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Certificate program fosters problem solving through design thinking

Sirietta Simoncini

In response to the growing need for structured creative thinking in the business world, Cornell has launched a new Design Thinking certificate program online through eCornell. The program was created to help learners adopt a human-centered approach to designing and improving products, experiences and systems at any scale.

“It’s often a challenge to blend design thinking with traditional systems engineering,” says Sirietta Simoncini, lecturer at the Cornell College of Engineering and author of the Design Thinking certificate program. “In this program, learners will leverage systems engineering tools that are integrated with the traditions of design thinking to make decisions that are intuitive, creative and data-driven.”

User-experience designers, program and product managers, consultants, systems analysts, marketers, engineers and entrepreneurs involved in product conception and design will find the certificate program valuable, she said. It offers a linear path from course to course in which learners can bring a group project and peer relationships with them as they move through the program.

Learners who have completed the Design Thinking certificate program can immediately begin applying the design thinking mindset in the workplace. Their new skills will enable them to define challenges and gather key user insights to help develop personas and user narratives based on empathy, and generate ideas and prototypes for potential solutions. In addition, learners will iterate on and refine prototypes using design thinking methodology to generate a rigorous, viable solution to challenges.

Courses include:

·               Identifying and Framing a Challenge;

·               Gathering User Emotions;

·               Crafting User Narratives;

·               Generating User-Centered Solutions;

·               Design Prototyping; and

·               Testing and Iteration

Upon successful completion of all six courses, learners earn a Design Thinking Certificate from Cornell Engineering.

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Rebecca Valli