13 Best Design Thinking Certification, Courses & Training Online [Updated 2020]
Almost every company in the world uses design thinking in some form or the other whether they realize it or not. Whatever product or solution your company develops, design thinking is always an essential part of it. Design thinking through its philosophy and a set of tools helps you solve problems creatively. It mainly follows these steps:
- Empathise: Listen to and understand the customer’s problem.
- Define: Define what the exact problem is and how it can be solved.
- Ideate: Come up with ideas of probable solutions.
- Prototype: Develop a rough or small working component of the solution.
- Test: Testing involves checking whatever you’ve made and where you need to improve.
There are several job postings that mention innovation and creativity as core requirements. The design thinking industry is not limited to a specific job profile and pans across verticals. Thus we at TrumpLearning, along with a team of 20 experts, have curated the list of the 13 best design thinking certifications, courses and training online. So let us dive right in!
13 Best Design Thinking Courses, Training & Certifications Online
- Design Thinking for Innovation By University of Virginia [Coursera]
- MIT’s Approach To Design Thinking [Emeritus]
- Mastering Design Thinking [MIT Management Executive Education]
- Managing Innovation and Design Thinking Specialization By HEC Paris [Coursera]
- Complete Design Thinking Masterclass [Udemy]
- Cooper Crash Course: Design Thinking in 3 Steps [Udemy]
- Develop Your Innovation – Certified Design Thinking Bootcamp [Udemy]
- Design Thinking Micromasters By RIT [EdX]
- Design-led Strategy: Design Thinking For Business Strategy And Entrepreneurship By University of Sydney [Coursera]
- Postgraduate Diploma In Innovation And Design Thinking [Emeritus]
- Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate [IDEOU]
- Design Thinking: Creating Better Customer Experiences [Harvard Extension School]
- Design Thinking for Beginners: Develop Innovative Ideas
This is a beginner level design thinking certification course offered by the University Of Virginia that gives us an overview of design thinking and several tools to help us understand design thinking to solve problems. You will work with a model containing four key questions and also go through a lot of case studies that will help you discover how different organisations used design thinking to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. Also, you will learn how to choose the best ideas from the generated ones that will provide a desired outcome. The design thinking course should take you around 10 hours to complete within 5 weeks at the suggested pace of 1-3 hours per week. You will also get a shareable certificate upon completing the course.
Key topics covered in this design thinking online course are:
- What Is Design Thinking?
- Preparing Your Mind for Innovation
- Idea Generation
- Final Assignment
Subscribed by more than 200,000 learners so far with an average rating of 4.6, it is perhaps one of the best short duration design thinking online courses.
Reviews by student:
I really liked the peer reviews at the end. It was a great way to view other examples of how different projects, industries, and teams have used design thinking. The course was easy to follow as well.
This is a 2-month online design thinking certification course offered in collaboration with MIT Management Executive Education that requires you to devote around 2-4 hours per week. The design thinking course teaches you core concepts of how you can apply innovative models to critical business problems. We will learn about design thinking from a world-class MIT Sloan faculty and identify the needs of the customer to create solutions right from the concept stage to the completion stage. There are 6 individual modules that you will experience through video lectures, individual and project work and group discussions. The design thinking training course includes 62 video lectures, 9 peer learning discussions, 4 case studies, 4 real-world applications and finally 1 capstone project.
Core concepts covered in the design thinking online course are:
- Design Thinking Skills
- Identify Customer Needs
- Applied Creativity – Product Concept Generation
- Design of Services and Customer Experience
- Financial Analysis
- Project Peer Reviews and Course Wrap-up
Upon completion of this design thinking online course, learners would receive a digital certificate by Emeritus in collaboration with MIT Sloan.
Reviews by student:
The examples that were used to illustrate the different aspects of product development were extremely helpful.
This is a 3-month online design thinking certification course that requires you to dedicate around 6-8 hours per week of study. The design thinking training course is taught by the same faculty as in the above course. Steven Eppinger is the co-author of one of the most widely used books on the subject i.e. Product Design And Development. You will be taken through a step by step approach to design thinking via this course. The course follows a human centred approach to systematic development for new products and services. You will also get live sessions with Steven Eppinger and other MIT faculties once you enrol in the course. The main emphasis of this course lies on project based learning where you would be able to apply what you learn to real world scenarios.
