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Foreign Ipsum:
Save Time on Designs in Sketch

A Few Details


My family is extended across the globe. The inspiration for Foreign Ipsum is my friends all over the world.

I wanted to make a simple plugin which incorporated my friends & their languages. By reaching out to my friends around the world, I gathered paragraphs of text in their native language to create Foreign Ipsum.

Foreign Ipsum

The Idea


Discussing the idea of Foreign Ipsum with a few of my friends and interested Sketch users gave me a good idea of what to utilize with the plugin. I realized that plugins either used keyboard shortcuts or were dependent on the menu to run. Due to the goal of Foreign Ipsum, I used both in the plugin.

The goal of Foreign Ipsum is to save designers time by creating filling a layer of text with a random paragraph instead of using the standard, boring, Lorem Ipsum. The plugin helps designers save time by creating an attractive design without the need to fill a layer of text by typing or copying and pasting.

While the project started out well, some issues that brought development to a crawl.

Foreign Ipsum Gif

Roadblocks


Building a Sketch Plugin was brand new to me. I was essentially starting from scratch. The only assets I had were the paragraphs of text from my friends supporting the project.

Sure the GitHub repo may look nice. However, there were two significant things which I wasn’t ready for:

  1.  A lack of understanding of Javascript and Sketch plugins. I had no idea what it took to build them.
  2.  The amount of code and documentation that I would need to dig through to create a working plugin.

Development


After looking through Medium articles, documentation, and reaching out to a few friends, I started writing the code and testing it within Sketch. After writing one Javascript file which worked on run, I copied the code and changed variables to make the other files work which resulted in the first version of Foreign Ipsum.

How Foreign Ipsum Works

The Launch


On May 16, 2017, I launched the first working version of Foreign Ipsum on Product Hunt. Initially, there was a small crowd interested in the plugin. However, throughout the day the interest grew, and Foreign Ipsum was downloaded over 300 times.

Foreign Ipsum

The Future of Foreign Ipsum


For the last six months, the development of Foreign Ipsum has been stopped. I have taken the time to focus on college and moving to the Los Angeles area. In the next month, I plan to resume development and bring a much-needed update to the repository as well as the plugin itself.

I plan to create an interface for Foreign Ipsum rather than relying on the menu, remove the keyboard shortcuts, and rewrite the plugin files. 

If you’re interested, check out the plugin on GitHub or install it using Sketchpacks. If you would like to add your language to the plugin or beta test the second version of Foreign Ipsum, please, reach out!


Building Foreign Ipsum was a new experience which helped me gain a better understanding of Javascript and other tools for development.


Questions?


If you have any questions about Foreign Ipsum please feel free to reach out or say hello: [email protected]



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