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Low fidelity

What is low fidelity?

Low fidelity, or “low-fi” refers to less detailed or refined designs. In digital design, low-fi prototypes are simplified early versions focusing on basic layout and functions. They enable quick visualization and testing of core concepts, saving time before crafting detailed, high-fidelity versions.

Synonyms: low-fi, lo-fi, lo fidelity

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In which fields is low fidelity utilized?

Low fidelity (lo-fi) methods can be applied across various fields to simplify complex processes or to represent preliminary ideas. Here are some examples:

  • Design & UX: Sketches or wireframes illustrate basic website or app layouts without detailed design elements.
    • 💡 Learn more about lo-fi prototypes in UX here!
  • Architecture: Hand-drawn blueprints or rough 3D models offer a first look at building or room designs.
  • Film & Animation: Storyboards present the narrative flow of a scene using basic illustrations.
  • Product Development: Cardboard or foam mockups help visualize the size, shape, and ergonomics of a new product.
  • Gaming: Paper prototypes test game mechanics or narratives before digital development.
  • Education: Simplified models or diagrams help explain complex topics or theories.
  • Music: Acoustic or unplugged versions of songs present the basic melody and lyrics without full instrumentation.

In each field, lo-fi methods allow for quick iterations, feedback collection, and a foundational understanding before diving into detailed and resource-intensive development.

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What are low fidelity examples?

Low fidelity designs, used for initial conceptualization, include hand-drawn sketches, digital wireframes focusing on functionality rather than aesthetics, storyboarding illustrating user journey, paper prototypes for basic interaction, and clickable PDFs or slide decks for simple navigational feedback. These designs, although lacking in aesthetic detail, are instrumental for quick iterations and feedback gathering.

What are the pros and cons of low fidelity?

Low-fidelity prototypes are cost-effective, quick to create, allow a focus on core functionality, and facilitate early user feedback. However, they also have downsides such as limited interactivity, potential for misinterpretation due to their simplicity, and lack of visual appeal which may affect user engagement.

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