The Product Design Process

Low Fidelity Prototyping

Paul Boag

Paul Boag

The Product Design Process

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The "Low Fidelity Prototyping" Lesson is part of the full, The Product Design Process course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul discusses the benefits of using paper prototyping, such as its inclusivity, speed, disposability, and cost-effectiveness. He introduces grayscale prototyping as a more advanced stage, focusing on structure and organization of information. Paul also mentions tools like Balsamiq and Whimsical that can be used for grayscale prototyping.


Transcript from the "Low Fidelity Prototyping" Lesson

>> So, I'd prefer to do a few crazy eight, get people thinking, get people feeling a little bit engaged, and then typically I'll move on to low-fidelity prototyping, which is me then iterating on what I did in the crazy eight session. I don't always use crazy eight, there are other ways of doing it but that's one of them that I quite like.

So with the low fidelity prototyping, yeah, you can use paper prototyping. Like I said, I think it's best suited to workshop exercises. When you're trying to create a large number of ideas quickly. It has got big bonuses to it, I am maybe a little bit sneery about paper prototyping, for a start I can't say, but actually it's pretty good in other ways.

For a start it's a low barrier, anybody could do a pen and Paper prototype, right? No special skills are required which is brilliant. It means that everybody in the room, can feel engaged with it, also everybody can participate. The problem, sometimes the problem is, like, say if you use, I know Figma above surname, one of these prototyping tools, right?

There's somebody sitting in front of a laptop and ultimately they're in control, right? It's not an inclusive exercise, while paper prototyping is very inclusive. It's obviously fast to create, sketching out only takes a few seconds and it's disposable because it's so easy to create, people are not attached to their sketch, which can be a problem with more high fidelity prototyping.

And of course it's cost effective, right, cuz there's no special equipment required. So, there's, it's got its place but for me it's a bit earlier it's in that workshop exercise. Once I come out of the workshop, I tend to move to Greyscale prototyping. So this is where you can see what they look like on the screen, they're basically, we don't worry too much about the design but we're more worried about the structure and the organization of the information.

Why I like greyscale prototyping is it's still pretty fast to create, especially if you've got the right tools and the right set up. So, there are various tools that we'll come on to think in a minute. They can be, to be honest they can almost be as quick as paper prototyping, especially when you wanna make changes they're actually quicker, right?

Cuz you're not rubbing stuff out, you're just dragging boxes around and things like that which is quite quick. Focuses on the functionality don't get caught up in aesthetics which can be a minefield, if you don't have already established kind of brand guidelines. And they're ideal for testing cuz they're realistic enough for people to understand them and interact with them.

And there's some great prototyping tools out there. So, we've got basically two options that are tools that are dedicated to doing this kinda greyscale prototyping, so balsamic is probably one of the most well known ones. Really low barrier of entry, which means that you can get lots of people involved in prototyping, very intuitive to use.

But tend to be maybe a little bit low lower far greyscale. Alternatively, there are loads of kind of Figma templates that you can download that let you do greyscale. But another tool that I'm quite a fan of, there's kinda middle ground between faffing around in Figma which is a lot of work about summit which feels a little bit lightweight sometimes, is a toggle whimsical, which probably never heard of, I only stumbled across it by accident.

And whimsical lets you do both user flows and sitemaps and then full wireframes but it's very Dragon Droppy and I find it quite easy to churn out greyscale wireframes via that. Yeah, so, it's pretty good, it's worth to play with and see what you think yourself

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