Design

Lorem ipsum does not mean content

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As a designer, we are often required to design textual content. Catchphrases, titles or descriptions are not necessarily thought out in advance or are dependent on the design in progress, so we have to anticipate it, sometimes even write it.


A common practice is the addition of fake texts, the "Lorem Ipsum". At Atipik, we advocate designing with realistic content rather than fake and we'll explain why.

Why shouldn't you use " Lorem Ipsum " anymore?

Lorem ipsum dolorem sit amet. These pieces of an ancient text by Cicero dating back more than two millennia come straight from the beginning of printing around the 16th century. Its purpose is to calibrate layouts thanks to its variable character words before the final text to present a print job without focusing on the text.

Replicated in the early days of web design, many sites went through this "Latin" stage, before integrating the actual texts. Today, we realize that this method has its limits. It is far from being efficient or accurate, and this is due to several negative aspects:

  • If your text is in French, Lorem Ipsum has very few punctuations, no special characters and little in the way of line breaks. This is less annoying for a language like English.
  • Fake texts are often too short or too long compared to the final texts.
  • The person(s) in charge of writing the content will tend to confine themselves too much to the space defined by the fake text.
  • Presenting visuals containing mostly textual content with fake text tends to confuse you. There is a risk that you will miss important elements.
  • Lorem Ipsum is neutral, without emotion. Having realistic content allows you to quickly instill an intention on the models in order to work around it.

As you can imagine, Lorem Ipsum is unreadable as it is and is very complicated to format. Even more so when it is a catchphrase or a title. This can lead to a deterioration in the final quality of the product when the final texts are inserted.

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In our example above, we can notice that the catchphrase is stylized compared to the text. The inserts with the prices are smaller and we understand what is expected from the user in this subscription process. On the other hand, the final text under the inserts is much larger than the fake text and some sections are highlighted.

Designing with realistic text allows for greater creativity, but also for greater efficiency. Fewer changes are required in the final design phases and developers will understand the prototypes more quickly.

Are there alternatives to Lorem Ipsum?

There are. From movie lines, to sentences in newspapers, to B2B oriented texts, it is possible to find alternative generators... but this does not replace Lorem Ipsum. On the contrary, it only adds to the problems.

Since these fake texts can be read easily, there is more risk of being confused with the real content and left behind during production. There are not enough alternatives to cover all possible topics, so the mock-ups will probably confuse you.

different-content-options-design-ux.jpeg

Isn't it surprising to talk about space or working methods for a context dealing with nature? Lorem Ipsum would be more appropriate... or even better a first textual basis!

Writing a textual base

In case you don't have final texts (or currently writing them), you will have to use your imagination and write a base. Today, it is much faster and easier to find realistic content to design mock-ups suitable for presentations.

  • De facto, you are a source of inspiration. There is always a way to get information from a brochure, a website or social networks.
  • Designer inspiration sites are also useful to find content. More and more designers are choosing to use real text for a more realistic look.
  • Just like inspiration sites, blog posts in the same field as your industry will be just as inspiring.

Even if this text base is not yet definitive, it will help guide you on what is required of you.

Admittedly, the preparation of layouts will take a little more time than with the use of Lorem Ipsum. However, there are a few advantages.

  • The mock-ups will be much more realistic and understandable. Especially when it comes to context-specific content that requires some thought.
  • The design will be much more creative! It will be possible to play with typographic elements giving a more emotional intention to the text.
  • During development, this will require less adaptation time when adding the final texts.

In Fine

If textual content is missing, don't hesitate to create it as a suggestion. This will not only improve the quality of the mock-ups or prototypes, but also help you to see more clearly the intentions shown. It may even stimulate you in the writing of your final texts.

Author

Published on the 09 September 2021

UX/UI Designer