What is Low Fidelity Prototype and The Usages of It

David
Laura Angelica updated on 2020-09-25 16:26:16

Low fidelity prototypes have been in use for several years and are the first category of prototypes to enter the design world. Even though they have been with us for so long, still a multiplicity of people, designers, and design stakeholders don’t have a crystal clear understanding. You cannot appreciate or leverage low-fidelity prototypes for your project if you don’t understand what it actually means. This is why we have prepared this article to help you understand what a low fidelity prototype and its usage are.

What is the Low Fidelity Prototype

A low-fidelity prototype is a low-tech and straightforward type of prototype. This prototype is basically not close to the real product. In the classification of prototype fidelity, the closer the prototype is to the final product, the higher the fidelity. For low fidelity, it means that several aspects of the final product are not captured. These elements include visuals, content, and interactivity. A low-fidelity has only a few visual attributes of the final product presented. This is also true for the content. Only the necessary content is included, while other details are excluded from making it easy and fast to design.

Low-fidelity prototypes are not quite interactive. A person who understands the product being developed acts like a computer and manually navigates through the design states in real-time. The common low-fidelity prototyping techniques are paper prototyping and clickable wireframes. With paper prototyping, you create hand drawings for respective screens to represent the product interfaces. Clickable wireframes are created by combining static wireframes. The basic wireframes can be created and tested on dedicated wireframe programs like Wondershare Mockitt . The advantage of using clickable wireframes in low-fidelity prototyping is that you don’t need someone to simulate navigation states manually.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Low Fidelity Prototype

While low fidelity prototypes have been in use for a long time in the app design world, they are not without flaws. Before deciding whether to use low-fidelity prototypes or not, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of low-fidelity prototypes, as expounded below.

Advantages

  • Since low-fidelity prototypes are don’t involve a lot of visuals and content, they can be created with ease and speed.
  • Low-fidelity prototypes are inexpensive because they can be done on a piece of paper or even simple wireframing. The cost is extremely low compared to high-fidelity prototypes.
  • A low-fidelity prototype does not require special skills or expertise and therefore, more people, even non-designers, can join the design process. This then promotes collaboration.
  • Since the contents and visuals are less, the stakeholders and team members can easily understand the project. Therefore, they will have a much clearer expectation about what is coming in the project.

Disadvantages

    • The limited interactivity makes it hard to simulate complex animations and transitions.
    • The test results may not be accurate because not all the visuals and contents in the final project are captured.

  • With the dynamic and highly-competitive design environment, low-fidelity prototypes may find it hard to meet the current design needs.

When Should You Use Low Fidelity Prototype

Owing to some of the advantages above of low-fidelity prototypes, there are several cases where designers are obliged to choose them and not the high-fidelity prototypes. The following are some of the situations you should use low fidelity prototypes.

  • When you have limited time, and you want to scale and learn your project with speed. This is because you don’t have to stack many contents and visual designs in your prototype.
  • When the cost of high-fidelity prototyping is higher than what you can afford.
  • When you are only testing a new thing in your existing app.
  • When you want to test an idea about a project before starting the development process.
  • When you just want to keep the idea within your product team.


How to Create Low Fidelity Prototype

Wondershare Mockitt is an excellent prototyping, collaboration, and design tool used by plenty of people and companies worldwide. Mockitt is fast, easy to use, compatible with a wide range of operating systems, and is affordable. The assortment of quality features makes it the best choice for both low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototyping. There are plenty of design resources ranging from templates to widgets and icons. Mockitt offers plans for individuals and enterprises. The enterprise version is suitable for a team because it provides good collaboration features.

low fidelity prototype

Key Features of Wondershare Mockitt

  • Mockitt supports real-time collaboration and thus, users can comment, share, and receive feedback in real-time.
  • This program offers plenty of ready-made templates suitable for diverse industries. The templates save you both time and money because you don’t have to start designs from scratch.
  • Mockitt offers abundant widgets and icons to make your design more appealing.
  • Mockitt allows users to test and share prototypes with friends or stakeholders through visibility settings.
  • This program supports interactive prototypes and animations.

How to create Low Fidelity Prototype with Mockitt

Step 1. Create a New Project

On your browser, visit Mockitt and log in to your account. Click the "Personal Space" or "Enterprise Space" tab, then choose to Create> Prototype" options. A "Create New Project" dialogue box will pop-up. Provide a suitable name for your project, select screen size, and hit the "Create" button.

lo fi prototype

Step 2. Add Widgets and Icons

Now, the program takes you to the edit window. This is where you start designing your low-fidelity prototype. Just pick desired widgets from the "Widgets" section and drag them to the canvas. Add as many widgets as demanded by your prototype. Click the "Add Screen" button to add more screens.

  low fidelity prototype example

Step 3. Create Interactions

Since it is a low-fi prototype, you are going to create basic interactions. Click an object that you want to link with another screen/page, then drag the arrow that appears and release it on the target screen. A connection is established. Repeat this for other screens and objects/widgets that need to be linked.

 low fidelity design

Step 4. Preview your Prototype

 low fidelity mockup

If you are now satisfied with the interactions, you need to test your prototype on Mockitt. Simply click the "Preview" tab on the toolbar and interact with your prototype. You can also share the prototype with colleagues, stakeholders, or friends by clicking the "Share" button and giving them the share link.

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