Is there a better alternative to lorem ipsum for placeholder copy?

Michael Lee πŸ• on November 30, 2018

When putting together a prototype for a client/stakeholder or a mock up, is there a better alternative to using lorem ipsum? Any better approaches ... [Read Full]
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As outlined on lipsum.com/, the primary reason lorem ipsum is used is because of the more normal distribution of letters, making the page look better than "Content content content content more content".

Because of the popularity, I've not had any clients question the use of lorem ipsum, but it sounds like this may not be the case for you. If a client was unhappy with the use of lorem ipsum, I'd probably ask them for a sample to use so they can see 'real' data on the page instead.

 

@12vanblart , thanks for sharing. The funny thing is, I've used that page before and have never taken the time to read the little blurb about the history of lorem ipsum. Thanks for reminding me to slow down and learn about its purpose.

Not really a push back from a client, it was more of a question that I had. I really do like your take on asking them for sample copy to use on the page. I was just curious if there was some standard for helping the client see something that is more in line with their branding. But I guess lorem is a good starter to block in layout and placement.

 

I actually worked with a guy once who just used the blurb from the homepage rather than using the actual lipsum text πŸ˜‚

 

Lorem Ipsum is a de facto standard and it's 100% ok to use it with clients. Is there a particular reason you don't want to use lorem ipsum? You could always write up real looking mock-text, but that could be time consuming

 

Hey hey Noah! Yeah I agree, it was just a thought that popped into my head. Wondering besides lorem, if there was any alternatives. I agree, an acceptable approach is to try to come up with a first stab at copy that could potentially be used, but as you said, takes more energy and resources to do so. I appreciate the feedback.

 

One of the reasons to use lorum ipsum in design documents, is because you don't want the client to focus on specific words if the words themselves aren't part of the design. If you use meaningful copy in a design document, you run the risk of someone focusing on the words/phrasing rather than the design. Using latin is nice because it looks similar to english without being readable (to most people).

Of course, if someone was distracted by the use of lorum ipsum, that would also be bad.

 

To be honest, I hate any lorem-ipsum-like solution, they just hide the complexity in the UI (and lead to time waste & re-doing work).

Real data show many problems on your UI... believe me, put some real data, and you will consider many things that you haven't thought about.

 

It's not really a replacement, but if clients get stuck on lorem-ipsum you could also use Redacted-Font on top of it. github.com/christiannaths/Redacted...

 

I really like this solution Philip. It let's you block in the copy block like in a wireframe. I'm curious what this would look like in a hi-fi prototype. Do you have any experience with using it in a prototype?

 

I don't. A designer I used to work with told me about it. He used it with a client that couldn't get over the words themselves.

 

We use this Ruby gem:

stympy / faker

A library for generating fake data such as names, addresses, and phone numbers.

logotype a happy-07

Faker

Build Status Gem Version Inline docs Test Coverage Maintainability

This gem is a port of Perl's Data::Faker library that generates fake data.

It comes in very handy for taking screenshots (taking screenshots for my project, Catch the Best was the original impetus for the creation of this gem), having real-looking test data, and having your database populated with more than one or two records while you're doing development.

NOTE

  • While Faker generates data at random, returned values are not guaranteed to be unique by default You must explicity specify when you require unique values, see details Values also can be deterministic if you use the deterministic feature, see details
  • This is the master branch of Faker and may contain changes that are not yet released Please refer the README of your version for the available methods. List of all versions is available here.

Contents

May or may not be convenient in your context, but there are different ports of this available in different coding environments I believe.

 
 

This. For the client side only, or node.js amongst the crowd you can use this version.

Marak / faker.js

generate massive amounts of realistic fake data in Node.js and the browser

faker.js - generate massive amounts of fake data in the browser and node.js

Faker.js

Build Status Coverage Status

npm version

OpenCollective OpenCollective

Demo

rawgit.com/Marak/faker.js/master/e...

Hosted API Microservice

faker.hook.io

  • Supports all Faker API Methods
  • Full-Featured Microservice
  • Hosted by hook.io
curl http://faker.hook.io?property=name.findName&locale=de

Usage

Browser

<script src = "faker.js" type = "text/javascript"></script&gt
<script&gt
  var randomName = faker.name.findName(); // Caitlyn Kerluke
  var randomEmail = faker.internet.email(); // Rusty@arne.info
  var randomCard = faker.helpers.createCard(); // random contact card containing many properties
</script&gt

Node.js

var faker = require('faker');

var randomName = faker.name.findName(); // Rowan Nikolaus
var randomEmail = faker.internet.email(); // Kassandra.Haley@erich.biz
var randomCard = faker.helpers.createCard(); // random contact card containing many properties

API

Faker.fake()

faker.js contains a super useful generator method Faker.fake for combining faker API methods using a mustache string format.

Example:

console.log(faker.fake("{{name.lastName}}, {{name.firstName}} {{name.suffix}}"));
// outputs: "Marks, Dean Sr."

This will interpolate the format string with the value of methods…

 

I've been using Honest Ipsum for a while now and it works wonderfully.

 

Oh wow this is awesome! I love how it educates your client for you. Thanks for sharing this John!

 

What about any book in txt you can download from the Gutenberg project? Maybe don't choose a Christmas Carol.

I would go with Kafka's Metamorphosis πŸ˜‚

gutenberg.org/browse/scores/top

 
 
 

I've used Bacon before in the past. Haha. It's great, but not really what I need for this use case at the moment. But thanks for reminding me again of this great Ipsum Casey!

 
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