Layers of Fidelity

In design, we think about visual fidelity, from high fidelity pixel perfect mockups to low fidelity wireframes. However there are also layers of information fidelity.

Layers of fidelity

  1. Data - What problems are we solving? What data are we providing?
  2. Information - How can users consume that data? What insights can be provided?
  3. Visual - What might that look like?
  4. Interaction - How can a user navigate those visuals? (Note, not how it works. That's a lower layer of fidelity)

This sprung from a conversation with the always amazing Melissa Casburn, where she suggested this model while we were talking about working on proof of concept work still heavy in the engineering/data stage. Interesting for thinking about what fidelity you're working at for an overall project (a rough proof of concept might be functioning more at the data/information fidelity) and calibrating designs to the right fidelity for the questions you're looking to answer.