What to use in your designs instead of Lorem Ipsum

UX researchDigital StrategyVisual Design02 March 2023Judd Madden

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. (lipsum.com)


Why do we use it?

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using 'Content here, content here', making it look like readable English.


What to use instead

Use realistic headings

Never use Lorem Ipsum for headings, it’s lazy and looks amateur. Choose headings that make contextual sense for the design. Reference your client’s existing material, or their competitor’s material if you can’t think of anything suitable.

Describe functionality

With components, we can use the text within them to describe their functionality to the client. Doing so will make things clearer for everyone, just ensure what you say is within development scope!

Outline optimal content

We can help guide clients by outlining the type of content they should be preparing for each element.

Use existing content

Simply copy content from the client's current website or annual report. It may be outdated but it’s still better than Lorem Ipsum.

Include some humour

When appropriate, and with discretion, you can include ‘easter eggs’ for the client (or for your developers). Placeholder names are a great place to do this, just find some relevant to the client!

E.g. For a law firm client: ‘Johnnie Cochran’ ‘Saul Goodman’

E.g. For your developers, include some harmless memes or in-jokes: ‘Antonio Banderas’, ‘Dwight Schrute’

Bonus advice: Vary repeating elements

When you have repeating elements such as tiles, vary the content within them. Have some short headings, some long headings. Use different images. It will look far more natural.

Less Lorem Ipsum, better design outcomes

There are many useful alternatives to Lorem Ipsum. Don’t be lazy - use the techniques above and improve your designs!

Judd Madden
Judd Madden

Judd has been designing websites of all shapes and sizes for over 18 years. He is insightful, decisive, creative and pragmatic. Judd strives for simplicity and creating great user experiences. His creativity extends beyond his design credentials, with a keen interest in music production.


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