Pros & Cons of High-Fidelity Wireframes

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:: By Chirag Leuva, Yudiz Solutions ::


Wireframes are used to transform an idea into a visual representation of a proposed user interface without dedicating huge amounts of time and effort - allowing stakeholders to understand a concept quickly and easily.

Of the types of wireframes, high-fidelity ones are basically clickable prototypes. They use interactive elements to represent interactions, use-case flows and page behavior. Here are a few things to know about high-fidelity wireframes, how to effectively use them and the benefits and drawbacks they offer:

1) The higher the fidelity, the better the interaction.

Wireframes do not give an actual output – the user will never see them again. In fact, wireframes are those platforms from where visual designers and developers make a real output.

2) Clients get a better overview of the final design, before going through the entire SDLC.

High-fidelity wireframes give a better idea of how the platform will look before going through the final design stage and the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Whereas, it becomes difficult with low-fidelity wireframes for the client to visualise what the end product would look like.

High-fidelity wireframes do not require much imagination or visualization from the client – in order to understand the concept.

3) High-fidelity wireframes are more detailed than low-fidelity wireframes.

High-fidelity wireframes go into more details like the use of programs, colors and logos whereas low-fidelity wireframes use placeholders or, say, real objects such as handmade sketches, which may sometimes look shoddy. The benefits of high-fidelity wireframes include:

1. They show a lot more specifics

2. They provide a better sense of what real UI elements might look like

3. They provide easier client-developer interactions

4) The industry will never fully be on board with high-fidelity wireframes only.

While high-fidelity wireframes have many benefits, they will never fully oust their low-fidelity counterparts as each has their place.

Cons of high-fidelity wireframes :

1. They can create client confusion

2. They can curb a client’s creativity

3. They can cause clients to think they are a perfect prototype when they are still very much a work in progress.

4. They cost more time and money from a developer and the client may not be satisfied until the wireframe is exactly how they want the actual site to look and function.

It’s Still the Client’s Call

High-fidelity wireframes should only be an option if your enterprise and its clients have the time and budget. Those with less resources should opt for a low-fidelity option.


Author Bio: Chirag Leuva has more than six years of experience in mobile app development, with a focus on iPhone and Android app development. He currently holds the position of CEO at Yudiz Solutions, a mobile app development company.

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3 comments

MarcosR 03-17-2016 2:06 PM

What about "nid-fidelity" wireframes? Is there a balance? Balsamiq?

website design company in hyderabad 04-04-2016 2:08 AM

While I agree with your points I’d like to add a con to your list. Early on using a high fidelity wireframe is horrible when mocking the general layout up for clients in my opinion. Things look too complete and they focus on how it looks when you are still in the how it works phase. I still prefer a high fidelity wireframe though.

lite 1.4 email extractor 06-07-2016 4:29 AM

great info, keep sharing

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