Major topics covered in this design thinking course are:
- Product Specifications
- Applied Creativity
- Product Architecture
- Design for Environment
- Product Development Processes
There are 128 video lectures, 3 live teaching sessions, 3 group projects, 10 assignments, 1 capstone project and 7 real world applications to work on in this course. Also, you would get a verified digital certificate of completion from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Reviews by student:
The best parts were the daily lifestyle examples shared in videos, as well as the group project.
This is a beginner level specialisation offered by HEC Paris, that focuses on teaching you how you can incorporate design thinking and creativity into your everyday business practices. You will learn how to think beyond general management using unique structures and techniques in this design thinking certification course. This specialisation is part of the HEC Paris MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It will take you around 6 months to complete at the suggested pace of 6 hours per week.
The following 4 Coursera design thinking courses make up this specialisation:
The goal of this design thinking certification course is to help creative abilities in the student through various experiences and activities. Further, it will help you understand why creativity is important from the consumer perspective. Also, the design thinking training course teaches you how to use this knowledge to think differently and productively about business challenges. This Coursera design thinking course is around 24-hours long and should take you about 4 weeks to complete at the suggested pace of 4-6 hours per week.
Major topics covered in the course are:
- Anatomy of Creativity
- The Importance of Positive Affect for Creativity
- Shaping Your Creative Environment
This is a 27-hour long design thinking certification course that will help you make strategic decisions specifically about innovation. Right from why firms innovate, why and how they compete on innovation, to what role innovation plays in shaping the strategic decisions of companies, the design thinking training course enhances your understanding of the basics. You will not only learn about sourcing innovation, types and patterns of innovation, and competing in dynamic standards battles but also about gaining dominance, protecting innovation from imitation, and the crucial question of timing – a new product launch and market entry. This Coursera design thinking course should take you about 4 weeks to complete at the suggested pace of 5-8 hours per week.
Key topics covered in the course are:
- Technological Innovation
- Types and Patterns of Innovation
- Timing of Entry and Protecting Innovation
A 28-hour long design thinking certification course that teaches you about theoretical and applied frameworks to better design and manage your organisation. Further along the journey, you would go through concepts like evaluating the value-creating potential of your business idea, managing talent and creativity, designing formal organisation structures, managing norms guiding behaviour and finally recognising bottlenecks.
Some of the topics covered in the design thinking training course are:
- Re-designing for growth
- Designing organisations
- Managing people
This is a beginner level 33-hour long design thinking certification course that will help you discover and experiment with a systematic approach to uncover creative insights and innovative solutions. You will be able to identify specific types of situations where analytical approaches fail and design thinking is more effective. Design thinking’s foundations, principles and main phases are the highlights of this design thinking training course. You should be able to finish this course with 6 weeks of study at the suggested pace of 6-10 hours per week.
Primary topics covered in this Coursera design thinking course are:
- Overall approach to Design Thinking
- Inspiration-data Collection
- Organisational setting for Design Thinking
The end of the specialisation will give you a certificate to prove your expertise in design thinking.
Reviews by student:
Simple, easy to understand course that touches a few areas in managing a business/organisation for innovation. A great starting point for small business owners or want-to-be business owners
This 4.5 hour on-demand video design thinking course with 94 downloadable resources takes you from a complete beginner to an expert level design thinking professional through 7 easy steps! The design thinking training course unlike many others in the market not only shows the high-level process but also goes through each one of the steps in detail. You will be working on an actual business case example of a fancy restaurant. Apart from how to use the tools, the course also teaches you how to interpret the result to always have the right expectations from each method. Everything in the course has been explained using a cause and effect methodology i.e. how every design thinking process step creates value for the next step.
The core components of the course content are:
- Areas of Business Impact
- Business context of the project
- Business Hypothesis Mapping
- Research Methods
- Design Challenge
The end of the course gives you a certificate of completion and you can always avail the Udemy 30-Day Money Back Guarantee in case you don’t like what you see.
Reviews by student:
Really good course, the video quality is excellent, the subject is presented in a easy ways to understand with a lot of steps. I highly reccomend it.
This is a 1.5-hour design thinking online course that can even be taken by complete beginners to get a better understanding of the audience, foresee a creative solution and then build and test prototypes. The design thinking training course heavily focuses on human centred approach to innovation which is of course the core of design thinking. The course teaches you the nits and grits of strategic problem solving that will help you build solutions which enhances user experience. You will learn about the best tools to use and will apply your knowledge to real-life projects. The team behind this course is the very team of people that helped invent design thinking.
