Dummy Text and its Downfalls

Written by Christina on April 24, 2015

Have you ever wondered that the ‘lorem ipsum’ in your wireframe might be playing second fiddle to your design concerns?

As soon as your eye picks up the incomprehensible Latin, your brain decides that this is gibberish and this paragraph deserves to be glazed over, instead of being read thoroughly.

This means that both you and your client will end up ignoring paragraphs and eventually neglecting things like line length, the flow of the page and the effect of the words because you are just seeing the content, not reading it.

Content vs Dummy

When you use a dummy text, content becomes secondary. Even though a placeholder like ‘lorem ipsum’ can be tempting with its convenience, content is the backbone of any website. And placeholders, in a way, reinforces the idea that content is secondary.

If you wait until the very end to plug in content, you will very quickly have a long list of bugs! The text won’t fit in the same way and suddenly the structure of content will all be thrown off.

The chances of the actual content filling in the placeholder are pretty slim, and consequently, restructuring and redesigning adds time to your build budget.

Migrate to Using Proto Content

The most common content developing convention is the one reserved for the final countdown. At the end of the whole design the content section is picked up, written down, perfected and then plugged in.

The only way to break this convention is to develop content simultaneously with the design. This content doesn’t have to be amazing, just has to reflect the length, structure and format that will be used in the final version. Whether this is date formatting, size of headings or length of bullet points for example.

The best place to start is to use existing content from the previous website, even though it won’t be the perfect match for the new content you write, it is definitely going to be closer than dummy text.

Recommended Read: Designing content first for a better UX

Don’t Give Up on Dummy!

Filler contents are acceptable during very early stages of design when you are trying to brainstorm layouts. This is when you would require a rough idea of the aesthetics of the layout with text. This is where fillers come in handy. 

Best practice would be to start getting at least representative content in to the design as early as possible. Will all make life easier further down the line and take the pressure off when the deadline to finishing the site looms!

 

If reading this and realising web design and web development is a bit out of your reach, but your are looking for a website refresh, why not come and talk to us – we have experience with both Magento and WordPress an can design for anyone from beauty to survival tools, and more! Contact Us Here