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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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There's an interesting article at Tyner Blain about Prototype Fidelity.  Most of their article is a summation of Jan Miksovsky's article on the same thing.What's "prototype fidelity"?  In short, it's a description of how close your prototype model is to actuality.  Are your prototypes "fully functional windows/web apps" or PowerPoint slides or hand-drawn scribblings on a paper napkin?

Most likely they're somewhere in the middle of all of that, and also most likely you do different things depending on the project and the customer.  But which of the three do you think might be the most useful tool?  The answer may surprise you.

It's the hand-drawn scribblings on the paper napkin.


As the good folks at Tyner Blain tell us:

Lower fidelity prototypes are more effective at getting feedback on the design, because people assume that a less-polished prototype represents a less-complete design. People are generally nice. They don’t want to make us “throw away work” and start over. If a prototype looks too refined, people are more reluctant to share criticisms about the design.

Of course, the level of fidelity is also directly proportional to where you are in the design process.  The earlier, the lower the level of fidelity you'll want.  The later, the more likely you'll want something closer to that fully functioning prototype.

Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 8:26 PM Architecture | Back to top

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