Every month in Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts answers readers’ questions about a broad range of user experience matters. To get answers to your own questions about UX strategy, design, user research, or any other topic of interest to UX professionals in an upcoming edition of Ask UXmatters, please send your questions to: [email protected].
- Michael Bengwayan—UX Designer at Saggezza
- Leo Frishberg—Director of User Experience at athenahealth, and Principal at Phase II
- Andrew Wirtanen—Lead Designer at Citrix
Q: What factors do you consider in choosing whether to provide low-fidelity or high-fidelity design deliverables?—from a UXmatters reader
“The reader’s question speaks to just one of the dimensions of choosing what design artifacts to create—fidelity—but crafting such artifacts involves a varied set of dimensions, each having different possible ranges,” replies Leo. “Here are a few dimensions of this decision to consider:
- resource constraints—How much time and energy and what level of competency does the team have to invest in creating the artifact?
- stage in the product-development lifecycle (PDLC)—What is the purpose for which the team is crafting the prototype? For example, you might want to create a prototype to explore
- the leadership team’s beliefs about the market
- the product-management team’s beliefs about the problem
- the design team’s understanding about a specific user flow
- the possible solutions to a given problem
- project outcomes—What outcomes should the design artifact drive?
- collecting data in service of the goals of the various stages in the PDLC
- proving a technical concept for the engineering team
- thinking to enable the UX team to better understand their own designs
- context and tools—What is the context of the project? What tools are at the team's disposal?
- Is a team or just one person responsible for building the artifact?
- Is the team remote or collocated with the intended audience?
- Is the project an asynchronous or synchronous engagement?
- Is the team using digital or analog tools?
“Crafting a design artifact is a mini-design problem in itself. Considering fidelity addresses just one of dozens of challenges.”