Major topics covered in this design thinking course are:
- What Is Design Thinking
- Reflection On The Value Of User Research
- Asking The Right Questions
- How To Perform Interviews
- Creating Your Proto-persona
- Two Tools For Great Brainstorms
This course is the bestseller on Udemy platform and is being enrolled by more than 45,000 learners so far.
Reviews by student:
Interesting. It is very well presented and accents are clear. I wished for more examples other than the 2 examples explained in the course. This could be from the non digital world.
This is a 2.5-hour design thinking online course that deals with teaching you to come up with innovations using some powerful tools. The knowledge of this design thinking training course is imparted by making you work on real life business scenarios right from the start-up to the corporation phase. Rather than solely focussing on designing a new product, the course content encourages you to think about all the possible solutions to a given situation. This develops a habit in you to come up with a variety of ideas and be in a position to choose the best among them. The design thinking online course doesn’t require you to have any pre-existing knowledge except for the zeal to come up with creative innovations to problems.
Some of the key things that you will study in this course are:
- How To Deal With Human Needs
- 6 Fatal Mistakes Of Design Thinking Process
- Scamper – Advanced Brainstorming
- Critical Function Prototype
- Pareto Rules
- Design Space Exploration
Reviews by student:
There is some good content here but I’m not sure that all of the content is obviously relevant. It’s a very long course and I think it could be a lot shorter and be potentially more impactful.
This is a MicroMasters program offered by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) which will take you from a complete beginner to someone who can develop new and innovative product and service solutions. Each design thinking course should take you around 6 weeks to complete at the suggested pace of 8-12 hours per week. The MicroMasters design thinking certification focuses on teaching you to find creative and empathetic solutions to problem keeping in mind the needs of your customer. The completion of the program will award you with a certificate. The following 5 EdX design thinking courses make up this MicroMasters program:
This design thinking course covers the foundational basics of design thinking and breaks some myths related to it. You will study the methods of problem evaluation, idea development and producing creative solutions. In short, you’d be going through an end to end overview of design thinking. The design thinking training course doesn’t require you to have any prerequisite knowledge.
Some of the key concepts covered in this EdX design thinking course are:
- Systematic process to define and solve problems
- Formulation of ideas for problem solving
- Functionality and user experience
The focus of the second design thinking certification course in the program lies on teaching you about identifying and understanding product/business problems through active listening, empathy and user-focused research. It encourages you to immerse yourself in the pain points of the end user and thus uncover methods of improvements which are not inherently visible.
Important topics covered in the design thinking training course are:
- Recognise the user’s emotive response
- Holistic approach to problem solving
- Gather and analyse data
The next logical stage should be transformation of ideas to in-hand solutions through iterations and validations. This is exactly what this design thinking course deals in. Further, you also learn about the best practices to be followed while doing so. The methodology you will learn here will be different from the traditional and linear problem solving approach.
Key ideas covered in this design thinking online course are:
- Concept sketching
- Model making
Prototyping and user testing are something without which developing an error free working solution is next to impossible. And this is exactly what you will study in this design thinking course. Prototypes make an on paper solution a reality and user testing gives you valuable insights into the areas you need to improve. Further, they also help you evaluate solutions from a user’s perspective and this design thinking online course teaches you about the same through real-life cases.
Topics explored in this EdX design thinking course are:
- Options and tools for prototyping
- Appropriate prototyping techniques
- Interpretation of user feedback
Finally, this design thinking course gives you a chance to apply whatever you’ve learnt. All the aspects of design thinking that you’ve learnt till now will be used end to end for the capstone project. The best part here is that you would be designing a real-world solution to a real-world problem. Further, you’ll be submitting documentations to support your findings.
Core topics that you will cover in this design thinking online course are:
- Research and identify the needs of a user
- Apply ideation and visualisation strategies
- Apply feedback from user testing
9. Design-led Strategy: Design Thinking For Business Strategy And Entrepreneurship By University of Sydney [Coursera]
This is an intermediate level design thinking course offered by The University Of Sydney. The complete design thinking online course should take you around 3 weeks (11-hours) to complete if you choose to go at the suggested pace of 4-hours per week. The Coursera design thinking course has been specially aimed at entrepreneurial managers to provide innovative solutions to problems after gathering in-depth customer insight. Several times managers are under pressure to come up with breakthrough solutions but more often than not the steps to a solution are stuck in between due to organisational challenges. The motive of this design thinking online course is to help managers overcome these challenges.
Some of the major components of this Coursera design thinking course are topics like:
- What is a design-led strategy?
