Design Thinking Fundamentals

Prerequisites: None Learn how a user-centered approach and design thinking principles inspire innovative ideas to create desirable solutions. 6 weeks 8 – 12 hours each week recommended

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About this course

This course provides an introduction to the foundational activities related to design thinking: a flexible, yet systematic process to define and solve problems. A common misconception is that design thinking requires artistry, but it is not centered on artistic principles. Design thinking is a strategy and mindset that can be applied to any industry to solve problems.

As part of the Design Thinking MicroMasters program, this course will explore methods used to evaluate problems, develop ideas, and create innovative solutions with the user in mind. Focusing on the importance of user understanding and the development of desirable, feasible, and viable ideas, this course will provide an overview of the design thinking process from end to end.

What you’ll learn

  • Describe the systematic process to define and solve problems
  • Formulate ideas for problem solving
  • Discuss solutions that integrate product configuration, functionality and user experience
  • Identify the design thinking processes and methods

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

Meet Your Instructors

Dan Harel - Pearson Advance

Dan Harel

Adjunct Professor, Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology Dan is a professional industrial and furniture designer. His 30+ years hands-on career has focused on consumer and commercial design innovation, and on research related to home and workplace of the future. At Eastman Kodak Company, Dan focused on inspiring a vision for future user experiences through design innovation, understanding consumer needs and trends and defining new strategic business opportunities for the company. He is the inventor or co-inventor of over 20 US and international patents relating to digital imaging, wireless communication networks, digital display systems and metadata. Dan’s roles at RIT include teaching advanced studio courses with focus on design thinking, user experience and multidisciplinary collaborations. He is the recipient of the Edline M. Chun Award for Outstanding Teaching and Service in the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences (2016). In addition, Dan leads the IdeaLab at the RIT’s Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship, working with clients such as Al Sigl and Rochester Regional Health with prime focus on medical and access technology problem areas. At Studio 930 design consultancy, Dan serves as an overall project advisor to the multidisciplinary student teams and as an administrative manager ensuring student needs are met and all projects advance according to plan.
Lorraine Justice - Pearson Advance

Lorraine Justice

Dean Emerita, Professor of Design at Rochester Institute of Technology Dr. Justice worked on digital media products for 10 years before joining academia. She obtained her master’s degree and PhD at The Ohio State University, where she also taught Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Design Research courses. She was the Director of Design at Georgia Tech for six years and a co-author for the Encyclopedia of Distance Learning. After Georgia Tech, she became the Dean of the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Under her leadership, the school became one of the top four design programs in Asia. Dr. Justice is a Fellow of the Industrial Designers Society of America and has been named one of the top 40 designers by I.D. Magazine. She is an active member of the TED community and gave talks at both TEDx Hong Kong in 2009 and at TEDU in Long Beach in 2010. Currently, she serves on the editorial board for five design journals, advisory boards for universities and companies, and consults internationally for industry and government.


6 Weeks

Experience Level


Learning Partner

Rochester Institute of Technology



Program Type



Business & Management Design Engineering
Advanced Business Harvard X-Series