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Here at ProtoPie, we are always excited to connect with our customers and learn from their experiences. Not only does it help us enhance our own solutions, but it also gives us the opportunity to engage with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking UX designers in the world. Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Marius Hubertus, a senior visual designer at Centigrade, one of the leading UX design agencies in Germany. He shared his insights on how he used ProtoPie and its real-time data functionality to bring ELEXIR’s groundbreaking vision to life.

Centigrade in a Nutshell

Centigrade is a German UX agency that works with startups, medium-sized businesses, and global enterprises across various industries. Their multidisciplinary team consists of computer scientists, designers, game developers, user researchers, and psychologists. By leveraging the latest technological innovations, design best practices, and psychological insights, Centigrade aims to create remarkable user experiences throughout the entire digital product life cycle.

What ELEXIR Was Looking For

ELEXIR, a car startup driven by a passion for automobiles, approached Centigrade with an intriguing vision. They wanted to design a sustainable car that could be completely personalized to meet the unique preferences and requirements of each user. ELEXIR had already developed the software architecture and real-time operating system to support this concept. They took an open-source approach, allowing users to contribute to the system by adding, modifying, or replacing hardware elements. However, they needed Centigrade’s expertise to create a new human-machine interface (HMI) from scratch.

Why Centigrade Chose to Use ProtoPie

Given the project’s focus on hardware integration and personalization, Centigrade needed a powerful design software that went beyond static screens. They wanted to create a sophisticated prototype that could accurately represent their ideas, facilitate quick iterations, and meet stringent deadlines. Having previously worked with ProtoPie, they knew it was the perfect tool for the job.

ProtoPie’s real-time data connection capabilities, especially when combined with multiple hardware devices and screens, enabled Centigrade to achieve the desired physical effects within the showcar. The software’s collaborative features allowed team members to work independently while seamlessly integrating their contributions in the final stage. ProtoPie became the ideal blend of flexibility, functionality, and efficiency for Centigrade’s project.

Centigrade’s Design Approach

Centigrade took a user-centric approach to the design of the HMI. They aimed to create a clean and minimalistic interface that only displayed essential information for each use case. By incorporating 3D visualizations and integrating real-life object representations, such as allowing users to visually adjust their seat positions, Centigrade enhanced the user experience and added a touch of excitement to the design.

Getting Down to Work

Throughout the design process, Centigrade maintained a lean and incremental approach. They built small components that could be easily adapted and reused for various use cases. By establishing a visual design system language in collaboration with ELEXIR, they quickly moved into working with ProtoPie. The development phases consisted of visual design, real-time data integration through the OBD port, and iterative testing on the actual product.

How ProtoPie Helped Centigrade Create ELEXIR’s Vision

Marius emphasized the significance of prototyping in his workflow. It allows him to visualize, test, and iterate ideas efficiently, serving as a safety net before implementing them. Having used numerous prototyping tools in the past, Marius found that ProtoPie’s advanced component features offered unparalleled flexibility. It enabled him to create UI components, store them in a component library, and establish seamless communication between different components.

Furthermore, the ability to test the prototype directly on the showcar’s hardware was a game-changer for Centigrade. This feature allowed them to ensure that their design translated effectively to the final product.

Marius’s Top Tips for Making the Most Out of ProtoPie

Marius shared some valuable tips based on his experience using ProtoPie. To create 3D representations in the navigation system and settings, he explored the tool’s existing variables and functions, leveraging the knowledge and resources of the ProtoPie community. To maintain organization and avoid confusion, he emphasized the importance of naming layers and structuring designs into components. Additionally, he recommended optimizing performance by using appropriately sized images and scalable vector graphics (SVGs) instead of videos whenever possible.

In conclusion, ProtoPie proved to be an indispensable tool for Centigrade’s collaboration with ELEXIR. Its advanced features, flexibility, and real-time data functionality empowered them to bring ELEXIR’s vision to life. Centigrade’s exceptional UX design has even earned them a nomination for the prestigious German UX Design Award 2022.

If you’re looking to achieve your prototyping goals, ProtoPie offers a wide range of solutions trusted by more than 15,000 companies. Schedule a demo today to explore how ProtoPie can help your teams succeed.

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