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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
coursera careers

Best Coursera Design Thinking Courses & Certifications [2023]

The entire design thinking process is used for solving problems by prioritizing the consumer’s needs above anything else. It refers to a set of strategic, cognitive, and practical procedures designers use during design procedures. 

Designers and companies all over the world can use design thinking to solve consumer problems more effectively. In fact, large companies like Toyota, Netflix, and Airbnb use it on a daily basis. 

You can use it too, however, to be able to use design thinking effectively, you first need to understand the theory behind it, how to implement it correctly, and how to approach it. These are all things we can learn through Coursera.

Coursera has a wide range of design thinking courses to choose from. In today’s post, we want to show you the best design thinking courses the platform has to offer. We’ve listed them all for you. 

If you want to learn more about design thinking, pick one of the online design thinking courses from our best Coursera design thinking courses list.

1. Design Thinking Specialization

We’ll kick start this list with a design thinking specialization course. This specialization course is made up of four smaller courses. It is offered by the University of Virginia and is led by three professional instructors.

The four smaller online courses this specialization is made up of our Design Thinking: Insights to Inspiration, Design Thinking: Ideas to Action, Design Thinking: Discovery Tools, and Experiencing Design: Deepening Your Design Thinking Practice.

The aim of this course specialization is to help you master design thinking competencies. You’ll learn through a hands-on approach and project-based format that gets you to put your newly learned enterprise design thinking skills to the test.

You’ll be taken through a 14-step process that you can use to tackle human-centered problems. The course will also show you how to use design thinking tools and six design thinking processes.

2. Design Thinking For Innovation

Another great design thinking course offered by the University of Virginia is the Design Thinking for Innovation course. This is the best course for you if you don’t yet understand what design thinking is or how it works.

Perfect for beginners, this course shows you what design thinking is, how it can be used, how to prepare and take action, how to generate innovative ideas, and how to determine which ideas are the best to run with.

Taking part in this course will not only help you understand the design thinking principles behind design thinking but will also help you do more with less. You’ll have all the tools you need to uncover creative ideas without having to go overboard.

Included in the course are four key questions and multiple tools you can use to solve problems. There are also real-life examples you can learn from.

3. Design Thinking: Discovery Tools

Next up, we have the Design Thinking: Discovery Tools course. This is a beginner course that takes approximately 14 hours to complete. It is also free to enroll in. 

In terms of what this course teaches you, its primary aim is to show you how to use the most important tools used in human-centered design.

The tools you are taught about during the course can be used to generate innovative ideas, carry out value-chain analysis, journey mapping, and more. 

Learning how to use these tools will make it easier for you to connect with your customers on a human level. You’ll be able to observe what they do. 

Aside from learning how to connect with customers on a human level and use different tools, you’ll also learn how to think more creatively. This will help you discover more about your potential clients.

4. Design-Led Strategy: Design Thinking For Business Strategy And Entrepreneurship

This next course is offered by the University of Sydney and led by professor of strategic thinking management Eric Knight. Split into five different segments, this course looks at everything from what design-led strategy is to using design-led strategy in practice.

This course is aimed at entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial managers that want to introduce innovative and exciting products to the market quickly.

This can only be done if the students have knowledge of design thinking. Luckily, this is exactly what the course looks at.

Using design tools, this course teaches students how to use high-quality customer insights to introduce the right services or products to the market. These tools can be used by small, medium, and large businesses across a wide range of industries.

The course updates design thinking methodologies and shows you how to produce an advanced business strategy.


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5. Design Thinking For Beginners With Mural

A popular tool used during the design thinking process is Mural. This is an online tool that can be used to create professional graphic designs. It is also commonly used as a meeting tool and can be used for idea generation.

The Design Thinking for Beginners With Mural course shows you how to use Mural to your advantage.

You will be shown the various tools and features the platform has to offer and taught the basic skills you need to create innovative solutions for your projects. 

Taking just 2 hours to complete, students that take part in this course will learn how to use Mural to effortlessly build design thinking templates that can be used to create innovative projects.

They’ll also be able to showcase their hands-on experience in an interview.

Finally, you’ll be shown the step-by-step process you need to follow to set everything up perfectly.

6. Design Thinking For The Greater Good: Innovation In The Social Sector

The next course on our list can be used by anyone to increase their knowledge of design thinking but it is primarily designed for those of you that work for a non-profit organization.

If you’re struggling to meet the needs of the people you serve and need help solving problems, this course could help you massively.

It looks at how the practice of design thinking can be used to solve problems at a human level. The course looks at what design thinking is, how a human-centered approach can help, and how to implement these practices. 

By the end of the course, you should fully understand what design thinking is and how it works. You’ll be able to better understand issues, find it easier to generate solutions, and know how to evaluate the creative solutions you put in place.

This course will only take you 8 hours to complete, so why not give it a try?

Coursera Design Thinking Courses

7. Experiencing Design: Deepening Your Design Thinking Practice

If you already have some knowledge regarding design thinking and you simply want to increase your knowledge, the Experiencing Design: Deepening Your Design Thinking Practice course can help.

Rather than looking at what design thinking is, this course looks at the next things you need to know. The main thing this course looks at are the six phases you need to follow on your design journey.

These steps include immersion,  alignment, learning, and action.

For each of these phases, the course shows you how design thinking done well can impact your practice and outcomes.

You’ll deepen your understanding of design thinking and be shown how to develop your own personal development plan to track your progress.

An added bonus towards the end of this course is a section that shares real stories from industry professionals.

8. Creative Problem Solving

Next up, we have a slightly different course that doesn’t directly focus on design thinking. Instead, this course takes a look at creativity.

Whilst this may seem like an odd course to include, it can be very valuable to those of you that already understand what design thinking is.

The course still looks at different types of thinking and how we can use them to make a difference, but the primary focus of the course is to improve your creativity.

This is important because you have to be creative to come up with the best ideas.

This course will help you understand the role creativity plays and how innovation in your own work can lead to success. It will push you to move out of your comfort zone and recognize how exploration can help.

You will learn how to improve creativity and use it to your advantage when working with different societal groups through reading material, lectures, and various exercises.


Degrees, Certificates, & Free Online Courses

  • More than 5,000 courses
  • Professional Certificates
  • Degrees from the Top Universities
Try Coursera

9. Agile Meets Design Thinking

We love how this Agile Meets Design Thinking course takes a different approach. Unlike other courses, this course doesn’t spend time telling you what design thinking is.

Instead, it gets straight into the meaty content, looking at how we can use design thinking to be successful.

The course discusses how too many businesses waste time creating products nobody wants. It then reveals a different approach that can be used during product development to create something the consumer wants.

The approach this course shows you can be used to produce valuable solutions. You’ll be able to use the approach to determine what your customer needs early in the process.

The course will show you the relevance of design thinking concepts, how to create a shared perspective across a company, and how to evaluate an idea’s potential. 

This course is offered by the University of Virginia and takes 9 hours to complete.

10. Design Thinking: Ideas To Action

This next course is a beginner course that looks at putting your design thinking skills into practice. Part of the Insights to Inspiration course, this course looks at taking your design thinking ideas and putting th