Week 6: From Post-its to Processes: Using Prototypes to Find Solutions

by wangtianchen

Prototyping – what is it?

First of all I will describe what exactly prototyping is. According to this week’s article ‘Post-its to Processes: Using Prototypes to Find Solutions’ published on Museums and the Web. I understand the PROTOTYPING is an approach to developing, testing, improving ideas and team working which allows you to experiment, evaluate, learn, refine and adapt. It is used at the beginning of the design process. [1]

What should you do BEFORE you start prototyping?

You should make a plan before their implement prototyping. This will help you get the project off to a good start and help shape the vision and objectives for your project team. Take some example for this article.

First of all, defining the problem is the most important step before you starting your work. You need to know what exactly problem or project you want to developing, testing or improving. It is a goal to tell you what you going to touch.

The next step is preparing your organization. It is an outline or plan before you going to creative you prototyping. Every principle relative your project should be considered.

At that moment, preparing your team also need to be taken into consideration. It is important to build a strong and diverse team around your opportunity, involving people who can offer different and relevant expertise. All of these people will help give you feedback to make your prototyping a success.

Lastly, it is also important to preparing your space. A space should be able to motivate you team, this inclusive environment, communicate, and be flexible during your work.

What do these words MEAN in context of prototyping “low-fidelity”, “just-good-enough fidelity” and “high fidelity”? Which is the BEST STRATEGY for prototypes and why? [2]

        Low-Fidelity = Quick & dirty hand drawn screens


  • Low-fidelity prototypes are often paper-based and quicker to create. It is easiest and cheapest one. It may be a sketch on a piece of paper (paper prototyping) or a picture made by an application.

Just-enough Fidelity = Between Low-Fidelity and High-Fidelity


  • Just-enough fidelity prototypes are more complex, containing colors and more precise positioning of components. This is a slower (and more expensive) method than low fidelity.

High-Fidelity = Polished design or high-quality screenshots/mockups


  • High-fidelity prototypes are not significantly different from the final design. Executing this type of prototyping is most time consuming and most expensive but it best representing the final product. It may be made by software like Photoshop.

In this article, the team learned that if they found the sweet spot of “just-enough” fidelity, then users can grasp the concept or variable and give useful feedback. I believe the reason that Just-enough fidelity is take the advantage from both Low-fidelity and High-fidelity and consider the disadvantage as well. If the fidelity is too low, it gets hard to understand for users and staff end up over-explaining. If the fidelity is too high, it costs too much time.


[1] Thinkpublic. (2014). Prototyping Framework. Retrieved November 02, 2014 from http://www.nesta.org.uk/sites/default/files/prototyping_framework.pdf

[2] Museums and the Web. (2014)Low Fidelity Prototyping: The Cheapest Corrections in Design Stage Ever!. Retrieved November 02, 2014 from http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/prototyping/