Testing is a critical part of building usable digital products. A testing environment with relevant content encourages more thoughtful feedback, that can then be used to craft a more tailored user experience.

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is dummy text used by publishers and designers when the original copy is not available. They

The text has been used in the printing and typesetting industries since the 1500s, and has more recently been adopted in the Tech industry. The preference for Lorem Ipsum as a default text “filler” is generally attributed to its generic nature, with its even distribution of letters, and the assumption that this will be less likely to distract testers.

Problems with Lorem Ipsum

How can you design for something you don’t even understand? How can insignificant content contribute to creating a customised experience?

Testing with Lorem Ipsum is like being lost in the ocean without a chart (map), you’ll never find your way.

It’s hard to get people’s feedback on something they don’t know and it’s hard for you to design for something you don’t know. Lorem Ipsum is a way of delaying decisions about content.

Real content is better

By real content, I mean content similar to the one you will end up using in a working software related field, similar length and tone of voice.

Don’t delay content because you’re struggling to fill in the blanks. Do some research, put something in there, test and get some quick feedback. Iterate until you get it right. There are many ways to get real content, have a look at the tips below.

Get valuable feedback

The content should be relevant to your product and users. When people are able to read the content, they will give you feedback about the copy and how they feel about it. This will push you to reflect on the type of messages you communicate and the tone of voice that makes people trust your platform.

Sometimes people you are testing with will bring up questions that you haven’t even thought about. They will give you examples of similar things they use that might help you in your design. With Lorem Ipsum, you won’t get any of that.

Adapt the design to the text length not the opposite

Because no one understands Latin nowadays, designers tend to cut the lorem ipsum text when it pleases them to keep their designs nice and tidy. In reality, content is not the same size, you might have restrictions like between 400 and 600 words but nobody will ask you to write a 600 word article on the dot.

How to get real content

Get your clients involved

Your clients usually know their field better than you do. They have years of experience and can add a lot of value to your design. Have them involved in the process but also raise any questions or doubts you have regarding the copy. Ask for resources and feedback. Be specific otherwise, they wouldn’t know what you expect from them.