Why I Use Silly Placeholder Content

A few months ago, I heard in a web design talk that you should always use relevant-seeming text and images as examples in your development.

And I think that’s bullshit.

Stay with me, here. I’m gonna tell you why.

I’m pretty much known for using silly-ass placeholder images. It’s not a dev site without some kittens. (I use http://placekitten.com/ and http://www.cupcakeipsum.com/, but I’m sure there are lots of placeholder image/text sites that would suit your tastes.) And I use those things for one big reason and one little reason.

Big reason: I want it to be obvious that this is not an image we have bought and can put on your site. Clients sometimes look at placeholder images and either think that’s the permanent image or ask you to buy it with no budget. It can lead to a very unhappy sandwich for the Account people.

Small reason: I want my predominantly male colleagues to feel just uncomfortable enough to get me some real assets for whatever site I’m building. If my project manager is looking over the progress the site and it’s got kittens and lists of desserts everywhere, he might feel a little more motivated to pressure the client for some real content.

After all, I can’t do Quality Assurance on a website that’s nothing but temporary filler content.

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