Filler text is a great tool for providing quick and easy placeholder copy. It helps to simulate text, though it has no actual meaning. It’s extremely helpful when using dummy copy for wireframes or in mockups to test typography and fonts. The go-to resource for generating this copy has been lipsum.com, but recently, a new crop of themed-generators has been popping up, adding a touch of humor to your documents. I’ve used a few in my wireframes, but it’s important to note that due to the nature of some of the generated text, you might want revert back to plain ol’ lorem ipsum if you’re planning on presenting the copy as part of a deliverable to your client. Here are some great ones to check out:

Happy generating!

A lot of sites now are implementing infinite scroll, allowing users to paginate by scrolling down the page. These are usually sites that present their data as a “feed” or “stream,” and the data is usually “skim”-worthy (status updates, images, quick and concise information…). 

Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Svpply and Facebook all employ this method of pagination and they all have their own unique methods of doing so. Twitter has hotkeys (‘J’ and ‘K’) that allow users to jump from tweet to tweet and loads an additional batch of tweets once you reach a certain threshold. Tumblr and Pinterest dynamically load content while displaying a static call-to-action on the side, “Scroll to top” or an arrow, allowing the user to quickly jump back to the top of the page at any time. Svpply shows the first set of content statically and the user has to explicitly initiate the infinite scroll by pressing “Show All.” Facebook has an interesting and smart interaction. As you scroll down the page, content will continue to populate. However, because the footer is at the bottom of the page, it would be difficult to access if status updates continue to fill the page. If you scroll down the page fast enough, the system assumes you’re trying to get to the footer and stops the continuous loading, an extremely clever solution. 

Do you ever find yourself browsing an e-commerce site and clicking on “View All” to see the entire catalogue, rather than clicking through 8 pages of clothes? Google research just published:

User testing has taught us that searchers much prefer the view-all, single-page version of content over a component page containing only a portion of the same information with arbitrary page breaks

This, hopefully, means that Google Search results will soon also implement infinite scroll, although the logo pagination is a classic component to the site.

Thinking about using infinite scroll on your site? UX Movement has a great list of best practices you should follow.

Facebook is now revealing the possible context in which users become friends, displayed as a feed post formatted “[Person A] and [Person B] are now friends after both attending [Event].” It seems as though they see that both users have attended a Facebook event and friended each other shortly after (not sure what the max time allotted for friending is before Facebook doesn’t post the event portion anymore).

Instant Pages now in the latest build of Chrome

Localizing your content has always been a task that could greatly affect international usability and accessibility. There are cultural habits that need to be addressed when localizing. For example, users in eastern countries read from right to left (CNN US: http://www.cnn.com/ CNN Arabic: http://arabic.cnn.com/). 

One of the more difficult tasks is ensuring terminology and colloquialisms you use is understandable in other countries. Will German users intuitively understand what will happen if they press “Retweet” or “Like”? Services like Twitter and Facebook take a more social approach. Rather than hiring translators, they let their community decide what native terminology will work best. On Facebook, users can upvote and vet existing translations, or suggest alternatives. Twitter announced today that it only took a month to translate the service in Dutch and Indonesian with the help of 20,000+ users who volunteered to help.

Twitter is now available in 11 languages and Facebook in 64.

Most social networks offer free vanity URLs to users, for example, twitter.com/jeffsoo. The newest, Google+ hasn’t enabled this feature, but I’m assuming they eventually will and tie it to your Google Profile name. If you don’t have your own domain and hosting, gplus.to is a good alternative for a Google+ vanity URL. A post by MG Siegler inspired me to create a subdomain on my personal domain (http://jeffsoo.com/+) and redirect it to my G+ profile. Hakim El Hattab shared it on his profile and a few other creative examples came along:

A few people have asked me how to do this, so I created a quick HTML file you can download, change some paramaters in an HTML editor like notepad or Dreamweaver and upload to your hosting for the same effect. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download and extract this ZIP file
  2. Open the index.html file, change “######YOUR G+ ID######” with the long string of numbers you can grab from the URL of your Google+ profile (or change the entire URL for Twitter/LinkedIn), and Save.
  3. Create a directory in your root folder named “+” or “@” or “in”
  4. Upload the HTML file to that directory and you’re set!

The Miss USA pageant this year allowed viewers to actively judge contestants’ wardrobes in real-time through multiple platforms. A website optimized for mobile phones and tablets was publicized on the screen and allowed users to rate on a scale from 1-10, the contestant’s outfit. As users voted, the average score would be displayed on TV, fluctuating until the voting period had ended.

The platform, built by iPowow, has also been used during broadcasts for the UFC, American Music Awards, and the Australian Federal Election. I was particularly interested because I had a similar concept that I put together for a college project. The goal of was to allow real-time crowd voting during the Winter Olympics in order to increase audience participation. The sentiment was similar in that viewers would be able to vote and judge an athlete’s performance, but it would not influence the actual scoring of official judges. The service would be available on multiple platforms with Internet connectivity, and the hope was that you could view a livestream of, for example, a figure skater, and along with viewers from around the World, cast your vote on a performance. I built an interactive prototype to demonstrate the UI using a figure skater as a possible scenario. Once the skater has finished her routine, the user can vote and view the average score of other viewers, as well as the official score given by the judges.

I hope the consumer adoption rate of QR codes/NFC in the US will see an increase over the next few years so we can develop interactive shopping experiences like they’ve already been doing in Europe and Asia for years.