First of all we must get clear what is prototyping, how we can benefit from prototype and the differences between low, and high fidelity prototyping.
Why you should prototype
Prototype helps saving resources, money and time. Prototyping can also help clearing your mind and thinking about new solutions for your problem.
There is people who think that prototyping is creating the user interface of something, a system, a product, a software, etc. They think this is the phase where we must decide the colors, the icons, the visual appearance. Well they are wrong.
In a prototyping stage we are not evaluating the user interface in a visual design perspective. First and before that, we are evaluating the structure and creating something that we can test.
In a testing phase our prototype will serve as a guidance to evaluate the usability and experience of our real users. Always remember that a solution must focus on three elements to be successful: Desirability, Feasibility and Viability.
Why use Low Fidelity Prototypes
I’m not saying we should only use this type of prototype, what I’m saying is that we must start from a low fidelity first. High Fidelity Prototypes has some pros, but I’m sure that the low fidelity has more to offer on a fresh project.
One of the motives is because it is quick and inexpensive. We can start by doing paper prototypes or using light softwares for wireframing as Axure, for example.
It is possible to make instant changes, test new interactions and it can also be trowed away, since this method is not time consuming.
Enables us, designers, to gain an overall view of what we are creating using less time, effort and money. Also by not focusing on high end details such as colors, icons or visual aspect, we have a more clear view abou how it will work and if the solution works.
What is your opinion?