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Alternative prototypes

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30 minutes

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  • Paper

  • Coloured pens

  • Scissors/glue

What is this tool and what is its purpose and benefit?


Low-fidelity prototypes are quick, simple, cheap and low-technology prototypes which are often the first prototype versions created from the selected concepts. The aim is to test the idea of the service/product and its functionality before moving on to more advanced prototypes. Often for example paper, sequential images and cardboard are used for low-fidelity prototypes. These may have drawn the core functions on it. This low-cost method helps visualise prototypes well enough to help collect and analyse feedback in the early stages. Low-fidelity prototypes do not have to be sophisticated or high-quality, so that one can instead focus on ideas. A low-fidelity prototype can be changed even in the course of interaction with the customer so that it would be easier to elicit feedback.

Steps how to use this tool in practice

The same steps apply when working individually, in pairs or in a group.


First think about what the service requirements are and what you would like to achieve with your low-fidelity prototype.


Decide how to deliver your low-fidelity prototype. Consider aspects such as the type of customers who will use your service, the tools and resources you have, and the ways you can gain feedback.


Create the low-fidelity prototype. You should not worry about how it looks like. What is important is to focus on the idea including those of the basic functions, and what you want to test with the customer.


Test your low-fidelity prototype. Present it to the users and ask for their feedback. First present your idea and what you would like to achieve with the prototype. Remember to prepare the goal and the questions before testing.


Analyse the feedback. Are there any changes that need to be introduced to your initial prototype?

Tips and hints for using this tool

  • For example, websites and apps are easy to test with low-fidelity prototypes.

  • One metaphor for a low-fidelity prototype could be a paper doll.

Other tools of this phase

Transferring concepts into easy-to-understand visual form.

Concept visualization.png

Prototyping different services through roleplay.


A detailed evaluation of the service and its aspects.

Service blueprint.png

A visual tool for sorting and selecting ideas.

Affinity diagramming.png

Used to generate and iterate quick and easy prototypes.

Rapid experiments.png

Voting and selecting ideas with stickers.

Dot voting.png
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