Keep it Real

Ja Rule once sang that he can't go on without JLo because she keeps it real. Similarly, it's important to keep it real when designing interfaces and interacting with your team. Here's what I'm talking about.

A wise Glen Lipka (Chief Design Officer at Marketo) once taught me that it's a bad idea to use lorem ipsum in my design mockups. I didn't understand it at the time but now that I've been designing longer, I've realized that fake text or fake numbers weakens your designs in a big way.

Content and content prioritization should be the foundation of a design. If you're not being real about your content, your design mockup loses its meaning and feedback will off base. A prime example of this is designing a report. If the numbers don't relate to each other as they would in the real scenario, any viewers (developers, other designers, etc.) won't understand what you're trying to do.

It goes even further. People have strong associations with words. One word may trigger a strong reaction. It's important to have time to identify and examine those reactions early on in your design process. A reviewer's interpretation of words may completely change your design and rushing through those changes could damage the quality of your product.

So, in conclusion, keep it real from the start (or as real is it can be). Scrap the lorem ipsum. Use numbers that make sense.