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Low Fidelity vs High Fidelity Wireframes: A Guide

Low Fidelity vs High Fidelity

If you have dipped your feet into the UX Design, you’d know that everything requires time and a lot of planning. Nothing ever goes without a well laid down plan which is revised over a million times. And for obvious reasons, you must have the right head start, something you can fall back on even if you get distracted in between. It would help if you had a well-laid down brick that can hold everything together and flexible enough to make changes.

As you get deeper in the field, you’d understand that the entire website’s creation is very time-bound. You have deadlines and the client expectations to meet with each website or mobile application that you create. More often than not, you’d have clients who have no idea about the UX design field, and you’d need to explain them in simple terms. While this can be a considerable challenge, the right tool can make all of it a thousand times easier.

This is where “wireframes” come into the picture. This article will tell you everything you need to know about low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes. So you don’t ever have to worry about getting confused with terms and their functions.

What are Wireframes?

When you build a house, you don’t build it directly. You first create a blueprint, and then the client approves it. And then you finally get on to making it. But you don’t start the house without having a well-planned blueprint. Similar is the case with wireframes. They are the blueprints of the website or mobile application.

Wireframes are the basic structure of the website that you create to begin your journey into designing it in later stages. It is merely a few boxes that you start with to keep in mind about the direction you are going to take your project in. It gives you a precise pass with your team and your clients to start the creation of the website or a mobile application, without having to build it in the start itself.

Wireframes are pretty easy to make and understand. You can either make them using pen and paper or go digital and create them on wireframe tool. They are the cheapest way to ensure that the website is always on track. It doesn’t include too many designs or intricate details. It is a simple structure that you build your entire website around. They are like the backbone of any website that gives it the required push.

There have been times when your boss might ask you to build the website without a wireframe because everyone’s on a deadline. But don’t do that. Creating a wireframe doesn’t take long and is a step that you cannot afford to miss at any costs. It is the first step of your journey, and you shouldn’t miss it for anything.

Why are Wireframes Important?

  • Keeps You From Distractions

When you are creating a website, your creativity will be exploding from all directions. And it can be very overwhelming, which will distract you from the basic structure. You’d want to add more things and create literal art for the website, but you must also remember that the client’s expectations and needs are above that.

So having a well-structured wireframe to fall back on, will ensure that you don’t lose your path. It will ensure that you always know what you are supposed to do and how much you are supposed to do.

  • Communication Starter

Low fidelity vs high Fidelity wireframes helps you to start communication within your team or with your clients. When you are directly in touch with your clients, you need something that you can talk about to explain the structure. It is the meeting point of the client’s needs and what you can create.

It also saves time. Building a website is a tedious process, and if half-way through your client suggests changes, it can be very difficult to deal with. So wireframes prevent that from happening. Since they are created in an early stage, your clients can suggest changes without having to feel guilty and sour about it.

  • User Centric

As we have said earlier, it is straightforward to get distracted when you are building your website. But it would help if you remembered that your target audience might not be that tech-savvy or have the required tech-knowledge. So you have to create something that caters to them as well. A wireframe will ensure that your design is as user-centric as possible and you don’t get too technical with anything.

What Are Types Of Wireframes?

The field of wireframes and low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes is enormous. It starts with a pen and paper and ends with a digital sphere to work on. There are stages and levels for each step of building the website. And the first two stages include wireframes.

There are two types of wireframes:

  • Low Fidelity
  • High Fidelity Wireframes

Both low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes are very different from each other but have the same purpose. They both are meant to help you create a base for the website or the mobile app. It keeps you from getting distracted. However, none of them should be missed and has their own importance within the journey.

Low Fidelity vs High Fidelity Wireframes

When we talk about low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes, we must keep in mind that they both are equally important. They both are very different from each other but have the same purpose. They both are meant to help you create a base for the website or the mobile app. It keeps you from getting distracted. However, none of them should be missed and has their own importance within the journey.

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Low Fidelity wireframes are the first step towards the website design journey. UX Designers start by sketching out a basic model of how they want the website or the mobile application to look like. It doesn’t have intricate details. It is the skeleton of the entire interface.

Low Fidelity wireframes are not interactive. It only includes the fundamental concept sketches and some statics. They are the shells of the website that are used to understand the core structure. It only screens the necessary information about the structure. It doesn’t talk about things like colour, font, images, etc. They serve as a checkpoint for the team and helps them visualize what the website will look like and make suggestions accordingly.

Some designers prefer to make them on pen and paper. At the same time, some prefer to go digital and make them on wireframing tools.

High Fidelity Wireframes

High Fidelity wireframes are the next level of wireframing. Once you have your low-fidelity wireframe in check and you and the clients/team/boss are satisfied, you move on to the next step of the design journey.

High fidelity wireframes are much more closer to the end product (website) than the low fidelity ones. At the same time, low fidelity wireframes are the skeletons of the website. High fidelity wireframes offer a much more concrete base.

It is usually clickable and responds to the user’s interactions and other features like aesthetics, images, content, spacing and layouts. High Fidelity wireframes are also built in the initial stages of the design process to give a heads up to the team before everyone sits down to coding the final website.

Most importantly, high-fidelity wireframes offer complex interactions with user testing. They provide the website’s realistic representations and how it will interact with the users.

For high-fidelity wireframes, designers usually use digital platforms to create them quickly and more precisely. It helps the designers and the stakeholders to understand the flow of the design and further approve it.

Difference Between Low Fidelity vs High Fidelity Wireframes

The ultimate difference between low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes is how they contribute to the entire user experience. Low Fidelity wireframes provide insights for understanding the website’s requirements and bring everyone involved on the same page from the start.

At the same time, High Fidelity wireframes help in decision making and communicating it to everyone involved in the process. It assists in understanding the target audience and how they will respond to the website.

However, both low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes are crucial to the website design process. Without them, the entire process and the team is at a risk of repetitions, misunderstandings and miscommunication.

Conclusion

In the end, it is essential to understand that creating low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes is the most critical aspect of starting the web design journey, just like how you wouldn’t plan a ceremony without mapping your needs and requirements. Wireframes fall in the same line as well. Any website cannot be made without wireframes in place, or it is likely to have too much disorganization.

Wireframes ensure that everybody involved like your boss, team members, clients and even yourself are on the same page. It ensures that everyone knows what the next step is. Low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes is a step that you will come back to a lot of times throughout the journey. You will get distracted at times while building the website. And you will need to come back to the wireframe to get your vision clear and sorted.

Besides, low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes allow your clients or your team to pool in suggestion freely without having a concrete base in the first step itself. Since wireframes are easy to make and are incredibly flexible to change, any suggestions can be considered. And further, change the structure accordingly. As long as everyone is involved and happy, Low fidelity vs High Fidelity wireframes have done their job, and the website can be made in peace.

Himanshi Gupta has spent a little over 2 years writing and working for a few major of the news agencies of our Nation. It was during her Bacherlor's that she developed an interest in UX writing. In her free time, she is an ardent researcher, an avid reader and a gifted poet.

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