Stop Using Lorem Ipsum!

I think I’ve discovered a handy way of summing-up how I think about designing user interfaces: No Lorem Ipsum!

 

A Symptom of a Bigger Problem: Lazy Product Design
Lorem Ipsum isn’t always bad. It’s often useful in “marketing pages” – places where you want to indicate there will be a few paragraphs of text here, a sentence or two there, etc. But when designing interfaces? No way. Use Real Data. Text that represents, you know, what the user might actually see.

Designing and building great software is hard. You’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of the end user, try to understand their needs and motivations, and try to create a tool that’s really useful (and hopefully fun and interesting too). You’ve got to sweat the small stuff. Every screen. Every permutation of every screen. Every label, every text box, every error message. It’s the accumulation of thousands of design decisions that makes something great.

Using “Lorem Ipsum” or “Menu Item 1” or “Product 1” (or whatever) makes it harder to design great software. What happens when “Product 1” becomes “How to Be Funny: The One and Only Practical Guide for Every Occasion, Situation, and Disaster (no kidding)”? Find out early so you can design accordingly.

Use These Mockups: Lots of Design Patterns in Balsamiq Mockups (BMML) format

For those of you that use Balsamiq Mockups, here are a bunch of templates I created that you might find handy.
Download them all in one ZIP file (90KB).

I find myself re-using many of these elements when I design applications (especially the boring/tedious/must-have features, like Forgot Password, Sign In, 404 page). Enjoy!

The following mockups are included in the ZIP file:

Home Pages

Home Page, Members Only Mockup
Home Page, Downloadable Product Mockup

Feature Tour

Feature Tour Mockup

Pricing, Upgrade, Downgrade

Pricing Page Mockup
Upgrade & Downgrade Mockup
Upgrade “Thank You” E-mail Mockup

Read-Only List of Items

Read Only List of Items Mockup

Editable List of Items

Editable List of Items Mockup
Add Item Mockup
Edit Item and Delete Item Mockup

Invite Friends

Invite Friends Mockup
Invite Friends Via E-mail Mockup (Popup)

Settings / My Account Page

Settings / My Account Page Mockup

Sign In

Sign In Page Mockup
Sign In Popup Mockup

Forgot Password Process

Forgot Password Page Mockup
Password Reset Email Mockup
Reset Password Page Mockup

Miscellaneous

404 Page Mockup
Log / History Page Mockup
Downloading Page Mockup
Windows System Tray Mockup
Windows Tour Mockup