1. First, matching the level of fidelity with the stage of progress is good idea. That means start with low fidelity, proceed to the high quality pixel perfect prototype.
2. You should know using programming makes it complex, because nature of program is that it should be perfect to work even for the prototype. Pen and paper are easy to create variations. So begin with the pen and paper and proceed to the programming if it is required. Please keep in mind that even though the prototyping code looks functional, development will prefer starting fresh.
3. Vertical prototyping is nice to test a certain feature which requires sequential interaction like check out. Horizontal prototyping is good for the general look and feel and feature set.
4. There is times when high fidelity prototype is required. When the time comes, you will probably know. Such event includes VC pitch, Big boss meeting, request from technical sales.
However there are pitfalls when using prototyping. I already mentioned pitfalls with the programming in the previous blog post. There is a few more pitfalls. Interestingly, there is a pitfall with low fidelity prototype and pitfalls with high fidelity prototype.
1. Low fidelity prototype is nice if it is used with the people who understands the design process. However there are many cases where people don’t know about it. If the people is your boss, client or stakeholder, it can be problematic. For example, they may think you are an inexperienced amatuer (Maybe it is true that you are inexperienced amateur. Not in the sense, your design skill is not good enough but you are not experienced with clients, if you showed it to someone who can think like that. )
2. High fidelity prototype also has its own pitfall. For example, the clients sees the prototype, they think it’s done and may even try to save money by declaring the job done. Other than that if you have a nice slick look and feel, most of your feedback can be on the topic of detail about look and feel not the interaction flow. Also people tend to be less inclined to criticize work if it looks done, for it is too late.
By the way, the topics about the paper mockup was interesting. I wonder maybe our next class will be an art and craft with pen scissor glue developing paper mockup for the mini-hub.