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, 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 10 hours 1 min spread over 7 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 48 mins.

  • 0.1: Welcome (2 mins)
  • 0.2: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.3: Let our community help you (1 min)
  • 0.4: Meet your peers online in our discussion forums (6 mins)
  • 0.5: Meet your peers offline through IDF Local Groups (1 min)
  • 0.6: Gain Timeless Knowledge Through IDF Courses (11 mins)
  • 0.7: How to earn your Course Certificate (4 mins)
  • 0.8: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
  • 0.9: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)
  • 0.10: Breaking The Barriers to Innovation: Sharing Ideas (6 mins)

Lesson 1: Getting Started thinking Outside of the Box

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 57 mins.

  • 1.1: Breaking Thinking Patterns: Design Thinking (8 mins)
  • 1.2: An Introduction to a Design-Specific Approach: Design Thinking (9 mins)
  • 1.3: A Short & Incomplete History of Design Thinking (7 mins)
  • 1.4: The Problem is in our Thinking (17 mins)
  • 1.5: Design and Thinking Movie (3 mins)
  • 1.6: Share your Thoughts (5 mins)
  • 1.7: Discussion Forum (5 mins)
  • 1.8: Problem Solution Generation Activities: Design Thinking (1 min)
  • 1.9: Problem Solution Generation: Design Thinking (2 mins)

Lesson 2: The Fundamentals of Design Thinking

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 4 mins.

  • 2.1: What is Design? (11 mins)
  • 2.2: The Design Process (19 mins)
  • 2.3: Design Types (15 mins)
  • 2.4: Wicked and Not so Wicked Problems (18 mins)
  • 2.5: Obstacles to Problem Solving and Innovation (13 mins)
  • 2.6: Shape (13 mins)
  • 2.7: A Quick Overview (23 mins)
  • 2.8: Design Thinking Concepts (6 mins)
  • 2.9: Discussion Forum (5 mins)
  • 2.10: The Power of Thinking Outside the Box: Design Thinking (1 min)

Lesson 3: Define The Challenge

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 15 mins.

  • 3.1: All roads lead to Rome (8 mins)
  • 3.2: Mapping the Stakeholders (10 mins)
  • 3.3: Take a Team Along (13 mins)
  • 3.4: Shaping Space D-School (5 mins)
  • 3.5: Creating Some Space (8 mins)
  • 3.6: Question Everything (8 mins)
  • 3.7: Frame the Challenge (18 mins)
  • 3.8: Define your Challenge (5 mins)

Lesson 4: Empathize with the People

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 16 mins.

  • 4.1: RSA Shorts - The Power of Empathy (4 mins)
  • 4.2: Getting Started with Empathy (16 mins)
  • 4.3: Developing an Empathic Approach (8 mins)
  • 4.4: Barriers to Communication and Empathy (12 mins)
  • 4.5: Ethnographic Research Methods (8 mins)
  • 4.6: Shadowing (14 mins)
  • 4.7: Making Sense of the Research (9 mins)
  • 4.8: Design Process Communication (5 mins)

Lesson 5: The Typical Design Thinking Process

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 1 min.

  • 5.1: A Typical Design Thinking Process (11 mins)
  • 5.2: Step Two: Observation: Design Thinking (5 mins)
  • 5.3: Step Three: Define the Problem/Interpret the Results: Design Thinking (8 mins)
  • 5.4: Step Four: Ideation: Design Thinking (6 mins)
  • 5.5: Step Five: Prototyping: Design Thinking (10 mins)
  • 5.6: Step Six: Testing: Design Thinking (14 mins)
  • 5.7: The Art of Creative Problem Solving (1 min)
  • 5.8: Humanising the design process: Design Thinking (2 mins)
  • 5.9: Design Thinking Process Stages (5 mins)

Lesson 6: Analyze findings & Ideate

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 24 mins.

  • 6.1: Getting Started (12 mins)
  • 6.2: Elements that influence Ideation (15 mins)
  • 6.3: Barriers to Ideation (11 mins)
  • 6.4: Ideation Methods 1 (13 mins)
  • 6.5: Ideation Methods 2 (8 mins)
  • 6.6: Ideation Methods 3 (12 mins)
  • 6.7: Final Methods and Idea Selection (10 mins)
  • 6.8: Brainstorming: Needless Activity or Generating Solution Method? (5 mins)

Lesson 7: Prototyping

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 15 mins.

  • 7.1: Design Thinking - Empathy Based Prototyping (4 mins)
  • 7.2: Getting Started with Prototyping (13 mins)
  • 7.3: Success through failure (12 mins)
  • 7.4: Types of Prototyping (8 mins)
  • 7.5: Materials and Tools (12 mins)
  • 7.6: Prototyping Methods (13 mins)
  • 7.7: Testing Prototypes (8 mins)
  • 7.8: Prototyping Process (5 mins)

Lesson 8: Course Certificate and Final Networking

To be scheduled.

  • 8.1: 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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