Low fidelity prototype is something many people try to understand and to carry out by themselves. This process brings significant benefits for your startup, and we want to explain to you here what are the pros and cons of developing a low fidelity prototype.
Usually, when a startup wants to create a solution for the market, it’s necessary to build a prototype. There are two methods to create this: high fidelity and low fidelity prototype. Let’s check the difference between the two.
Table of contents
What is low fidelity prototype?
What is high fidelity prototype?
Lo fi prototype benefits
1.Quick and cheap
2.Available to all companies
Low fidelity prototype cons
High fidelity vs Low fidelity prototype
What is a low fidelity prototype?
A low fidelity prototype or lo fi prototype is the most basic model or example of a product that is going to be tested. Imagine you have an idea for a new app or hardware device that will control the doors of an office. You have the technology, but not the app. Then, you ask for a basic version of the app that can show through a storyboard, drawings or sketches how this will look.
Another option for a low fi prototype (as it is also known) is, you get an incomplete model of your product. Let’s say you want to have in your hands the physical version of a robot that guides blind people. But since it is a low fidelity version, it won’t have moving parts. You can create a low fidelity prototype by yourself, or hire a company that develops prototypes.
What is a high fidelity prototype?
On the other side, we have the high fidelity prototype. This is a closer version of the final product that will be manufactured and sold.
If we go back to the example of the app we said before. The high fidelity version will allow the startup to use the app in a single device, maybe a phone, tablet or computer. It’s not the final version, and it may not be functional 100%, but it allows to test its features and imagine how the final version would look like.
Now, if we talk about the robot that can guide blind people on the street. A hi fi prototype may move back and forward, and detect some small obstacles. But it doesn’t mean it is ready to be sold or to be tested on the street, since it needs many iterations before the final version is complete.
Lo fi prototype benefits
You already know its definition. Now is the time to understand its main benefits. Whether you are a startup or an inventor, you can try this process to start developing your solution until you decide to take the next step and produce a functional version.
1. Quick and cheap
You don’t need to buy expensive 3D machines or to get industrial instruments to see how your invention will perform. Most times, papers and markers will do the work.
So, instead of spending money on electronic components, you can evaluate your idea by simulating how it would work through different images or sketches.
If you don’t like what you see, you could just draw it again by making some changes. You repeat this process until you get a version you consider acceptable.
The low fidelity prototype is easy to create, you save money and time. If you need to evaluate your idea, you can invite a friend or a potential client to interact with the sketches or the storyboard you made. That will help you get quick feedback on your idea.
2. Available to all companies
If you have the time and the team to do it, you could sit down for hours inside an office to create the low fidelity prototype. Get paper, scissors, markers and any other materials you need to visualize your product. Adjustments can be done by you or your partners.
However, if you consider you don’t have the right people to help you materialize a basic model of what you want. You may consider hiring a company (enlazar al formulario de contacto) that has the experience creating apps, hardware, or electronic products.
They could quickly adopt your proposal and design the sketches, since they have experience in that area. On the other hand, if you want to see a physical basic version, you could get a 3D model delivered to you.
Low fidelity prototype cons
One of the disadvantages of this process is that the solution your startup wants to develop may lack realism. That is, the sketches or basic model won’t come close to the real functionality you want to show to the public. This may cause people to lose interest in your project.
Since the usability can’t be tested in a real-life situation, the low fidelity version won’t deliver the results you are waiting for. Some clients may interact with this version, but this will not be how the product will perform. In this case, it may be necessary to get a medium fidelity prototype, or go to the next step with a high version.
High fidelity vs low fidelity prototype
By now, you should know that the two versions of prototyping are really different. As an inventor, you may be at a preliminary stage of your project. This implies you need to test a quick version, evaluate its possible implications and show it to a few people to confirm if your project has a future.
There are obvious advantages related to high fidelity prototypes, since your startup gets more accurate insights into how the users will engage with your project or solution. Also, you will confirm if your proposal can solve the need of your potential niche. Of course, this is a more expensive process, it requires time and several iterations.
Whether or not you choose a low fidelity prototype to give life to your project. Keep in mind that prototyping is always an effective way of bringing ideas to life.