In a world where pixels dance and graphics take center stage, I have noticed that many UX designers jump straight into visual design tools like Figma. What has happened to a good ol’ sketch? Are wireframes now just a window to the past? Did we forget the high value of a low-fidelity prototype?
In this blogpost, I want to share my take on the never-ending fight against wicked design problems, the different design fidelities and how you can use them to unleash your inner superhero!
Sketches are like a superhero’s power
They are the foundation upon which we overlay our actual design work. Just as a superhero has a range of powers, a designer has a range of sketches, each with its own unique purpose. Sketching is a rapid, freehand drawing that we do with no intention of it becoming a finished product. And just like a superhero, sketches give us superspeed to kickstart our designs.
Wireframes are like a superhero's costume
They provide structure and direction to the design, just as a superhero's costume provides structure and direction to their actions. A wireframe is a basic visual guide used to suggest the structure of a design, as well as the relationships between its pages. Wireframes serve as our x-ray vision, letting us see problems that at first glance might not be visible, without having to go all in on the design.
Prototypes are like a superhero’s gadgets
They refine and exemplify our designs, just as a superhero's gadgets refine and exemplify their abilities. A prototype is a communication tool, allows designers, users, and stakeholders to get a feel of the proposed solution and give feedback. No longer is there a language barrier between designers and stakeholders, for this handy gadget provides a translation both understand.
Understanding the Continuum is like a superhero's origin story
There is no clear boundary line separating these design artifacts, just as there is no clear boundary line separating a superhero's origin story. They are all part of a continuum that supports ideation, concept validation, refinement, and usability testing. Sketches or wireframes support ideation and concept validation, while prototypes are important for refinement and usability testing.
Just as superheroes need to understand and develop their powers, costume, and gadgets, a designer needs to understand and develop their sketches, wireframes, and prototypes. Each fidelity has its own unique purpose and supports the design process in different ways.
If we want to be superheroes and defeat villainous problems, rushing into a fight headfirst is not the way to go. Take a step back, plan your moves, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Only then can you go to infinity and beyond!
Are you ready to take on the role of a superhero designer?
Let's connect on LinkedIn, share your thoughts with me and let's save the world of design together!