Learning and artificial intelligence

Learning and artificial intelligence

The toppings you may chose for that TV dinner pizza slice when you forgot to shop for foods, the paint you may slap on your face to impress the new boss is your business. But what about your daily bread? Design comps, layouts, wireframes—will your clients accept that you go about things the facile way? Authorities in our business will tell in no uncertain terms that Lorem Ipsum is that huge, huge no no to forswear forever.

You begin with a text, you sculpt information, you chisel away what’s not needed, you come to the point, make things clear, add value, you’re a content person, you like words. Design is no afterthought, far from it, but it comes in a deserved second. Anyway, you still use Lorem Ipsum and rightly so, as it will always have a place in the web workers toolbox, as things happen, not always the way you like it, not always in the preferred.

Even if your less into design and more into content strategy you may find some redeeming value with, wait for it, dummy copy, no less. To short sentences, to many headings, images too large for the proposed design, or too small, or they fit in but it looks iffy for reasons the folks in the meeting can’t quite tell right now, but they’re unhappy, somehow. A client that’s unhappy for a reason is a problem, a client that’s unhappy.

Even if your less into design and more into content.

Chances are there wasn’t collaboration, communication, and checkpoints, there wasn’t a process agreed upon or specified with the granularity required. It’s content strategy gone awry right from the start. Forswearing the use of Lorem Ipsum wouldn’t have helped, won’t help now. It’s like saying you’re a bad designer, use less bold text, don’t use italics in every other paragraph. True enough, but that’s not all that it takes to get things back on track. There’s lot of hate out there for a text that amounts to little more than garbled words in an old language.

If that’s what you think how bout the other way around? How can you evaluate content without design? No typography, no colors, no layout, no styles, all those things that convey the important signals that go beyond the mere textual, hierarchies of information, weight, emphasis, oblique stresses, priorities, all those subtle cues that also have visual and emotional appeal to the reader.

Rigid proponents of content strategy may shun.

Or else, an alternative route: set checkpoints, networks, processes, junctions between content and layout. Depending on the state of affairs it may be fine to concentrate either on design or content, reversing gears when needed. Or maybe not. How about this: build in appropriate intersections and checkpoints between design and content. Accept that it’s sometimes okay to focus just on the content or just on the design.

Using dummy content or fake information in the Web design process can result in products with unrealistic assumptions and potentially serious design flaws. A seemingly elegant design can quickly begin to bloat with unexpected content or break under the weight of actual activity. Fake data can ensure a nice looking layout but it doesn’t reflect what a living, breathing application must endure. Real data does. Luke Wroblewski, currently a Product Director at Google, holds that fake data can break down in real life.

Websites in professional use templating systems. Commercial publishing platforms and content management systems ensure that you can show different text, different data using the same template. When it’s about controlling hundreds of articles, product pages for web shops, or user profiles in social networks, all of them potentially with different sizes, formats, rules for differing elements things can break, designs agreed upon can have unintended consequences and look much different than expected.

If the copy becomes distracting in the design then you are doing something wrong or they are discussing copy changes. It might be a bit annoying but you could tell them that that discussion would be best suited for another time. Typographers of yore didn’t come up with the concept of dummy copy because people thought that content is inconsequential window dressing, only there to be used by designers who can’t be bothered to read. Lorem Ipsum is needed because words matter, a lot. Just fill up a page with draft copy about.

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