Fidelity should match confidence

On how to use fidelity as a communication tool

The fidelity of your design (and what you share with others) should match your level of confidence. 

For example, ideas shouldn’t be “sketched” in pixel-perfect and full color.

They should be rough drawings or wireframes. 

Using too high of fidelity sends the message to others that things are decided and not up for negotiation (this is especially true when sharing a concept with stakeholders or developers for the first time).

It also constricts creativity because it tricks you into thinking you’ve solved the problem when, in reality, much remains to research and validate. 

Before sharing a draft, ask yourself, “How confident are we in this solution?” and adjust the fidelity to match.

(As an aside, it is perfectly okay to explore in high resolution early, as visual design is just as important as scope or UX — the thoughts above are about what gets shared to the broader project team and outside stakeholders.)

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