• University of Leeds
  • Institute of Coding logo

Get Creative with People to Solve Problems

Have you ever had a digital problem that you didn't know how to solve? Get acquainted with the principle of human-centred design.

13,678 enrolled on this course

Get Creative with People to Solve Problems
  • Duration2 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Digital upgradeFree
This course is part of the Solving Problems with Technology program, which will enable you to learn how to use technology to find effective resolutions to digital problems .

Find effective resolutions to digital problems using design thinking

Human-centred design is a creative approach to problem solving. It focuses on understanding the needs of the people who have a problem in order to design appropriate solutions.

On this course you’ll learn about the five-stage process and have the opportunity to take part in practical activities to try each stage of the process.

You’ll learn why this method of thinking is effective, how to use it, and which jobs use the process.

You’ll also become familiar with how to collect the right information and data to prove a solution can work in the real world.

Featured in the UK government’s The Skills Toolkit collection.


  • Week 1

    Introducing Human-Centred Design

    • Welcome to the week

      This week, you’ll learn about human-centred design and the design process, explore the benefits of understanding people’s real needs when you’re solving problems, and test ways to develop your design mindset.

    • What is the human-centred design process?

      This activity introduces the process of human-centred design and outlines some techniques that help designers focus on people and their needs.

    • A look at the five phases of HCD

      This activity will discuss the five phase process behind human-centred design projects in more detail and the tasks that support HCD.

    • Developing a human-centred design mindset

      In this activity, you’ll explore how you can develop a human-centred design mindset, through research and practising empathy.

    • Summary

      In these steps, we reflect on what we’ve covered, and think of a problem to solve next week.

  • Week 2

    Designing for Real People

    • Welcome to the week

      This week, you’ll apply human-centred design to a real-world problem, investigate how making and resting rough prototypes helps improve your work. You’ll also collect information to help prove your solution works.

    • Empathise and Define

      In this activity, you’ll work through the first two steps of the human-centred design process: empathise and define.

    • Ideate

      In this activity, you’ll explore the creative thinking techniques that help us ‘ideate’. This means generating many ideas to solve a problem in novel or innovative ways.

    • Prototype

      In this activity, you’ll explore how making prototypes helps you discover how to make your ideas better. You’ll also try making a simple prototype.

    • Reflection, testing and iteration

      In this activity, you’ll discover how you can learn from prototypes by testing them and how iteration helps you improve your designs.

    • Summary

      You’ve nearly reached the end of the course, so these steps will help you reflect on what you’ve learned.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the kinds of problem that can be solved with human-centred design
  • Summarise the activities needed to run a successful human-centred design project
  • Develop a human-centred design mindset to approach a problem
  • Apply the Design Thinking process to a real-world problem
  • Investigate how making and testing rough prototypes helps improvement
  • Collect information and data that help prove a solution will work in the real world

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for people who have digital skills but would like to build confidence in using digital technology in the workplace.

This may include those studying for A-levels, those who have a degree, or those who want to improve their career prospects.

The course will also be useful for anyone in employment who wants to boost their digital skills or anyone returning to the workplace who’d like to gain confidence in how working practices have evolved.

You might also be interested in the other courses in the Digital Skills for the Workplace collection from the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding.

Who will you learn with?

I'm a creative digital producer and product manager, and helped establish the National Film and Television School’s first digital producing course. I have a secret double life as an artist.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Institute of Coding

The Institute of Coding is a family of learners, businesses and educators creating a new way to develop the digital skills needed at work and beyond.


supported by

Nesta logo

supported by

UKBlackTech logo

supported by

tech mums logo

Learner reviews

What's included?

University of Leeds are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible