Published on June 1, 2011

This post was previously on the Pathfinder Software site. Pathfinder Software changed its name to Orthogonal in 2016. Read more.

In the age of hi-fi tools, low-fi tools still have their place and a very important place. But when should you go with low-fi? Here are some insights.

Team Involvement
When team participation is needed low-fi methods are almost always the best. Everyone can relate to and use a whiteboard, markers and sticky notes. Also, with low-fi tools people can easily work together or in teams. This creates a productive chemistry and a fun environment.

When it comes to developing initial product concepts, more simple iterations usually outperform fewer complex iterations. To iterate fast, low-fi is the way to go.

Risk Management
When a design task is likely to result in something being thrown out, stick to low-fi visualizations of the ideas. When there isn’t a lot invested, it’s easier to let go of something that doesn’t work and have budget left to find out what does.