Skip to main content

Design Thinking Courses

Learn design thinking from top institutions including Microsoft, RIT and more on edX. Join today.

Hundreds of great courses at your fingertips

Learn on the go with the new edX mobile app. You can stream or download course videos and watch directly from your iPhone or Android device.

What Is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is both an ideology and a process. The design process seeks to understand the user and redefine a problem by challenging assumptions. The method is mainly used for problem-solving when there's no immediate path or solution.

The design thinking process arises out of a deep interest in understanding the user for whom the product or service is intended. This sense of profound empathy allows designers to reframe questions, challenge assumptions, and understand the far-reaching implications of any product or service.

The Principles of Design Thinking

The Design Thinking framework revolves around four critical principles:

  • design is human-centric

  • ambiguity is crucial and informs experimentation

  • all design is a redesign

  • ideas must be tangible for testing

The Process of Design Thinking:

Design thinking takes a user-centric approach to solutions-based problem-solving. All design seeks to solve the same basic human needs, so real users must be at the center of complex problems.

  • Phase One: empathize with the user.

  • Phase Two: define the problem.

  • Phase Three: ideate potential solutions.

  • Phase Four: create a prototype (even if it's low-fi).

  • Phase Five: test the solution.

The testing phase will often yield insights that send you back to a previous step, redefining the problem or creating a different solution. The iterative process is crucial for keeping the user at the center of your design methodology.

Design Thinking Courses and Certificates

Courses in design thinking prepare you for design thinking approaches to business and product creation. It opens solutions to design challenges that traditional production may miss. Design Thinking Fundamentals from the Rochester Institute of Technology introduces you to the basic principles of design thinking, centering your approach to problem-solving around human beings. Two more courses from RIT cover specifically ideation and empathizing to understand the problem.

Other courses cover principles of design thinking, including what it takes to innovate new solutions in rapid time. Building creative ideas is a cornerstone of this methodology and courses from RIT, Microsoft, the University of Queensland and others helps prepare you for problem-solving in the real world.

Explode Your Career with Design Thinking

The design thinking process gives you a competitive advantage everywhere from startups to established businesses. The user experience is key to building products that users need but may not know it yet. Design thinkers are able to initiate real innovation, creating value for organizations through an iterative development process. By taking the customer's point of view, businesses have the chance to build products and service that address people's needs without wasting valuable time and resources on flops. Companies can discover real-world solutions driven by users' needs.