I hate Lorem Ipsum and Lorem Ipsum Users

This is a tool to use an alternative to printers Latin… I don’t know which is worst, not caring about the content you are designing or using a tool like this…

I hate greeked text (and people who use it) with a vengeance. By not having the imagination to imagine what the content “might” be, a design consideration is lost. Meaning becomes obfuscated because “it’s just text”, understandability gets compromised because nobody realized that this text stuff was actually meant to be read. Opportunities get lost because the lorem ipsum garbage that you used instead of real content didn’t suggest opportunities. The text then gets made really small, because, it’s not meant to be used, we might as well create loads of that lovely white space… I could go on and on.

If I had a handy hint for all designers out there, it would be NEVER EVER to use latin text. Use your brain instead.

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39 Responses to I hate Lorem Ipsum and Lorem Ipsum Users

  1. Peter says:

    Also just as bad: “write text here”.

    Recently I was given a design with some dummy data to go in a directory structure. The problem was that the chosen words to go in the directory structure were all very short. When we later switched on the real database the whole design went out the window with too much spacing and weird linebreaks.

    Having said that, using something more realistic other than “Lorem Ipsum” or “Write text here” is bloody hard.

  2. Tom Smith says:

    Same thing happened to me recently. The design sort of had “Document Title Here”… which is nice and short, fits on one line, but the actual titles were never-ending.

    I never said it was easy did I?

    In my mind, to be a designer or usability person, trying to create the “best” user experience possible, sometimes you have question the content. There have been many times, when, trying to make a heap of documents usable, navigable and understandable, I’ve realized that some concepts have simply been presented in the wrong format. Words that should have been pictures, sequences that should have been networks… prose that should have been a bullet list.

    Pretending that the content is someone else’s responsibility is easy…

    TITLE GOES HERE…. done! The hard part is to think about how are these titles to best attract attention?, convey the documents contents best, be scan read, seen in an aggregator, understood by the various audiences etc…

  3. Peter says:

    Speaking of titles, what do you suggest one should do for a title:

    “Foobar.com: Customer Feedback form”
    or
    “Customer Feedback form – Foobar.com”
    or
    “Customer Feedback form”

    For say http://www.foobar.com/feedback.html

  4. Tom Smith says:

    Ha ha.. it depends on what your objectives are…

    1. “Foobar.com: Customer Feedback form” – depending on the length of the Foobar, put the brand in your face, but can make using the browsers “History” and Bookmarking abilities more difficult to use.

    It also make the page ugly and uninviting to read when it gets truncated in Google search results…

    Also, what does an audio browser do with those colons?

    2. Putting the site name at the end is my preference, but if you want your page to be found when someone searches for “Customer Feedback Form” (imagine it’s a product page, like “Dualit Toaster”) then having the site name as branding in there weakens the keyword density.

  5. Lynn Sing says:

    Interesting software.

  6. Lynn says:

    testing.

  7. test says:

    test

  8. test says:

    thank you and please forgive my testing

  9. David says:

    Yet in the case of the early stages of visual layout, esp. in those cases of needing a large block of text to exist prior to being supplied with true content, lorem ipsum is not entirely unuseful.

  10. Tom Smith says:

    Lazy!

    There is always “real” text somewhere.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Here’s something that provides a nice alternative to Lorem Ipsum, and has a good diversity of word lengths:

    http://www.jholman.com/scripts/quote/filler.php

  12. marius says:

    If the lay-out is what you care about, ‘real’ text diverts the attention from what you actually want to show people.

  13. Aleatha says:

    I work with websites, and firmly believe that he design should fit around the information you need to display, not the other way around.

    I have found that using Lorem Ipsum is very misleading when creating a design as the designer can select the text that fits best with the design – which is back to front to the way a site should be built.

  14. John Doe says:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

  15. Jane Doe says:

    But do not forget, that Lorem Ipsum is also for other purposes: It shows other people in your workspace that this Layout/Text is not ready for publishing. With real content, it mike look as ready-to-print, but its just “real” dummy text.

  16. Yeah, tell it to the client who thinks content comes out of thin air, and the boss who needs their deliverables. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD GRADS!

  17. tom says:

    True, and I also take the point about REAL text can distract one’s eye from the layout, like how a typo can totally wipe out a great design… but how many clients do come out of thin air? How easy is it to become a bit lazy and not think about the content…. ever….

    The best design is always holistic and always takes longer than copying and pasting some lorem ipsum rubbish.

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  19. “I hate greeked text (and people who use it) with a vengence.”
    Tom, if you hate me, why should I care about you or your POV?
    Don’t be a hater.
    And if you’re going to be a hater, learn how to spell “vengeance”.
    Or stick to lorem ipsum.

  20. tom says:

    You’re so right. I’ve learned how to spell vengeance.

  21. tom says:

    I not really a hater but I do have grumpy days.

    And you’re right again, if I do hate you, why would I care that you don’t care for my POV?

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  24. Lorem Ipsum Dolor says:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, pneum iriure tego, amet acsi et duis in, rusticus in laoreet delenit feugiat, accumsan tego.

