Chapter 2. Fidelity: Check the Right Things with the Right People

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Fidelity: Check the Right Things with the Right People

Not every persona or wireframe or prototype or journey map looks the same. Why is that? Turns out, you can describe differences between one deliverable and the next with fidelity.

When your model looks more like the real thing, we say it has more fidelity. Things with more fidelity take more time to make. Things with less fidelity are more difficult for your teammates to check.

Four factors affect how much fidelity appears in your models:

  • Audience—Who will check your model?
  • Distance—Are you co-located or remote?
  • Time—Are you communicating same-time or staggered?
  • Reach—How much will the model be shared with others?

To make and check the right things, you adjust their fidelity.

Fidelity Changes What’s Included in the Model

Imagine you take a photo of yourself in the mirror. The photo looks just like you. It’s a high-fidelity model of you. Now, imagine you draw yourself as a stick figure. That stick figure is a low-fidelity model of what you look like (Figure 2-1).

Figure 2-1

When your model looks more like the real thing, we say it has more fidelity.1

When you Make a model, you choose how much information to include. How you Think about the model limits the information you have available. The feedback you want from a Check requires different kinds of ...

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