This course is part of the UBC Certificate in Biomedical Visualization and Communication.
What does it mean to design? Who is a designer? Design is, at its heart, about identifying problems and responding with a solution. As Nobel Laureate Herb Simon noted, design is to “change existing situations into preferred ones.” And anyone who proposes a solution is essentially a designer.
In digital health and science communications, it’s critical to ensure that proposed ideas and solutions are not only viable, but also useful and valuable to your audience. To create more meaningful and relevant products and services, design thinking can help us define (and redefine) the problem space, challenge our assumptions, identify opportunities for solutions, and most importantly, help us deeply understand the people who will be using our products, interfaces and experiences. This strengthens not only the quality and efficiency of you and your team’s ideas, but helps to ensure an experience that responds to your customers’ needs, expectations and pain points.
In this foundational design thinking course, we will learn about how you can strengthen the quality of your ideas, quickly iterate through possible concepts, and validate your solutions. We will explore the topic of design from four lenses. These lenses closely align to the different stages of the iterative design process.
Clarity: Ways of seeing and framing the problem
Communication: How to gather different perspectives to deepen our understanding of the problem and the people who are impacted
Collaboration: Aligning, defining and prioritizing ideas to move into possible solutions
Creation: Making and prototyping solutions that successfully respond to the problem
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- understand the foundational principles of design thinking including:
- explaining human-centered design methodology
- describing the benefits and value of empathy
- defining the problem or opportunity (probing for “why”) before solving
- methods for ideation
- apply user experience design principles to envisioning products and services
- distinguish between different methods of validating ideas (user research)
- generate and visualize design ideas, including customer journeys and user workflows
- communicate rationale for design solutions
This course is available only to students in the UBC Certificate in Biomedical Visualization and Communication program.
Week 1: What is Design?
Design + Clarifying
Week 2: Ways of Seeing
Week 3: Defining the Problem
Week 4: Importance of Ideation and Validation
Design + Communicating
Week 5: Design Definition
Week 6: Design Ideation
Week 7: Design Documentation
Design + Collaborating
Week 8: Defining Success
Week 9: Crafting Vision Statements
Design + Creating
Week 10: Designing Fast and Slow
Week 11: Heuristics
Week 12: Wrap-up
This course is 100% online, and is hosted on the learning management system Canvas. Modules, released weekly, include online lectures, readings, videos, exercises and assignments, and total 30 hours of online learning.
Students can expect to spend four hours or more per week completing the modules and assignments, reflecting on their learning, and participating in group discussions in the online forum. Each module must be completed in full before progressing to the next module.