Human-Centered Design Course

Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centered Design


Course Description:

Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centered Design is a seven-week curriculum that will introduce you to the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change. This course has been created to reach those who are brand new to human-centered design, so no prior experience required (though we of course welcome previous students to continue honing your human-centered design skills!).

Human-Centered Design is a great concept when thinking of developing lessons involving inquiry/research and RWEs!

What You'll Learn

This seven-week course will:

  • Equip you with the mindsets and methods of human-centered design so that you can be more intentional about facing and solving current challenges
  • Let you experiment with the power of human-centered design
  • Teach you to identify patterns and opportunities for concept development
  • Inspire you to approach challenges differently and experience how human-centered design can add new perspectives to your own work tackling poverty-related challenges
  • Give you hands-on experience speaking to, prototyping for, and testing solutions with the people you're designing for
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How the Course Works:

You will work through the course with a group of 2-6 people we will refer to as your “design team". Teams will be formed once the roster for the course is finalized.

You will learn the human-centered design process by applying it to one of three pre-crafted real world design challenges (provided in the course). Each week you will explore the main human-centered design concepts through readings, case studies, and short videos. Then you'll be expected to meet in-person with your design team to get your hands dirty practicing the relevant human-centered design methods. In addition, you will also be blogging on your thinking/understanding/reflecting on your design team's blog page.

Throughout the course you'll have the opportunity to interact and gain inspiration from design teams around the world taking the course with you and ask questions of experienced human-centered designers when you feel stuck.

More Information


Approximately 5 hours per week:

  • 1-2 hours of individual work (online modules, blogging, etc.)

  • 2-3 hours of in-person group work (face to face)


You need a computer that allows you to watch videos and the ability to upload assignments which will require Microsoft Word/PowerPoint.


You will be accountable to blog and reflect weekly individually and as a part of your design team. This will be discussed and managed during our first face to face visit.


Subject to course completion (completion of all assignments), you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed jointly by +Acumen and

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Weekly Agenda

The course starts this coming TUESDAY 5/12. This is the date that the resources for the week become available. This is a 7 week course.

We will decide on dates to meet face to face after the first module.

Sign up

Tuesday, May 12th, 12am to Tuesday, July 7th, 12am

This is an online event.

RSVP on this form AND register at +ACUMEN here:

How many Internal University credits will I receive if I attend this course?

  • 2 Internal University credits will be presented to all who successfully complete the course requirements.

What is the cost for those who want to attend for Internal University credit?

  • $110 per person per credit hour

How many CPDUs will I receive?

  • 32 hours of CPDUS will be available.

Can I get paid the hourly rate if I want to attend but don't want Internal University credit?

  • Staff choosing not to receive credit will be paid $14 per hour for each of the hours of the course requirements at the conclusion of the course.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

About the Instructor

IDEO is a nonprofit design organization that works to empower the poor. We believe that by understanding and working alongside those in the greatest need, we can design solutions that create prosperity. Partnering with nonprofits, social enterprises, and foundations, works to both create solutions through design to poverty-related challenges while also inspiring and enabling others to bring a human-centered design approach to their own work to become more effective problem solvers.


About +Acumen Courses

We launched +Acumen Courses in 2013 to share our leadership training and insights from the field, so that more people could develop their own toolkit for change. More information can be found here.