529

Please select the start dates for your courses below.

1
Design Thinking Fundamentals

Scheduled Start

2
Design Thinking: Empathizing to Understand the Problem

Scheduled Start

3
Design Thinking: Ideation, Iteration and Communication

Scheduled Start

4
Design Thinking: Prototyping and User Testing

Scheduled Start

5
Design Thinking Capstone

Scheduled Start

Program overview

Innovation. Creativity. Strategic thinking. In the past year, more than 279,000 job postings have listed these skills. Another 239,000 mention design thinking.*

Why has design thinking become one of the most sought-after skills? Employers are looking for problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, and analytical skills to enhance the capabilities of their employees to lead their companies into a successful future. Design thinking was developed out of the processes used by designers including user understanding and user experience, however, its application may be used to address non-product oriented problems as well –from innovating new product or service possibilities to implementing procedural change, or identifying a new strategic direction for the company.

In the Design Thinking MicroMasters program, you will learn how to use the design thinking process to solve problems creatively, collaboratively and empathetically. Earning the MicroMasters program certificate will equip you with knowledge of the processes and techniques used to solve problems and innovate in the workplace.

* Source: Burning Glass Technologies

What you will learn

  • User-centered research skills to gain user empathy through interviews and observations
  • Strategies to understand user context to identify and verify business problems
  • Ideation and visualization techniques to generate targeted and creative solutions
  • Methods for evaluating and applying user feedback from testing models and prototypes to identify preferred solutions

Program Class List

1
Design Thinking Fundamentals

Course Details
Learn how a user-centered approach and design thinking principles inspire innovative ideas to create desirable solutions.

2
Design Thinking: Empathizing to Understand the Problem

Course Details
Learn how to identify and understand product or business problems through active listening, empathy and user-focused research.

3
Design Thinking: Ideation, Iteration and Communication

Course Details
Learn how ideas transform into solutions through iteration and validation along with best practices for communicating your solution to stakeholders.

4
Design Thinking: Prototyping and User Testing

Course Details
Learn the importance of prototyping and user testing solutions before going to market and how to assess and evaluate solutions post-launch.

5
Design Thinking Capstone

Course Details
Demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained during the Design Thinking MicroMasters program.

Meet Your Instructors

Melissa Dawson

Assistant Professor, Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology
Melissa Dawson is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design in the College of Art & Design at RIT. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on soft product design, including bag design, functional apparel design, and soft toy design. She previously taught as an adjunct professor at RIT and University of Minnesota – St. Paul campus. She received her B.S. in Textiles & Apparel from Cornell University and an M.S. in Textile Design from Philadelphia University (now Jefferson University). Before returning to academia, Melissa spent many years working as a designer in the textile & apparel industry: designing prints and jacquard knits for Polartec LLC, infant bedding and accessories for Kids Line LLC, and prints, color palettes, and engraver files for Target Corporation. Her work experience at a textile mill, as a vendor, and at a retail company provided the invaluable opportunity to understand the soft product design industry from all sides. Melissa is an avid knitter, who also enjoys weaving, spinning, crochet, dyeing, felting, embroidery, bobbin lace, sewing, cross-stitching, and any other fiber-related activity she can get her hands on.

Mike Johansson

Principal Lecturer, School of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology Mike Johansson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches courses in Advertising, Public Relations and Social Media. He was one of three faculty who jointly developed RIT’s first 9-credit critical thinking class, “The Meaning of Things in Three Objects.” The initial offering of the class in Spring 2017 displayed measurable growth in students’ critical thinking skills over the 15-week course. Prior to joining the RIT faculty in 2009, Mike spent more than 25 years in media companies in the United States and abroad. He maintains a lifelong interest in critical thinking and problem solving and includes weekly exercises in his classes to encourage creative thinking. A mentor once noted “Mike doesn’t think outside the box, he doesn’t recognize that the box ever existed.” Mike received two fellowships to the Poynter Institute and also served as a Digital Journalism fellow at University of California, Berkeley. He has a master’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

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.

Jennifer Englert

Adjunct Professor, Industrial Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology Jennifer Englert, PhD, has led user experience, human factors, and user interface design projects for 20 years. She is currently a User Experience Researcher in the UX Research and Analytics group at Paychex, and an adjunct professor at RIT. She teaches the master’s-level capstone class in the Industrial Engineering department, and taught Introduction to Qualitative Policy Analysis in the Public Policy department at Rochester Institute of Technology. She has also lectured and coached student teams for RIT’s Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Dr. Englert’s work has focused on a broad range of topics, including business processes, healthcare, privacy, customer care, production printing, digital packaging, consumer imaging, space shuttle mission control, video and consumer analytics, and the future of work. She has done this work as a user interface designer and researcher at Microsoft, Apple, NASA, Kodak, Xerox, PARC, and Conduent Labs. Dr Englert is the co-author of 21 patents and over 40 book chapters and peer-reviewed papers. She has also coached two Odyssey of the Mind teams for the last 7 years. Her teams have created hand-made vehicles, props, costumes, and performances, and have advanced to the state and world tournaments multiple times. Dr. Englert received her BA in Psychology from Angelo State University, and her MS and PhD in Cognitive Engineering from The Ohio State University, where she also worked as a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer.

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.
529

Experience Level

Intermediate

Learning Partner

Rochester Institute of Technology

Program Type

MicroMasters®
Advanced Harvard