End of Lorem Ipsum?

There was an article on web designer depot yesterday asking: Can we kill off Lorem Ipsum?

For those of you that don’t know Lorem Ipsum is bogus text, almost like latin, that is used in design and technology mock-ups.

Here’s a choice quote from the article:

With this in mind, using Lorem Ipsum no longer makes sense. It breeds dummy designs and short sells everyone. It diminishes problem-solving designers into pixel pushers, handcuffs content writers, frustrates users, and shortchanges clients.

I think this is a great idea in *some* situations, but it ignores a useful tool. We use Lorem Ipsum for the following scenarios:

  1. To limit what we’re testing. For example if we’re showing someone a test subject a page to test the navigation, using Lorem Ipsum makes sure the test subject is focusing on the navigation which is the only real english on the page.
  2. We use it in wireframes and prototypes (digital wireframes?) to *roughly* outline how much “stuff” is on the page.
  3. We use it in to unstick content people who are paralyzed by the work they have to do. Giving them a page with Lorem Ipsum so they see how *little* they have to do is a good tool to unstick them.
  4. We when showing early rounds of design concepts we use it to limit the distraction when looking at the overall look and feel. We tend to find that if more than 20% of the words on the page are REAL words the team gets stuck on specific messaging instead of looking at the big picture questions that have to be asked early about brand, emotions and visual story.

None of these are right for ALL scenarios and I think the key point that the author is trying to make is “design without content is dumb”. I completely agree with that, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water here…


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