About this online course


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Course video

Learn to design meaningful products and services in this introductory design course.

Do you want to learn how to design? Using the Delft Design Approach, you will learn how to use a number of key design methods to create meaningful products and services.

This course is an introduction to the Delft Design Approach offering a model and a set of signature methods from Delft to teach you how to get from understanding the user in context to defining a meaningful design challenge and – in the end – deliver a great design! The course challenges you to experience the design process yourself and reflect on your work with the help of students and excellent teaching staff from Delft, and industrial experts.

What you'll learn:
  • How to study users in their own environment;
  • How to translate user insights into a design challenge that will spark creativity;
  • How to create a meaningful design to meet your challenge;
  • How to design and to structure your projects with the support of design thinking, a model and several methods;
  • How to evaluate and present your design.

No previous knowledge of design methods is required, yet some experience with designing (something) is helpful.

This course is part of the Professional Certificate Program Product Design & Health.

Open MOOC Award
This course has been awarded with the 2015 Open Education Award for Excellence in the category 'Open MOOC' by the Open Education Consortium.


Course Syllabus

The course is structured as follows:

Step 1: Understanding meaning in design

  • How do the things around us attain their meaning?
  • How and why do we design meaningful things?

Step 2: Understanding the context of use

  • How and why do we gain empathic understanding of the users we design for?
  • How do we derive insights to inspire the design process?

Step 3: Defining a design challenge

  • How do we identify the key design problem when we look at the user's current situation?
  • How do we define a meaningful design challenge that will drive the creative phases of design?

Step 4: Generating ideas

  • How do we generate ideas?
  • How do we filter promising ideas?

Step 5: Developing concepts (Optional EXTRA: Prototyping Concept)

  • What is a design concept and how do we develop a concept?
  • What role does sketching have in developing concepts?
  • How do we evaluate concepts and decide between them?

Step 6: Testing with user & final presentation (Optional EXTRA: Testing Prototype of Concept)

  • How do we test key qualities of a concept?
  • How do we present a concept?


Unless otherwise specified, the Course Materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on EdX.

  • Some familiarity with concepts like 'design thinking', 'User-centered design' and 'Design process' is advised.
  • Some experience with designing something (even for yourself) will be helpful.

  • Starts: Anytime (Self-Paced)
  • Free | Earn certificate for $99
  • Group fee: contact us
  • Length: Self-Paced
  • Effort: 6 - 8 hours per week / 7 weeks

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