Low fidelity prototype might not be a hit that draws the attention of everyone in the software development industry. That is exactly the reason why we wanted to address the significance of prototyping in the sense of low fidelity because it REALLY MATTERS! 

Let’s begin with prototyping. What does it mean? And why is it important? Let’s figure out the answers for these two questions that bring a quite clear opening for the title. 

Prototyping is the process of creating an ideal user experience through elements such as UI UX design, accessibility, usability, information architecture, and navigation. A prototype refers to a mockup of that ideal user experience that is expected to deliver to the target audience. In order to bring out that final and ideal user experience it involves a number of continuously modified mockups. 

Prototype creates engagement between the product and the user from the beginning even without the help of developers. This connectivity drives the designers towards end-user satisfaction. It is derived through either rapid prototyping or a simultaneously improved prototype into a final product. Naturally the more you test and modify prototypes the more you get better results. The initial mockup may end up the most unrealistic solution but the beginning from there matters to end in an improved and more realistic solution. The prototype works as a simulation of the final product so it helps both the team and the target user to get insights and figure out existing problematic areas. 

Low fidelity prototype is a low-tech mockup that is used to gain feedback from end-users and the rest of the team. This is mostly done using a rough sketch of the design on paper and other easy-to-access tangible materials such as building blocks, clay, straws, or any other materials that help create a tangible representation of a design concept. 

Many tend to overlook low fidelity prototype as it requires low technology or no technology at all. Yet this has quite impactful reasons to be looked at.

Freedom and Creativity

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Not only the developers and designers, everyone in the team can contribute to the design of the system in low fidelity prototype as its engagement with the technology and the technical aspect is low. This can inspire and motivate many members to invest their creativity into the product at the planning phase itself. When more human resources are involved in ideation it leads to near perfection and helps pre-identify the shortcomings. 

Easy changes during the test

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Unlike interactive prototypes in high fidelity, this allows easy changes even during a test. Paper prototypes can be easily amended, added, or recreated to display and test then and there. This eliminates repetitive testing while coded mockups consume time and, cost to change. In most cases, those changes can only be tested in another round of testing which makes it a long process for modifications. 

Chance for the users to be more critical

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It is true that in a low-fidelity prototype, you are not going to impress your end-user with a lot of graphics and effects. It is more likely a rough sketch provided with the basic functionality and the flow. This raw feeling and the absence of colours will certainly make the users look at your mockup critically. In the first place, this may sound a little unfavourable to the designer/developer but if you go into deep, it is advantageous to the designer/developer to take out the precise user expectations. So it is more likely that you aren’t going to fail the user expectation at the delivery. 

Low cost and less time consuming

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This fact has already been mentioned in the previous points as well. It is obvious that paper-prototyping and prototyping with above mentioned tangible things are only going to cost a little. All it takes to perform such testing is excellent ideation and beyond-average creativity. Real-time iteration helps correct, recorrect, modify, and change the designs and functionalities within a small time where the changes can be validated by the end-user involved in the testing on the go. 

Less pressure on both developers and clients

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Low fidelity prototype enables the developers to make relevant changes at the sketch itself rather than dragging it to the re-iterative coding phase. Specially when developers are spent a considerable amount of time and effort on a particular element or work, redoing the same work cost a lot while it can demotivate or pressurize the developers. Directly it can lead up to great failures of the products. Low-fidelity prototypes help prevail over this unnecessary repetitive work. In the low fidelity prototype, the clients are left with little idea of what to expect in terms of the colours and tone of the final product so the clients will remain low-key. This in turn helps you to deliver something above expectations. Otherwise simulated high-fidelity prototyping might leave the clients with higher expectations which aren’t possible in real development. 

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