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Design Thinking for Innovation: Elevate




12 weeks, part-time

8 Aug 2022 - 24 Oct 2022

Course overview

Design Thinking is three things: a mindset of ‘thinking outside of the box’, a process to follow, and a toolkit of hands-on methods used to achieve your design goals. 

It is increasingly being used by strategic leaders (not exclusively designers) across the board to improve processes, simplify complex problems and foster a culture of innovation to drive business value.

In fact, companies that integrate design thinking into their corporate strategy outperform their peers by as much as a whopping 228% annually (source: Design Value Index).

Complement your professional expertise, elevate your career and improve your business with in-demand Design Thinking skills. Develop a Design Thinking mindset, influence outcomes within your business and become a driver of change.

Industry-relevant content:

  • Premium material built in-house, with inputs from industry experts
  • 60-80 hours of course content and activities over 12 weeks
  • Learn how to simplify and solve complex real-world problems using a human-centred design mindset
  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes to identify hidden needs, reframe problems and use experimentation to find original solutions
  • Leverage a comprehensive toolkit containing all the templates and tools needed to put Design Thinking principles into practice

The best way to learn is by doing:

  • Put theory into practice by completing activities in each module
  • Get hands-on with projects – apply the Design Thinking process to solve three different real-world challenges of varying complexity
  • Use the Design Thinking process to solve your own, personally relevant business problem in your final project
  • Apply your learnings to your own business right away and foster innovation
  • Walk away with a practical Design Thinking toolkit to use on the job

A highly supported experience:

  • Weekly mentor-led live video sessions, conveniently held after work hours to facilitate discussions, guest lectures and bring the content to life
  • Two 1:1 mentor sessions for tailored support, available on demand
  • Entire teams dedicated to support your learning and progress
  • Set deadlines to keep you motivated and on track, while allowing for flexibility in pacing your weekly activities 

A social and collaborative learning environment:

  • Access course content through our easy-to-use and interactive online learning platform which encourages peer engagement
  • Go through the course at the same pace as other students in your cohort and collaborate on a group assignment
  • Grow together, share ideas, and build a strong network with our community of passionate, like-minded individuals

Earn trusted and recognised credentials:

  • On completion of this course, you’ll get a Certificate of Completion to validate your competencies and skills in Design Thinking
  • You can add an industry trusted digital credential to your LinkedIn profile

Course timeframe

This course takes approximately 60-80 hours over 12 weeks. This timeframe includes absorbing the learning materials, attending virtual live workshops, participating in 1:1 mentoring sessions, completing the course activities, working through your projects, links to additional resources and collaborative and engaging discussions with your mentor and peers.

What you'll learn

Learn the fundamentals of Design Thinking, where it sits within the wider field of Human-Centred Design, and how you can apply it to drive innovation and solve business problems. TOPICS
  • Introduction to Human-Centred Design
    • Game-changing solutions
    • Empathy and embracing ambiguity
  • The benefits of Design Thinking to organisations
  • Design Thinking For Innovation 
  • Design Doing as a way of working, not just a mindset
    • How to collect, analyse and present data to solve a problem
    • Facilitating groups and workshops
  • Using the Double Diamond framework for innovation
  • Design Thinking toolkit 
  • Analyse real-world business case studies using Design Thinking
  • Get familiar with the Design Thinking Toolkit you’ll be using throughout this course

A more detailed look into using Design Thinking to research a complex problem, determine the scope of a project, plus a review of best practices for research.


  • Preparing your mindset for Design Thinking
  • Design Challenge #1
  • Human-Centred Design Research and project scoping 
  • Defining Problems: briefs, best practices and problem solving roadmap
  • Quantitative and Qualitative research techniques
  • Interviewing
  • Research Ethics


  • Conduct desktop research, market analysis and interviews for your first Design Challenge

Explore how to use data to reframe complex problems and simplify them. Using various collection, mapping and analysis techniques, learn how to make sense of data in a business context.


  • From information to insights
    • Mind mapping and stakeholder mapping
  • Capturing data
    • Note-taking and empathy mapping
  • Mapping data
    • Affinity mapping and analysis
    • Clustering insights
  • Visualising Data using personas and journey mapping
  • Prioritisation: matrix and visualising the vote
  • Reframing the problem to unlock innovation
    • Jobs-to-be-done
  • Working Within Business Constraints


  • Perform mapping exercises to organise and visualise data
  • Reframe complex problems using the ‘Jobs to be done’ approach
  • Use the Pains-and-Gains framework to work within business constraints

A deep dive into creative brainstorming, including best practices for prioritising ideas and how to visually present them. Discover how to focus and refine ideas into a strong and cohesive value proposition.


  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Ideation techniques
    • Brainstorming, Creative session, Crazy 8’s
  • Developing a Hypothesis 
    • Concept cards and Prioritisation
  • Prototyping 
    • Visualisation, (Rapid) Prototyping and Role playing
  • Communicating 
    • Narratives and Storyboarding
  • Designing a compelling Value Proposition
    • RWW (Real-Win-Worth)framework
    • DFV (Desirability-Feasibility–Viability) framework
    • Emotional resonance of value proposition


  • Brainstorm and practice creative ideation with a Crazy8s exercise
  • Learn engaging visual ways to present your findings
  • Design a compelling value proposition

Understand why testing is so important, and the different methodologies used. Learn how to communicate this value to the wider business and strategise the way forward. Bring home your conclusions with a retrospective summary of the project.


