DEV Community

Sonya Holland
Sonya Holland

Posted on • Originally published at

Low Fidelity vs High Fidelity Wireframes

The use of wireframes and prototypes are commonly used to design websites and apps. UX design will typically include paper sketches, low and/or high fidelity wireframes or prototypes.

With the immergence of smart technology, high fidelity wireframes offer designers powerful, interactive visual elements to bring ideas to life. By no means does this mean paper sketches does not add value to the design process. They are an effective and practical method to jumpstart projects. In this post we’ll discuss the difference between low fidelity and high fidelity wireframes and why a combination of both can improve UI/UX design.

What are low fidelity wireframes?

Low fidelity wireframes are a quick and easy way for product teams and stakeholders to visualize and test early concepts, requirements, and design assumptions at the beginning of a project. They are represent a skeleton of the interface and are typically paper sketches, set of drawings or a storyboard.

These wireframes include the most basic content and visuals. Low fidelity wireframes are usually static (not interactive) and are commonly used to map out the interface layout, its screens and basic design structure.

Publishing software, such as Adobe XD and Balsamiq, are used to create this type of wireframe. These tools allow design teams to collaborate and share information with stakeholders throughout the design process. They help teams visualize and test concepts, requirements at the beginning of a web design project.

What are high fidelity wireframes?

High fidelity wireframes or prototypes are a more accurate representation of the end product. Often times they are interactive and mimic authentic interface interaction. Designers tend to concentrate on aesthetics and content by refining graphics and layout details.

In advance stages of the design process, high fidelity wireframes are often built prior to coding the final product to communicate design decisions to the development team. Also, they help validate complex interactions during user testing. This provide test participants with a realistic representation of what the product will look and feel like, as well as how it will respond to their input.

Designers use different tools to build low to high fidelity wireframes depending on the kind of wireframe they want to build. Tools such as Sketch and UXPin allow designers to start with a basic design and refine the design as the project moves forward. By designing realistic wireframes, designers can ensure the development team and stakeholders understand design flow and concepts to fairly validate their designs.

Low fidelity wireframes allow designers to quickly and easily create basic design concepts without interrupting the design process. They are a great way to share the essential components and navigation of web and mobile applications with team members and stakeholders. Clients will most likely want to see high fidelity wireframes to better understand the user experience and experience a more lifelike of the site.

No matter what method is used the most important aspect of the wireframing process is maintaining good communication between design and development teams.

Top comments (0)