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Low Fidelity Prototype vs High Fidelity Prototype

David
Peter Martinez updated on 2020-09-25 17:19:49

Scores of people are still finding it troublesome to draw a clear difference between low fidelity prototypes and high fidelity prototypes. Project designers, managers, and developers need to have a proper understanding of the two prototyping levels. This is because the success of a prototype will largely be affected by what type of fidelity is leveraged. If you have hit an impasse trying to stick the difference between low fidelity vs high fidelity prototypes, then this article is here for you. In this article, we will elucidate to you the difference between a low fidelity prototype and high fidelity prototype.

What is Low Fidelity Prototype

A low fidelity prototype does not equate to a low-quality prototype. It is not unusual to find droves of equating the two, yet this is not the case. A low fi prototype is a kind of prototype that is more concerned with the functionality as opposed to the visual appearance of the product. It is more of an interactive sketch that won't likely steal the visual glance of the respective participants.

This prototype is not complex in design and is thus the easiest and quickest way to translate your ideas into a prototype. When you present a low fidelity prototype to respective persons, it is easy to understand the functionality of the program because it lays more attention on the product functionality. Only some few visual aspects like shapes of individual elements and the basic hierarchy of these elements are captured in the low fidelity design.

Also, not so much content is added. Only those key elements of the product are added while other branched elements can be disregarded. This puts a low fidelity prototype in a position where users have to imagine several other things that have not been featured during the testing phase. With low fidelity prototypes, it is not possible to create sophisticated animations and transitions, and thus it is limited in interactivity.

What is High Fidelity Prototype

While the low fidelity design is more concerned with the functionality rather than the feel and look, a high-fidelity prototype focuses on both. It is because a high-fidelity prototype is an inch away from the actual product. Therefore, it must resemble the final product in nearly all aspects. If you are doing a high fidelity prototype, make sure you have a clear understanding of whatever you are going to design.

Several high fidelity prototype designers often understand the product they want to build or are either advancing to test their project with real users. It is because real users would love to stop guessing about several program aspects and start visualizing them directly. If you are presenting to your potential customers, a high-fidelity design could be the best choice. The visual elements are more detailed as all elements and graphics of the final product are incorporated. Unlike the low fidelity prototype, nearly all if not all contents of the real product are incorporated. Also, the high fidelity prototype can be made more interactive with animations and transitions, among others. The major drawback of high fidelity prototypes is the higher cost. Nevertheless, it is a suitable type of prototype that can sell your idea to clients better.

Benefits of Low Fidelity Prototype

Although low fidelity prototyping does not involve lots of prototype details, it has immense benefits to the prototype design. The following points illustrate some of the benefits of low fidelity prototypes.

  1. Users can focus on design and concepts- With low fidelity prototypes, there is little to worry about product technically. The focus is on transforming your idea into a prototype rather than ensuring all relevant pages are linked, clickable, and interact as it should be. In a nutshell, low fidelity prototypes enable designers to develop the design of the product better.
  2. Better iteration- Since low-fidelity prototypes do not have complex technical functionality, it is easy to integrate feedback ideas. If a customer, client, or a team member notices a point of correction or just any comment, they can be easily corrected or added in real-time. The simplicity in the design ensures that any comment can be updated on the project within a few minutes.
  3. Easy to Understand- the design of the low fidelity prototype can easily be understood and followed by anyone. It is not just limited to designers since the menu flow is often necessary. This means any relevant person can contribute to how to improve the design and several other issues of the project.

Benefits of High Fidelity Prototype

High fidelity programs are often very close to the real product and inherently has several benefits. The following are some of the benefits of high fidelity prototypes.

  1. Better familiarity- Compared to low fidelity prototypes, high fidelity prototypes are closer to the final product. Therefore, users are experiencing something that greatly resembles the software they will interact with effectively. Because of this, the participants will participate more naturally during the testing process.
  2. Ability to test specific components- Since high fidelity prototypes are complex in design, and it is easy to target particular parts and components during testing. The designer can decide to test specifically the visuals, flow, navigations, or engagements. By examining these specific components, you can narrow down to feedbacks and comments to particular elements.
  3. More Presentable- A high fidelity prototype resembles the final product in several dimensions. With all these similarities, the stakeholders like clients and team members can visualize more visualize how the product will be when it is deployed. With a high fidelity prototype, you can lay the expectations to the clients in terms of the time required to complete the project fully. Since it is more elaborate, you won't spend much time driving your logic to the various stakeholders

How to Choose to Use Lo-fi or Hi-fi Prototype

Choosing a suitable prototype fidelity can be a tricky assignment, especially if you have less or no knowledge of prototyping. There are plenty of aspects that should guide you on which fidelity level you should settle on. The following are key elements that determine whether you should go for hi-fi or a lo-fi prototype.

  • Target Clients- Not all clients are the same. If you are designing a prototype for respectable clients or rather, clients who have are not easy to grab, then you must be as impressive as possible. This means you will likely go for a high fidelity prototype to avoid leaving your potential clients guessing as this could be suicidal to your market.
  • Product Understanding- If you still don't have a clear understanding of product look and some bit of functionality, it is better to go for low fidelity prototype to allow you to fine-tune the unclear aspects. However, if you have a clear understanding of your project functionality and visual, then a high-fidelity prototype would be a good option. You don't want to make more mistakes on the high fidelity prototype because it is more expensive.
  • The kind of prototype tool you have- there are plenty of prototyping tools available in the market. However, some are limited to low fidelity, while others offer up to high fidelity features. Tools like Wondershare Mockitt, for instance, allow users to create up to high fidelity interactive prototypes.

low fidelity prototype

The Best High Fidelity Prototype Tool

Wondershare Mockitt is the best high fidelity prototype tool available in the market. It offers several powerful features that make prototyping more interactive and fascinating. Whether you are a newbie or a Wondershare Mockitt expert, expect seamless navigation. Thanks to the great and straightforward interface. Leverage the plenty of widgets and icons to create prototypes without any design experience.

There are more than 20 industry templates that are continuously updated suitable for industries like education, finance, and commerce, among others. Customize the widgets to fit your design and save them in your widget library so that you can reuse them as much as you want. Import designs directly and add effects like gestures and transitions to make them more interactive. Collaboration on Wondershare Mockitt is standout. Yes, cooperation and real-time co-editing is something special as far as collaboration is concerned. You can get live feedback and comments from clients, team members, and any other stakeholder and edit the prototype much faster. This way, the project can be concluded quickly and efficiently.

Features of Wondershare Mockitt

  • It supports cloud editing.
  • It supports real-time collaboration and co-editing.
  • It supports PC, mobile, and offline demonstrations.
  • It turns static screens to more interactive pages via animations, gestures, and transitions.
  • It has vast UI assets and template library for faster design.
  • Users can share their prototypes with the touch of a button.

The Best Low Fidelity Prototype Tool

Balsamiq is arguably the best low fidelity prototype tool for grabs. It is a fast program with a fantastic user interface. Any user irrespective of expertise can navigate Balsamiq trouble-free. You can easily import and export designs as well as drag and drop your designs with ease. Click through the prototypes and access UI components and icons to quickly build an excellent low-fidelity prototype. Again the program has the full keyboard support, and thus navigation with the help of a keyboard makes everything quick and seamless. In general, Balsamiq is specially designed to allow users to create low-fidelity prototypes with ease using the best user interface.