  • The need for testing with users
  • Testing Methodologies 
    • Usability and Concept testing
  • Testing Your Hypothesis and Validating Concepts
    • Testing against DFV framework
  • Communicating the Business Value 
    • Business Model Canvas strategy template
    • Concept posters template
    • Return On Experience
  • Future Roadmap 
    • Route to market
    • Scaling 
  • Learnings 
    • Retrospective debrief
    • Reflection, critique and feedback


  • Perform usability and concept testing
  • Create a Business Model Canvas to demonstrate value
  • Run a project retrospective debrief

In this group project over two weeks, learn how to build a Design Thinking team and run effective workshops. Explore the importance of psychological behavioural research and how to integrate it with economic concerns.


  • Design Challenge #2
    • Reframing the challenge
    • Choosing the right tools
  • Teams and Team Formation
  • How To Run A Design Thinking Workshop 
  • Designer As Anthropologist 
    • Ethnography
    • Immersive design research
    • Guerilla research
  • Behavioural Economics 
    • Combining psychological and economic elements
  • Developing Concepts


  • Challenge yourself by reframing problems using different tools
  • Build a Design Thinking team with the right mix of people
  • Integrate people-centred research with business concerns

The group project continues with an examination of test-and-learn methodologies for innovation. Learn how to present compelling business rationales using engaging narratives.


  • Designing For Extreme Users 
    • 70/20/10 rule for innovation
    • Early adopters and the hype curve
    • Bell curve theory
  • Testing a Pilot 
    • Trialling methods
  • Business Rationale and validating economic viability
  • Storytelling
  • Best practices to deliver amazing presentations 


  • Experiment with different approaches to testing
  • Present a strong business rationale using engaging storytelling

Practice your skills with an individual project solving a larger scale design and service problem. Review different thinking styles and decision-making tools to reframe complex problems.


  • Design Challenge #3: Global/Societal Design Problems 
  • Wicked Problems 
    • Cynefin decision-making tool
    • Understanding complexity and solving wicked problems
  • Thinking About Thinking 
    • Maximising creativity
    • Thinking styles for empathy and collaboration
  • Radical Reframing 
    • Asking the right questions to frame the problem
    • Iterating your problem frame
    • Reframe problems logically using TRIZ methodology
  • Applying Design Thinking To Services  
  • A Global Perspective – Case Studies
    • Fast food in Japan
    • Children’s Health Service of Texas
    • Stopping AIDS in South Africa


  • Focus on a business of your choice for a solo design challenge
  • Frame, reframe and iterate complex problems
  • Use the Cynefin model to understand wicked problems

Explore how to introduce and integrate Design Thinking day-to-day within companies, using growth mindset techniques, and developing a speak-up culture. Dissect what a design-led organisation looks like and the importance of customer ecosystems.


  • Sharing Design Thinking Within Organisations 
  • Developing a Growth Mindset
  • Team Psychological Safety and a Speak-up Culture
  • Design Thinking and Organisational Culture 
  • Designing in Ecosystems 
  • Integrating Design Thinking With Other Ways Of Working 
    • Effectiveness vs. efficiency
    • Lead with design, but know when to step back


  • Map customer ecosystems

Discover how Design Thinking can lead the conversation and influence outcomes within business, and how you can become the driver of that change. Harness the power of targeted metrics to drive innovation and help future-proof your organisation.


  • Rise of the Chief Design Officer
    • Moving towards design-centricity is an evolution 
  • Creating Momentum and Making It Real 
    • Working Out Loud (WOL) Circles
    • Applying Design Thinking to real world problems
  • Design Thinking Metrics 
    • Key Performance Indicators
    • Measuring the intangible impact of Design Thinking
    • How to spin statistics
  • How Organisations Are Driving Innovation 
    • Using the Business Model Canvas (BMC) strategic template
  • The Future of Design Thinking


  • Explore design-led organisations and how to drive innovation yourself
  • Practice the Working Out Loud method
  • Use metrics to demonstrate impact to stakeholders

Who this course is for

If you’re looking for practical Design Thinking training with mentor support and classmate collaboration, this course is for you. Our Design Thinking for Innovation: Elevate course has no prerequisites and is ideal for a variety of professionals, including:               

  • Those looking to upskill and elevate their career prospects with in-demand Design Thinking skills
  • Strategic professionals such as marketing managers, product managers, growth leaders, innovation experts, etc. who are seeking creative solutions to business problems
  • C-suite executives, founders and entrepreneurs who want to use innovation to grow their business
  • Creative leaders like art directors, senior design leads, experience designers, etc. who manage or work with designers

Earn a digital credential

We partner with Credly to deliver digital credentials for our graduates. Digital credentials are a graphical representation of your skills, combined with a description of the knowledge and activities it took to earn them. 

Digital badges can be used in email signatures or digital resumes, and on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. 

For more info, click here.

Our students' success stories

Academy Xi scored 5 out of 5, as rated by our students.

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