- Problem statement definition
- Prototyping and product ideation
- Corporate case studies
- Course wrap-up
Reviews by student:
I really enjoyed this course. It uses real cases to help you empathise with corporate internal issues which happens in any company. I definitely learned from it and recommend it.
As the name suggests, this is a PG-Diploma design thinking certification that will take you around 9 months to complete if you stick to the suggested pace of 4-6 hours per week. Some really big names like MIT, Columbia Business School and Tuck are associated with this design thinking online course. Enrolment in the design thinking certification will give you access to 200 video lectures, 15 discussions, 24 assignments, 17 industry examples, 1 capstone project and 20 live online teaching sessions. Upon completion of the certification, you’ll be awarded a verified digital diploma. Systematic inventive thinking, strategy innovation and the final capstone projects are some of the most popular parts of this course.
A few things that you will learn in this design thinking certification are:
- Financial Analysis
- Environmental Sustainability
- Using the Multiplication Template
- Tools for Generating Innovative Ideas
- Core Competencies
- Box 3 Ideation
This certificate program will help you learn and practice the core concepts of design thinking through the help of 2 IDEOU design thinking courses. Not only will you get a foundational, practical understanding of the essential design thinking skills but also you will better understand the social, emotional, and physical needs of your customers. The ideation techniques taught will help you convert the needs of your customer into new ideas to work upon. The IDEOU design thinking course takes around 2-3 months to complete at the suggested pace of 4 hours per week.
The 2 IDEOU design thinking courses which make up this certificate program are:
This is a 5-week long design thinking course that focuses on the first phase of design thinking. It teaches you how to immerse yourself in the needs of the people you are creating the solution for. The core principles lie in an empathetic understanding. Further, you will also learn about conducting in-depth interviews to procure the maximum amount of insights possible. You are suggested to dedicate at least 4 hours per week to finish off the IDEOU design thinking course within the stipulated time.
Important topics covered in the design thinking course are:
- Practice Observing
- Why We Learn from Extremes
- 4 Tips for Empathy Immersion
This 5-week long IDEOU design thinking course focuses on prototyping, experimentation, and iteration of ideas. The ideas you developed in the previous phase are realised as experiments here. Further, you will learn how to generate better ideas than the previous one and thus improve the prototypes. The course also teaches you how you can gather feedback and minimise your risks in a controlled environment.
Major topics covered in this IDEOU design thinking course are:
- Observe Experts Brainstorming
- 3 Steps for Prototyping
- Why We Iterate
After completing the two design thinking courses, you’ll receive your Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate.
This versatile design thinking course teaches you how you can apply a 4-step design thinking process into your organisation. The design thinking online course also teaches you about intensively identifying customer needs and following a streamlined approach of interviews, journey mapping, and prototyping to achieve the same. You will be taught about solving complex challenges using design thinking frameworks. It is a 2-day design thinking course and the design thinking course (Harvard) is covered through an 8-hour class each day. You will receive a certificate of participation once you are through with the design thinking course (Harvard).
NOTE: This is not an online design thinking course (Harvard) and the classes are held inside the campus.
Some of the things you will study in this design thinking course are:
- Ongoing innovation – Sustained growth
- User-centred research
- Journey mapping to distill findings
- Minimum viable offer to mitigate risk
- Overcoming organisational barriers
- Learn, design, test, model
This is a relatively short 1-hour video design thinking course which teaches us about using 5-steps to creatively solve problems through a human centred approach. The course encourages you to creatively solve challenges related to your field of work irrespective of the profession you are in. The foundational principles are covered in the design thinking course and the teachings are through practical application, i.e you’d be working on a project and learning simultaneously. Further, you will also have access to a workbook that is full of ready to use templates. The design thinking online course can be taken by both complete beginners and those who are looking for a refresher on the concepts of design thinking.
Primary topics covered in the course are:
- Why does design thinking matter?
- Methods of Empathy
- Synthesis Frameworks
- Ideation Tips and Tricks
- Testing a Hypothesis
- Developing Your Pitch
This was our comprehensive list of the best design thinking courses. Hope you enjoyed reading it and were able to choose the most suitable one for you. Don’t get too confused if you haven’t done so. Just pick one and let the rest fall into place. Remember that design thinking processes can be applied to any problem in any organisation. Thus, having such a skill could prove to be very handy, not just at work but in life too. With these words, we take your leave and promise to come back with another amazing article. Do let us know about your doubts, queries or suggestions in the comments section.