    Uxor, ille pecus fatua aliquip autem neque vel, ratis dolore tation. Aliquip singularis, duis eligo typicus obruo pertineo euismod. Luptatum enim lucidus reprobo, ne utrum duis zelus nibh, melior tamen. Dolus acsi oppeto ea dolor qui multo dignissim letalis wisi, in, premo duis caecus defui. Hendrerit opes elit, ymo mos in opto, hos interdico torqueo iriure valde.

    Cui scisco wisi nulla abico nulla, nobis cui inhibeo vel, huic zelus ideo et. Premo abico pagus sagaciter pecus letalis adsum verto secundum melior opto damnum nimis minim. Eu consequat mauris saluto ut velit. Et, laoreet ullamcorper jugis accumsan vel immitto, obruo. Paratus iaceo consectetuer ex veniam, vel exputo delenit fatua delenit eu gravis suscipere conventio. Huic commoveo lobortis diam quia elit hos lobortis os. Tation quadrum nisl sagaciter sed obruo vel luptatum plaga ea vindico duis. Facilisis, tristique, obruo demoveo commoveo, autem bis modo modo iustum oppeto.

  25. Dave says:

    If you have MS Word, then first, you are wasting your money, but second, you can type =rand([# paragraphs], [#sentences per paragraph])

    So if you types =rand(1,1) you would get a “random” sentence – “On the Insert tab, the galleries include items that are designed to coordinate with the overall look of your document.”

  26. Lopsum Iprem says:

    Try http://lipsum.ahyeah.nl , you can search for a phrase on reddit, digg or twitter, and it fetches a couple of paragraphs of filler text. Fitter, happier more productive!

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  28. JP says:

    Not to be rude here but “hate the people that use it” is not really on side at all. Many of the people that use lorem Ipsum are forced to due to the lack of content and tight timelines. Also most of the designers that I have worked with are not the content strategists or providers. Sure they are an integral part of the content strategy but more often than not the look and feel needs to be explored prior to finalized content being ready.

    The other, and very important, reason that one uses lorem Ipsum is that when reviewing design clients more often than not will fixate on the words of the page loosing site of the design entirely. Trust me it happens all the time. In web design they say it is best to separate the content from the design, lorem Ipsum does that very well.

  29. Steven Sacks says:

    The reason Lorem ipsum exists is because of dumbass fucking clients who nitpick the text instead of looking at the design or layout.

    “You misspelled that word.”
    “You left off the TM on our company name.”
    “I have to clear this copy with legal.”

  30. I got to this post from Getting Real book. I always hated the dummy approach, because there is no way to see how the final site will really look like when it is out.

    And that is a problem even for making the help docs, as we still don’t know the real doubts.

    From the book “Do as your customers do and you’ll understand them better.”

  31. Scott says:

    The text is used as a temporary solution for designing page layouts. It has nothing to do with imagination and text content. It’s a temporary text used to show to a client of what a certain layout / box on a page will look like with text.

    For those that complain about it, well all I can say is, common sense went past you a long time ago.

  32. Jen says:

    Tom, I am with you on this one. I HATE Lorem Ipsum and designers that insist on using it. If you are going to use dummy text, I would rather see something like “Text content here. Text content here. Text content here.” copy and pasted five thousand times than some stupid gibberish that means nothing. I’m probably going to offend a lot of people out there when I say this, but people who use Lorem Ipsum come off as D&D or LOTR geeks who are too lazy to come up with a different solution. I understand that there are times you don’t want a client to nit pick spelling and think that your filler text is the real thing… but come on… at least have the decency to use real words in there or put a “Sample Text” overlay across the text body or something. It drives me nuts to see Lorem Ipsum as a consumer, as a client, as a product manager, and as a designer.

  33. Mike says:

    I work for a legal website and more often than not I use Lorem Ipsum. I’ve tried copying and pasting content from other pages or building around content from other websites we manage, but they’re not “real” either.

    You slate Lorem Ipsum, but you, and everyone else who stated their hatred for place-holder text, fail to give any sort of real alternative. I’d love to have real information to play with and I always demand that the information for the page be written before I design it, but on the (frequent) occasions where it is not finished there’s nothing better than having Lorem Ipsum there.

    If there’s a real alternative when you are not capable of using the right information then I’d like to hear it.

  34. rafa says:

    WTF? It’s just Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet!!!

  35. Coco says:

    I guess this site is inactive. I left a reponse here on 21 October but still cannot see it….lorum ipsum dolor sit amet, fugiat nulla.

  36. tom says:

    I can’t see it Coco…

  37. Coco says:

    Try again then…as I said before:

    Wonderful, lorum ipsum has been with us for 600 years; do we think by this discussion which is only eight years old we will be able to sweep all of that history away? Fie! to them all qui non ipsum optimus consectetur.

    http://www.jholman.com/scripts/quote/filler.php

    appears to be blacklisted and is described as malicious. Perhaps Anonymous would like to let Holman know.

  38. tom says:

    You win. Any argument that has age on its side has to be right.

  39. Benjie says:

    Lorem ipsum is perfectly acceptable if you’re creating a site in latin. If it’s an English site you need an English alternative.

    It’s tempting to say that you need content to design anything, but that’s rarely true outside of print design. Most web work involves designing for CMS in which the content will be written and re-written numerous times long after the design has been signed off and designer’s invoice (hopefully) paid.

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