A few days hence, I had an interesting debate with one of my best friends about data used in a demo. He is convinced that real user data (e.g. Name, Surname, email etc.) should be used even in a demo. I, on the other hand, am impervious to weather you use fake, real-enough or real data. As long as it is visible that e.g. email is an email.

To better present what we were discussing, I present you with the data available:

Firstname: Web
Lastname: User
Username: user
Email: wuser@yourdomain.com

This is what he believes is good data:

Firstname: John
Lastname: Smith
Username: jsmith
Email: jsmith@gmail.com

I don’t claim that I am correct, but I find it difficult to believe that any user will have issues interpreting first set of data just as well as the other. To be perfectly honest, if I would go with the change of first name, last name and user name, I would definitely not go with the Gmail account in an e-mail address. Why? I don’t want to sound condescending, but if a user is as simple as to not being able to interpret first set of data, how on earth are you going to convince him that Gmail account will not be created for him?

Now, I can understand that while real data look nice, I disagree with the fact that it makes things clearer. To remind you, this is a presentation you are going to give to your end customer. The last thing you want is them to get stuck with data and not see the functionality of the application. It even might look to the customer that this is real data you are messing with. Hence, I believe that both data are correct and that it is not worth spending time to fix it.

In the end, it proved to be a useless discussion and the only result will be a happy face of a mobile services provider that will have the honour to bill us for the discussion.