps. A little introduction maybe a gif will make the intro better.