Customer Spotlight

How Politecnico di Milano uses ProtoPie in the classroom

Lecturer Paolo Perego explains how his students learn about prototyping and interaction design using ProtoPie.

Julie Ko
Julie Ko, Customer Success AssociateSeptember 7, 2020
Politecnico di Milano thumbnail

ProtoPie is free for all students, teachers, and schools as we believe in the future.

A while ago, we got in touch with Paolo Perego, a lecturer of design department at Politecnico di Milano, one of the most prestigious technical universities in Italy and Europe. He needed an interactive prototyping solution to teach the fundamentals of interaction design. Now, a few months later, Paolo would like to share his experience using ProtoPie with his students.

Most suitable solution

Being in need of a prototyping tool, a friend of Paolo’s coincidentally suggested ProtoPie. Paolo started with the trial and quickly realized how valuable ProtoPie would be to his students and the way they study interaction design. “Right away, I convinced my colleagues that we should use ProtoPie as the main interactive prototyping tool in our Digital Design course,” says Paolo Perego. “As the course focuses on digital user interfaces and prototyping the interactions for mobile apps, ProtoPie has proven to be the most suitable solution for us.”

ProtoPie in the classroom

Throughout the course that Paolo teaches students how they can design an app from scratch while valuing usability and analysis.

First, Paolo aims to teach students the importance of analysis. “Analysis should be the foundation of good design. Hence, I make my students research as many use cases, and weigh the pros and cons,” Paolo continues. He teaches the fundamentals of qualitative and quantitative analysis as well as user analysis.

Once the shortcomings of each use case have been identified, it’s all about figuring out how these can be improved. Students go through a few cycles of ideation to improve their designs. To make those ideas more concrete, Paolo gives them the task to create simple click-through prototypes with Figma.

The most fun part comes last–students have to make think more deeply about the UI as well as the way a user would interact with the app. They would make realistic high-fidelity prototypes with ProtoPie that they can on their phones straightaway. Paolo explains: “As we could import designs from Figma, it was just a very convenient experience overall. Students can learn using both tools: Figma for UI design and ProtoPie for interaction design. Two birds one stone.”

Some examples prototypes that Paolo’s students have made.

Prototype showing text input
Made by Caterina Cavallini, Diletta Micol Tobia, Irene Zanardi, Marta Citterio, Marta Minazzo
Prototype showing scrolling
Made by Giorgia Piacentini, Jacopo William de Denaro, Michela Alessandrello, Riccardo David, Sara Andreani

Ideal prototyping tool

Paolo chose ProtoPie because it’s very easy to learn and use. He and his students are able to create functional and realistic prototypes, without coding. Paolo and his students believe that the unique conceptual model of ProtoPie makes it very easy for students to wrap their heads around. Putting their interaction ideas into practice is just a matter of time.

Furthermore, students enjoy the ability to incorporate smart device sensors in their prototypes. “Adding camera capabilities to a prototype or input text using the keyboard are features that I cannot find in other tools,” Paolo mentions.

Using the Team plan makes it easy for students to share their prototypes and collaborate on their projects. Students make their own components that other students can use in their prototypes. Also, providing feedback instantly encourages communication among students. “It is the easiest way to collaborate and make prototypes efficiently. With the new interaction libraries and recipes, it would even benefit our collaborative work even more. I am planning to make students these features in the next semester.”

“I strongly recommend ProtoPie as the prototyping tool for UX design, interaction design, and prototyping educators. It will simply make you better as students can learn better. So, don’t miss this awesome opportunity to use ProtoPie for free!”

ProtoPie helps students, schools, and teachers

ProtoPie class support program thumbnail
ProtoPie class support program

We have two different education programs that help students, schools, and teachers.

“What I learned about interaction design and prototyping in university was the foundation that led me to working at Google prior to founding ProtoPie.”
— Tony Kim, CEO at ProtoPie

Class Support Program

ProtoPie helps schools and teachers to use ProtoPie with their students for educational purposes.

  • A free Team plan for the teacher and their students.
  • For 1 whole year.
  • You can apply every year.
  • For any educational purpose, e.g., teaching a class or as part of a course.

Apply for the Class Support Program.

Student Support Program

The world needs your talent. Students can use ProtoPie for free.

  • A free Individual plan.
  • For 1 whole year.
  • You can apply every year… as long as you’re a student at an accredited school.

Apply for the Student Support Program.