IDEO U for Individuals
I'm here to grow professionally.
Learn creative approaches that will help you think differently, work smarter, and achieve results more quickly.
Immersing yourself in one or several of our courses will give you actionable approaches and the confidence to creatively tackle any business problem. You'll be joining a global community of movers, shakers, and innovators, gaining a network of peers that spans across industries and the globe. You'll walk away with increased creative confidence, plus all the tools, strategies, and skills IDEO has developed over 30 years.
Here are some helpful FAQs that we've received. Click the questions below for more information.
- What's the recommended learning path?
- IDEO U has created top tier content in the world of design thinking. We also recognize that life happens. If you don't have time to take all four of our courses, you can take any one at any point. Should you want to enjoy all of them, the most cohesive path is: Insights for Innovation, then From Ideas to Action, followed by Storytelling for Influence, and finally, Leading for Creativity.
Insights for Innovation
Discover deep insights, so that you can see the world differently and solve problems in new and innovative ways.
From Ideas to Action
Bring your ideas to life through ideation and prototyping, so that others can experience your vision of the future.
Storytelling for Influence
Embrace the power of storytelling, so that you feel armed and confident sharing your innovative ideas with others.
Leading for Creativity
Learn IDEO's unique approach to leadership, so your team and organization can discover creative ways to solve the challenges of today's complex world.
- What kind of commitment does a course require?
- Our courses are built to be completed at your own pace — we made them for busy people!
- An average of 4 hours a week is recommended.
- The only time-specific part of a course is optional online office hours with instructors and community managers. However, if you cannot make this live event, you can also submit questions in advance and watch a recording.
- What happens if I can't complete a course before it ends?
- We understand that things come up. There are no academic penalties associated with incomplete IDEO U courses. However, there are no refunds once you have enrolled in a course. After the last day of the course, you will no longer have access to the videos or course resources. We encourage you to download and save the course toolkit so you can refer back to key takeaways.
- I have some experience with design thinking, where should I start?
- The best place for most people to begin at IDEO U is in our two foundational courses. Even if you have some familiarity with our content or topics, our Insights for Innovation and From Ideas to Action courses offer robust experiences that invite students to learn critical skills by doing. They provide deeper learning about mindsets and approaches beyond the basics. For example, in Insights for Innovation, you'll learn skills like conducting interviews and observations, but you'll also learn about mindsets for immersive empathy and learning from extremes. In From Ideas to Action, you'll learn solid techniques for brainstorming and prototyping, but you'll also practice critical mindsets such as "failing in order to learn" so that you can iterate on your ideas and move toward market.
Here are a few answers for those who have more experience:
If you've already attended an IDEO work session, some other type of design thinking training, or you're familiar with design thinking but you're finding it hard to get started using it, any of our courses can be immensely helpful. We recommend beginning with the first two — Insights for Innovation and From Ideas to Action — to help you build the necessary muscles and get going with what you're trying to tackle.
For those who are already familiar with design and engineering but light on human-centered insights and the early stages of IDEO's process, begin with our Insights for Innovation course. You can then skip ahead to Storytelling for Influence and Leading for Creativity — our courses were not built sequentially, so take the last two as you wish.
If you're coming to IDEO U with a strong market research background or have experience in customer insights work, but want to learn how to move beyond thinking and more toward action, we suggest our From Ideas to Action course. We still believe that our Insights for Innovation course will offer any insights practitioner some new approaches. But if you don't wish to deepen your insights practice, you can then skip ahead to Storytelling for Influence and Leading for Creativity — our courses were not built sequentially, so take the last two as you wish.
If you are confident in your design thinking skills but would like to advance your leadership skills and ability to enable others, jump ahead to our leadership courses, Storytelling for Influence and Leading for Creativity.
- How can I convince my boss to pay for this?
- IDEO U's lessons can each be applied directly to something you're working on. By diving into IDEO U, you'll be growing as a leader in your organization, rapidly improving your design thinking skills, and picking up tangible methods to make change from within your company. In addition, our courses' time frames adapt to your schedule so they won't interfere with your day's demands. About 60% of our individual learners have their company sponsor this learning experience for them.
- Looking for a detailed breakdown of the IDEO U learning experience?
- Here's where to find it.