Design Thinking for Innovation: Elevate (Self-paced)






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Course overview

Effective Design Thinking comprises three things: a mindset, a process to follow and a toolkit of methods used to bring a strategic idea to life. 

Design Thinking is increasingly being used by strategic leaders, as companies that integrate Design Thinking into their business strategy outperform competitors by up to 228% annually (Design Value Index).

This course leaves you capable of optimising company processes, simplifying complicated problems and setting an innovative tone that enables your business to reach its full potential.

Industry-relevant content:

  • Premium material built in-house, with inputs from industry experts
  • 60-80 hours of learning with 6 months’ access
  • 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

Study at your own pace: 

  • Have the freedom to plan and build your development around life’s other commitments
  • With no classes or set deadlines, this course is perfect if you are juggling study with a full-time job
  • Complete the course on a schedule that’s convenient for you – within a few weeks, or over the full six months

Expert guidance and support: 

  • Though you’ll go through the course at your own pace, you’ll never be alone
  • Book up to twelve 1:1 sessions with your subject matter Xi Expert and discuss course material, get personalised feedback and consult over project decisions
  • Get support from a Study Coach who will help you plan your progress, keep motivated and answer any study-related questions 

Easy-to-use online learning platform:

  • Access course content through our easy to use online learning platform, powered by NovoEd 
  • It makes learning interactive and engaging, with content designed to read like a story for a seamless experience
  • Your online campus also makes it possible to connect with, and learn from, other students who may be studying the course

Earn trusted and recognised credentials:

  • Get a Certificate of Completion to validate your competencies and skills in Design Thinking
  • Add an industry trusted digital credential to your LinkedIn profile 

Course timeframe

You’ll have 6 months access to all course materials, enabling you to study at your own pace. Complete the course in a few weeks, or over the full 6 months – it’s up to you.  

The course content takes approximately 60-80 hours. This timeframe includes working through the learning materials, tackling the course activities, finishing your assessments, creating and presenting your final project, and communicating with your Xi Expert. 

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.


  • 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

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

Examine 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

Put your skills to practice in your final personal project. 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 your final 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 flexible, practical Design Thinking training completed online at your own pace, this course is for you. 

Our Design Thinking for Innovation: Elevate Self-Paced course has no prerequisites and is a perfect fit 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

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