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  • Writer's pictureSejal Khatri

5 problems with high-fidelity prototyping

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

High-fidelity (hi-fi) prototypes appear and function as close as possible to the actual product that will ship. Designers use demo-builders, to multimedia tools, to high-level languages to build hi-fi prototypes. Hi-fi prototyping has its place in: selling an idea, testing look-and-feel, detailed proof-of-concept, testing changes to an existing system, and so forth. But it also has some problems:

Visual Illustrations of 5 problems
  1. Hi-fi prototypes take too long to build and change.

  2. Reviewers and testers tend to comment on “Fit and Finish” issues.

  3. Designers resist changes.

  4. A prototype in software can set expectations that will be hard to change.

  5. A single bug in a hi-fi prototype can bring a test to complete halt.

One good alternative depending on the project timeline is low-fidelity prototyping. Lo-fi prototyping is the technique to build prototypes on paper and testing them on real users. Lo-fi prototyping works because it effectively educates designers to have a concern for usability and formative evaluation, and because it maximizes the number of times you get to refine your design before you must commit to code. Lo-fi prototyping helps you apply Fudd’s first law of creativity: “To get a good idea, get lots of ideas.”( Rettig, 1994)

References Rettig (1994). Prototyping for Tiny Fingers

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