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Dragan Babic enables design within creatively-challenged organizations.

The reason we do low fidelity design

Create your lo-fi designs with the intent to throw them away.

Wireframes, journey maps, site maps, diagrams, those are all thinking tools. They are not deliverables, and you should not treat them as such, unless you have a really valid reason to spend budget on them.

We’ve never, ever in the history of Superawesome delivered a set of wireframes to a client, and built the final version of whatever it is that we were building to be 1–1 with the wireframe. We’ve never created a content map for a new website, that wasn’t changed in some way during the design process.

The phase during which these things are produced is simply too early in the design process, for a designer to be coming to final decisions on anything. This is why every asset you produce in the lo-fi phase of the design process should be considered an iteration at best. It should simply be an artefact cataloguing your thinking at a certain point in time. Nothing else.

At Superawesome, we don’t even call, nor consider them a “deliverable”. We don’t even show them to stakeholders unless they are relevant to making a business decision.

All in all, the takeaway is that designers should treat products of the lo-fi design phase as temporary, and err on the side of caution if there’s a push to invest a lot of time and effort in them. They are tools to think, and they are meant to be created, thrown away, and created again as needed.

Lo-Fi design artefacts are an excellent differentiator when you are trying to figure out which kind of a designer you’re dealing with. If it’s too polished the designer is most likely leaning to the visual side of things, so they are playing to their strengths. However if it’s messy, rough, goes deep and covers a lot of scenarios, and it comes on a piece of paper, you are most likely dealing with someone with broader experience in designing things other people are meant to use.

Created
2022-11-21
Updated
2023-01-03

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Dragan Babic is a design consultant enabling creatively challenged organizations to nurture design, and work with design professionals in productive ways.

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