We are at the stage to test some of our high-end prototypes. Our client types are very different, from fashion to furniture retailers. So each client uses the tool in their way and also the list of the products and revenue we display are different per client.

I want to apply these constraints to my prototypes, using dummy data, I am updating every product, price, product image etc. As you can imagine, this is slowing the learning process as we can test fewer prototypes.

What are your takes on high fidelity prototypes? Do you think a different type of clients can align their mental model with other types of industries?

3 Answers 3


Short answer - as detailed as they need to be for what you need to test (and no more)

Long answer:

In my experience, each time you expose users to prototypes (and then retest with them), the expectation is that the level of fidelity will increase. Of course, if you want to be able to analyse the results consistently, keeping the level of fidelity the same will be easier in some cases, and harder in other cases. It all depends on the expectation that you have set out with the client and the type of testing you want to do. Generally the closer you are to a release the more likely it will be that a high fidelity prototype will be the preferred option.

However, keep in mind that the only logical next step from a high-fidelity prototype is an actual working or interactive prototype, so if there is a long lead time between design and development then it makes sense to keep the level of fidelity as low as possible so as to manage expectations better.

Typically high fidelity prototypes are best suited to very fine design details that you want to test with users, and not as useful for things like workflow and content requirements because people get caught up or distracted with the density of design details (e.g. colours, icons, actual data, etc.).


I think it's always about trade-offs. When it comes to high-fidelity prototypes, there is no extent to which you can make them realistic. It mostly depends on how much resources you have and to what extent it's feasible to conduct these usability tests.

I don't understand what you mean by the 'learning process'. Does it mean that the insights you're gaining from the usability testing is slow?

According to my experience, usually clients find it hard to or cannot align with the mindset of other industries. I have seen many users telling me the interviews that the "The specification of that product was incorrect" - when I used dummy data/fillers.


Agree with Michael Lai. As you move closer to release your mockups will need to match the actual product, but only to iron out fine details, such as components animation timing, colors versions.. If you are still gaging a specific user journey, say the the efficacy of one idea, I wouldn't mind too much on updating minor UI details.

That said, yes I would swap fashion placeholders with furniture ones if I am testing with the furniture client, so that they are not distracted by them.

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