Course Description

Some of the world’s leading brands, such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and General Electric, have rapidly adopted the design thinking approach, and design thinking is being taught at leading universities around the world, including Stanford d.school, Harvard, and MIT. What is design thinking, and why is it so popular and effective?

The overall goal of this design thinking course is to help you design better products, services, processes, strategies, spaces, architecture, and experiences. Design thinking helps you and your team develop practical and innovative solutions for your problems. It is a human-focused, prototype-driven, innovative design process. Through this course, you will develop a solid understanding of the fundamental phases and methods in design thinking, and you will learn how to implement your newfound knowledge in your professional work life. We will give you lots of examples; we will go into case studies, videos, and other useful material, all of which will help you dive further into design thinking.

Design thinking methods and strategies belong at every level of the design process. However, design thinking is not an exclusive property of designers—all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it. What’s special about design thinking is that designers and designers’ work processes can help us systematically extract, teach, learn, and apply these human-centered techniques in solving problems in a creative and innovative way—in our designs, in our businesses, in our countries, and in our lives.

That means that design thinking is not only for designers but also for creative employees, freelancers, and business leaders. It’s for anyone who seeks to infuse an approach to innovation that is powerful, effective and broadly accessible, one that can be integrated into every level of an organization, product, or service so as to drive new alternatives for businesses and society.

What you will learn

  • How to apply design thinking to your problems in order to generate innovative and user-centric solutions
  • How to make use of practical design thinking methods in every stage of your problem, with the help of method templates
  • How to initiate a new working culture based on a user-centric approach, empathy, ideation, prototyping, and playful testing
  • How to employ ethnographic and analysis methods, such as interviews, focus groups, and surveys
  • How to prototype early and fast, as well as test your prototypes so as to reduce risks and accelerate organizational learning

Who should take this course

This is a beginner-level course suitable for anyone interested in mastering the powerful and versatile design thinking approach:

  • UX, UI, and graphic designers interested in gaining a new approach to solving design problems and generating solutions that work
  • Project managers looking for a holistic process that integrates all stakeholders in order to create user-centric solutions
  • Software engineers interested in playing a part in idea generation and the design process
  • Entrepreneurs looking to empathize with users and build products that fit the market and users’ lives
  • Marketers who want to gain a deep understanding of customers
  • Stakeholders of a project/company who are keen to get involved in the process of building a product or service
  • Anyone who is interested in an innovative problem-solving approach that can be applied to all types of problems in work and in life

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

Lessons in this course

Note: Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week. Once a lesson becomes available, it is open for you forever — you can take all the time you want to go through each lesson. There is no time limit to finish a course, and you always have access to your classmates, course material, and your answers.

The estimated time to complete this course is a total of 11 hours 39 mins spread over 7 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

Available once you start the course. Estimated time to complete: 43 mins.

Lesson 1: What is Design Thinking and Why is it so Popular?

Available once you start the course. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 19 mins.

  • 1.1: What is Design Thinking and Why Is It So Popular? (19 mins)
  • 1.2: Design Thinking: New Innovative Thinking for New Problems (16 mins)
  • 1.3: Obstacles to Problem Solving and Innovation in Design Thinking (13 mins)
  • 1.4: Wicked Problems: 5 Steps to Help You Tackle Wicked Problems by Combining Systems Thinking with Agile Methodology (13 mins)
  • 1.5: Essential Design Thinking Videos and Methods (6 mins)
  • 1.6: Break down the Barriers to Innovation (6 mins)
  • 1.7: Share Your Thoughts (6 mins)

Lesson 2: The Design Thinking Process

Available anytime after Jul 07, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 53 mins.

Lesson 3: Empathise with the People You Design For

Available anytime after Jul 14, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 51 mins.

Lesson 4: Define the Design Challenge

Available anytime after Jul 21, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 26 mins.

  • 4.1: Stage 2 in the Design Thinking Process – Define the Problem by Synthesising Information (6 mins)
  • 4.2: Methods to Help You Define Synthesise and Make Sense in Your Research (16 mins)
  • 4.3: Affinity Diagrams – Learn How to Cluster and Bundle Ideas and Facts (4 mins)
  • 4.4: Empathy Map – Why and How to Use It (11 mins)
  • 4.5: Personas – A Simple Introduction (16 mins)
  • 4.6: Define and Frame Your Design Challenge by Creating Your Point Of View and Ask “How Might We” (23 mins)
  • 4.7: Map the Stakeholders (5 mins)
  • 4.8: Define Your Challenge (6 mins)

Lesson 5: Ideate

Available anytime after Jul 28, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 26 mins.

  • 5.1: What is Ideation – and How to Prepare for Ideation Sessions (14 mins)
  • 5.2: Understand the Elements and Thinking Modes that Create Fruitful Ideation Sessions (12 mins)
  • 5.3: Create Some Space – for Ideation Sessions and Design Thinking (9 mins)
  • 5.4: Create Some Space With d.school (5 mins)
  • 5.5: Introduction to the Essential Ideation Techniques which are the Heart of Design Thinking (16 mins)
  • 5.6: Learn How to Use the Best Ideation Methods: Brainstorming, Braindumping, Brainwriting, and Brainwalking (22 mins)
  • 5.7: Learn How to Use the Best Ideation Methods: SCAMPER (9 mins)
  • 5.8: Learn How to Use the Best Ideation Methods: Worst Possible Idea (6 mins)
  • 5.9: Learn How to Use the Best Ideation Methods: Challenge Assumptions (5 mins)
  • 5.10: Learn How to Use the Best Ideation Methods: Analogies (7 mins)
  • 5.11: Etch A Sketch: How to Use Sketching in User Experience Design (11 mins)
  • 5.12: How to Select the Best Idea by the end of an Ideation Session (11 mins)
  • 5.13: 14 Barriers to Ideation – and How to Overcome Them (14 mins)
  • 5.14: Exercise and Discussion: Share Your Reflections on Ideation (7 mins)

Lesson 6: Prototype and Test

Available anytime after Aug 04, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 1 min.

  • 6.1: The Key Benefits of Prototyping (8 mins)
  • 6.2: Design Thinking: Get Started with Prototyping (13 mins)
  • 6.3: Prototyping in Design Thinking: How to Avoid Six Common Pitfalls (10 mins)
  • 6.4: What Kind of Prototype Should You Create? (10 mins)
  • 6.5: Prototyping: Learn Eight Common Methods and Best Practices (14 mins)
  • 6.6: Don’t Build It, Fake It First – Prototyping for Mobile Apps (10 mins)
  • 6.7: Test Your Prototypes: How to Gather Feedback and Maximise Learning (12 mins)
  • 6.8: How to Get More Honest Feedback in User Testing (6 mins)
  • 6.9: Heuristic Evaluation: How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation (10 mins)
  • 6.10: Unmoderated Remote Usability Testing (URUT) - Every Step You Take, We Won’t Be Watching You (6 mins)
  • 6.11: From Prototype to Product: Ensuring Your Solution is Feasible and Viable (18 mins)
  • 6.12: Prototyping Process (5 mins)

Lesson 7: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

Available anytime after Aug 11, 2018.

  • 7.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn an industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course - even if you finish the course after the official end date. In other words, as long as you have enrolled in the course you will always be able to finish it and to get a course certificate. You will also have permanent access to the course material, your answers and the discussions.

Course Certificates from the IDF are verifiable and trusted by industry leaders. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

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