Introduction To Design Thinking
Develop a Strong Foundation in Design Thinking
About This Bootcamp
Explore proven, repeatable, industry-standard approaches for your design projects, all with the help of guided instruction and personalized support. You’ll learn and practice methods of collaborative research and explore the human needs of an audience in context. You’ll perform deep analysis and synthesis of your data, and then generate powerful, creative, highly relevant ideas that authentically respond to them. By the end, you’ll be ready to create prototypes, test them, and put them to market.
Best Suited For
Ideal for those who want to gain practical experience in design thinking. This bootcamp is ideal for beginners even without a background in design, but you do need a basic understanding of what human-centered design is, and how it is used. While this bootcamp does not teach you how to become a UX designer, it will give you an introduction to the theory and practice of human-centered design.
You’ll learn how to apply the powerful and versatile design thinking approach to solve complex problems in a user-centric way. You can apply what you learn in this bootcamp towards projects in design, engineering, customer research, and product development. Whether you’re an aspiring designer, or whether you work in a field unrelated to design, you can use this bootcamp to gain usable skills in human-centered processes.
What You’ll Receive
Master professional design thinking approaches with:
1 year of membership to our courses and community
Teaching by expert instructors
Project based curriculum to build skills fast
Responsive detailed feedback from senior mentors
Practice through daily activities, weekly critiques & presentations
A community of peers and experts to network with
Perks and discounts on tools like Figma and more
Curated resources to give you the perfect blend of theory and practice
A diverse but integrated set of practical, professional methods
What You’ll End Up With
A portfolio-worthy project that showcases your unique thinking and abilities
In-depth and practical experience in an end-to-end design thinking approach
Familiarity with your unique strengths as a design collaborator
Knowledge to create and connect the most common design thinking deliverables
A Focused and Fully-Online Learning Experience
Download the Curriculum
Interested in the bootcamp, but want to learn more before signing up? Get our detailed curriculum to understand how the bootcamp is structured, what you'll learn each week, and the kind of guidance you can expect.
Week 1: The World of Design Thinking
- Learn what design thinking is and why it is so popular.
- Get started with your bootcamp folio and open project brief.
- Identify a worthy design challenge.
- Study the relationships between design thinking, UX and human-centered design.
- Learn about soft skills you need to work in design thinking.
Week 2: Empathize—Care & Curiosity in Discovery Research & Needfinding
- Learn the importance of professional empathy in design thinking.
- Use methods to explore perspectives different to your own experience.
- Understand how to ask questions to gain insights.
- Master the practice of understanding.
- Collaborate in design thinking teams.
Week 3: Define—Get to the Point with Analysis and Synthesis of Research Data
- Clarify with ‘How Might We…?’ questions.
- Use affinity mapping and other methods to analyze and synthesize.
- Get clarity on great challenges worth designing a solution for.
- Focus on problems that are clear, strong and solvable but ‘un-Googleable’.
- Learn to manage ambiguity in your search for clarity.
Week 4: Ideate—Generate Effective Ideas & Genuine Solutions
- Leverage the power of multiple perspectives in your design team.
- Learn to be solutions-focused.
- Develop skills to generate multiple solutions.
- Study feasibility and find the right solution to the right problem.
- Learn what it means to be creative in design thinking teams.
Week 5: Prototype—Make Ideas Come to Life
- Develop skills in tinkering and creativity.
- Use stories and models to make concepts real and relatable.
- Learn how to give and receive feedback.
- Communicate ideas clearly with others.
- Learn the links between prototyping and testing.
Week 6: Test—Use Evaluative Methods & Iterate
- Adjust attitudes to failure, and the opportunities to learn from it.
- Develop communication skills.
- Plan, conduct and learn from tests.
- Learn about resiliency and iteration in design thinking.
- Take your new design thinking skills into the real world.
Learn from Experts with a Proven Track Record
Each cohort of the bootcamp is guided by an expert instructor and a team of senior mentors.
Our instructors have a minimum of 10 years of industry experience—as well as many years of teaching expertise. Our mentors have at least 5+ years of industry experience and are adept at helping beginners get started with UX design.
You’ll have repeated opportunities to interact with both your mentor and instructor—as well as your fellow students! This means you’ll have ample opportunity to receive constructive feedback, personalized guidance and 1:1 assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need any prior design skills or education to enroll in the bootcamp?You don’t need any prior design skills, experience or education in design in order to take the UX Fundamentals bootcamp. This bootcamp will teach you essential skills and concepts that will help you to continue learning UX.
For the Design Thinking bootcamp, you need a basic understanding of what human-centered design is, and how it is used. Because of the individual attention and expert guidance you’ll receive in either bootcamp, you’ll maximize your learning in a short period of time. If you’re new to UX design, this bootcamp will help you start strong, and hold you in good stead as you continue to learn UX and work towards a UX career.
What's the difference between taking an IxDF course and taking the bootcamp?The IxDF courses are self-paced and designed for independent study without the assistance of a mentor or instructor.
Whereas, with the bootcamp, you’ll get live instruction and personalized feedback on a regular basis from a mentor and an instructor. You’ll also get to network with peers and get answers to questions more easily through a private Slack community that’s exclusive to the bootcamp.
Will I be able to take the bootcamp if English is not my first language?Even if English is not your first language, you will still need to be comfortable with reading, writing and speaking English because the language of instruction in the bootcamp will be in English.
