Develop Lo-fi and Hi-fi Prototypes

What is developing lo-fi and hi-fi prototypes?

After a multidisciplinary project team has come up with the initial ideas about a technology by means of ideation, the first prototypes can be developed. A distinction can be made between low-fidelity (lo-fi) and high-fidelity (hi-fi) prototyping. The design process usually starts with lo-fi prototypes: prototypes that not have to resemble the final technology, as long as the most important features and the goal can be communicated clearly. They can be ‘built’ by people with little technical skills, using the following kinds of methods [1, 2, 3, 4]. Hi-fi prototypes have a higher resemblance to the final version of the eHealth technology and are suitable for testing specific details of the technology. Developing them requires more technical expertise. The method to develop the hi-fi prototype depends on the technology that is being developed and the skills of the designer.

What is the aim of developing lo-fi and hi-fi prototypes?

Lo-fi and Hi-fi prototypes can be used to communicate a first version of an eHealth technology to a possible end user or stakeholders to collect feedback. With this feedback, improved versions can be developed. By using prototypes, instead of final versions, adjustments can still be made without high costs involved.


[1] Holtzblatt, K., Wendell, J. B., & Wood, S. (2004). Rapid contextual design: a how-to guide to key techniques for user-centered design. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.

[2] Maguire, M. (2001). Methods to support human-centred design. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 55(4), 587-634.

[3] Signer, B., & Norrie, M. C. (2007). PaperPoint: a paper-based presentation and interactive paper prototyping tool. In B. Ullmer & A. Schmidt (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Tangible and embedded interaction. (pp. 57-64). New York, NY: ACM.

[4] Snyder, C. (2003). Paper prototyping: The fast and easy way to design and refine user interfaces. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.