Lo-fi prototype, a jargon in daily life of UX Designers and for non-designers, let’s break the term and make it easy to understand. “Low” – Below in rank, “Fidelity” – conveys look and feel of the final product, and “prototype” – sample to test the digital interactivity. Simple enough? The application is simpler.
Before the deep dive into Lo-Fi prototype, let’s familiarize with “prototyping.”
If we kick out the digital interaction from the scenario, what’s prototyping in simple language? Think about anything ever created, a recipe, a pattern on a cloth, a wooden table, a cycle or the air bags of your car. As soon as the creation comes into existence, it gets followed by a “test”. A test that reduces the risks and the issues of the final product in the real-world and that’s what exactly “Prototyping” means. A test that includes interactivity between the user and the app and how it behaves in the real-world environment.
Prototyping: Precaution is better than cure.
- Solves the issues at the early stage.
- Reduces the risks of the final output.
- Less iterations, more functionality.
- Towards better interactivity.
Now, prototyping can be at any stage. From a single interaction to check the pixel-perfect app, prototyping is anything with stages. Stages, lo-fi, med, and high-fi prototype.
“Decision to dedicate the prototype stage depends on the levels of tools, details and functionality used in prototyping”
Now, let’s begin with where all the crazy starts!
Low-fidelity prototype, the most vital role in the process of creating successful UX. It’s an early stage testing that starts with the most simple tools, pen and paper. “Any design project that starts just with pen & paper works better than those that starts within the dimensions of window.”
With means of all the creativity in our minds and technology in our hands, lo-fi prototyping can be
- Paper Prototyping
- Clickable Prototyping
- Rapid Prototyping
It’s smart to start with paper prototyping. Paper prototyping is the doodle on paper of your application in different gadget size on which the user acts as a computer and also checks the interactions. As it happens in the start of the process where creativity flourishes, all the crazy ideas can be implemented easily.
- For everyone as everyone can doodle, everyone is welcomed with their creativity.
- Simpler, cheaper, and un-restricted.
- Ample of iterations are possible that leads to less risk ahead.
- Solves the initial and actual issues.
- Focuses more on functionality and usability rather than appearance.
- Most importantly, it’s fun.
All the iterations to be done can easily be marked through sticky notes and it swings you to journey of where you started, what and why the change and where you have to go? Don’t settle, iterate until it reaches to paper user friendly.
“Remove shafts from the wheat”
Why commit to code just for digital look and feel of your application when you can opt for Clickable Prototype?
You can always wireframe the look, feel and interaction of your design in Adobe XD, Power point, Keynote, etc. and prototype like a pro. You can either directly start with the prototyping tools or you can create the iterated paper prototyping in digital format to test before committing to the code.
After all the minute details are taken care of, iterations are done, issues are solved and compatibility being checked, it’s about time to submit and commit.
“Take all your chances before you commit.”
Launching before prototyping is a big risk when you aim at solving people’s problem through your design. It’s you who are solving it for them, not them presenting the issues in your design.
Prototyping means a test of interactivity between user and the design to reduce the risks of the final product. Consider prototyping the most important stage in creation of a design or a product. It could be done in three stages, low – fi prototyping, med prototyping, high-fi prototyping. Learn how can you start early prototyping and create good UX design.