That said, we welcome students from around the world, and in recognition of the fact that English will not be everyone’s first language, we’ve maintained a simple level of English in all our materials. And if you do get stuck, don’t worry—your mentor will be able to help you!
How many hours per week do I need to spend on the bootcamp?You’ll spend 20-25 hours per week on the bootcamp, which includes project work, lessons with the instructor and meetings with your mentor.
What makes the bootcamp different from the others?Most other online bootcamps offer mentorship only without instruction. With IxDF, you’ll receive live instruction, plus focused feedback from a mentor. Also, other bootcamps typically reuse the same projects repeatedly—which means that when you graduate from these bootcamps, your portfolio can have the same projects as other students and risk going unnoticed by recruiters.
In contrast, in IxDF's bootcamps you can work on a completely unique project that stands apart from others’ projects. While the bootcamp isn’t focused on portfolio building and making a full career transition, you can add this project to your portfolio and keep building upon it as you continue learning—and give your portfolio an edge!
What design tools will I learn in the bootcamp?You'll learn how to use Figma and Mural—both tools are used widely in real design teams and will prepare you to take on future learning and project work with greater ease.
What kind of projects will I work on?You will have practical project work that is deeply connected to the lessons you'll go through with your instructor and mentor. You’ll create real deliverables (including or similar to user personas, wireframes, usability tests) that you’ll encounter when you work as a UX designer or while applying Design Thinking in practice.
The goal of these projects is to help you better understand the theoretical and conceptual topics you’ll encounter. Since the focus is on mastering essential and fundamental concepts, you will not focus on portfolio building at this stage.
Can the bootcamp fit around my current job or studies?The bootcamp is fully online and part-time, where you'll have the flexibility to learn at your own pace for 12 weeks. Live lectures and meetings with your mentor will be during weekdays at specific times, and you will need to be available at those times. If your job or studies are part-time or offer flexible hours, your mentor can help you put together a plan that works around your schedule so you will be able to take this bootcamp alongside them.
Can I get a refund if I’m not satisfied?If you're unhappy with your bootcamp experience, you can inform us at any time and we'll do our best to find a resolution for you. If despite our best efforts, you still wish to quit the bootcamp, you can request a refund. To be eligible for the refund, you should request it within the first 14 days of the bootcamp.
Beyond the 14 days, we don't process refunds. However, if there's anything we can improve or fix for you, you will have our dedicated support right through the bootcamp.
What’s the difference between the Design League Membership and doing the Bootcamp?The Design League membership is a monthly membership that gives you 2 hours of non-structured discussion time with a mentor each month. However, the Design League does not include mentor participation outside of the 2 calls.
If you’d like more hands-on guidance than what the Design League offers, the bootcamp could be right for you. In contrast to a Design League membership, this is a full-fledged program packed with guidance and individual attention from a coach and instructor. You’ll learn fundamental concepts from experienced designers, work on practical projects to bring those concepts alive and network with your peers in an inspirational community.
You’ll have 5 hours of video chats with a mentor, plus live lessons from your instructor alongside the lessons and projects you’ll work on. You'll also receive written and verbal feedback throughout the duration of the program, which the Design League does not offer.
Can I see the syllabus or curriculum that the bootcamp follows?Absolutely! If you scroll up on this page, you’ll come across a form where you can request a copy of the bootcamp curriculum.
Can I take the bootcamp even if I'm not based in the US?Absolutely, the bootcamp is open to students from around the world!
Will I be able to choose my mentor and instructor?We’ll pair you with a mentor and instructor based on your location and time zone. In case we don’t have a mentor or instructor in a time zone close to you, we’ll give you options of other mentors and instructors you can work with, and you can choose from them.
Can I specialize in a specific area of UX or UI with the bootcamp?Since this bootcamp teaches you fundamental concepts that are integral to all areas of UX, UI or Human-Centered Design, there is no specialization offered. That’s because the topics covered in this bootcamp form the basis for your future work and education in UX design, or design-related fields. Because of the great foundation you’ll build in this bootcamp, you’ll find further learning and specialization to be much easier.
I have absolutely no prior experience in UX design. Will I be able to take the bootcamp?Definitely! The UX Fundamentals bootcamp is designed with complete beginners in mind. You don’t need any prior conceptual or practical knowledge of UX to take this bootcamp. All you need is an interest in UX and the motivation to learn important concepts and skills to work towards a career in UX.
For the Design Thinking bootcamp, you do need a basic understanding of what human-centered design is, and how it is used.
Is there any placement or career support with the bootcamp?The bootcamp focuses on helping you go from a complete beginner to someone with strong fundamentals in UX, Human-Centered design. That said, you’ll need to learn more advanced concepts and more concept portfolio-oriented projects before you’re ready to work as a UX designer. Due to the introductory nature of this bootcamp, it does not come with placement support.
Will I get a certificate once I complete the bootcamp?Yes, you’ll get a digital certificate that’s displayed on your IxDF profile, and you can also share it on LinkedIn like all our course certificates.
What is the quality of this bootcamp compared to other UX bootcamps?The content in IxDF courses and bootcamps are developed by and with industry-recognized leaders in UX Design. Just like in our self-paced courses, the content in the bootcamp is created by people who have both worked in the industry and taught UX academically. This means that you’ll learn from people who are experts at teaching UX concepts and are also extremely well-versed with the nuances, demands and responsibilities of a real UX job.
Our selection process for mentors and instructors is extremely rigorous and selective. We go the extra mile to ensure that all our bootcamp teaching staff are equally skilled as educators and practitioners.