Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate

Learn the foundational skills and mindsets of design thinking

Learn and practice the core concepts of design thinking from IDEO—the company that has been honing the methods of a human-centered approach to business for over 40 years. We’ve designed this program to give you a foundational, practical understanding of the essential design thinking skills and mindsets.

Certificate Program Outcomes
  • Gain techniques to better understand the social, emotional, and physical needs of your customers.
  • Apply methods that will help you turn your customer needs into human-centered solutions.
  • Use ideation techniques to quickly generate, develop, and test new ideas.
  • De-risk your new ideas by gaining feedback through rapid prototypes.
  • Showcase your new skills through tangible, real-world project challenges, like an insights report or prototypes of products and services.
Program Themes
Customer Insights Interviewing Brainstorming Techniques
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Format: 2 Online Cohort Courses
Duration: 2-3 Months
Time: 4 Hours/Week
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Certificate Program Overview

  1. 1 Take Insights for Innovation

    Learn to use insights to turn customer needs into human-centered solutions
    Cohort Course 5 weeks
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  2. 2 Take From Ideas to Action

    Learn to prototype, experiment, and iterate to move your ideas forward
    Cohort Course 5 weeks
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  3. 3 Receive and Share Your Certificate

    After completing the two courses, you’ll receive your Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate of completion via email as a downloadable PDF within 1-2 weeks of completing the final required course. Certificates are configured for uploading and sharing on LinkedIn.

    Your IDEO U Certificate in Foundations in Design Thinking

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Course Order
    While courses can be taken in any order, we recommend completing Insights for Innovation first.
  • Completion Time
    The program takes 2-3 months to complete if courses are taken consecutively. However, there is no deadline for certificate completion.
Learn more about program details in our FAQs

Certificate Program Requirements

What’s Possible with Design Thinking?

Designing a Network of Schools From the Ground Up

IDEO redesigned the learning experience for a growing network of schools in order to meet the unmet education needs for the emerging middle class in Peru. The result, Innova Schools, is now 50+ schools in Peru and Mexico with 43,000+ students.

Growing an Online Pharmacy From Startup to Sale

IDEO helped PillPack build a venturing strategy for its prescription home-delivery system.. The result, PillPack now delivers hundreds of thousands of prescriptions every month and was bought by Amazon June 2018 for $1 billion.
“After taking the courses I started working on small scale design thinking projects at my old job. I have since managed to make the transition into industry and I’m actually working as a Design Thinking consultant now! I don’t think I would even have been invited for the interview without the courses. I think they gave my CV an edge.”
Katharina Zeiner
Design Thinking Consultant

The IDEO U Learning Experience


Our courses engage you through stories, expertise, and humor. Each lesson has a series of 3-5 minute videos that explain the why, what, and how of a specific topic. Plus we bring everything to life through case studies from around the globe.


Our learning experiences have a variety of reflective activities to help you make the connections to your specific work challenges. Reflection is one of the most effective ways to deepen your professional impact.

Pedagody Created with Sketch. Try Share Reflect See


In order to develop new skills, you need to try them out through repeated practice and exposure to new contexts. Our courses provide opportunities to try out new behaviors online and through real-world projects.


Knowledge is constructed through interaction with others—which is the foundation of our cohort experience. It’s through sharing and discussing with qualified teaching leads and a global peer network that you build greater understanding.