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Professional Certificate in
Human-Centered Design for Work at a Distance

What you will learn

  • Gain a foundational understanding of human-centered design concepts and strategies, including rapid prototyping and iterative problem-solving.
  • Use visual models such as personas and user experience journeys to help generate and prototype tangible, innovative ideas, and improve collaboration with others.
  • Apply human-centered design tools and frameworks to solve a variety of distributed work challenges and other ‘wicked’ problems.
  • Identify, reflect and apply lessons learned from others to transform your own work-at-home situation, and also help others transform their work and/or business from a distance.

Many of us have had to face a new reality of working at a distance, requiring us to take new approaches to how we work, and adapt the products and services our organizations offer. As distributed work continues to rise in popularity, there are already signs that these changes may lead to a “new normal”. Facebook, Twitter and Shopify are among several companies who are moving the majority of their workforces online, permanently.

Working remotely has many benefits, including increased employee productivity and satisfaction. Yet, it is not without its challenges: many individuals and organizations struggle to effectively adapt their businesses and interactions with others online.

Human-centered design (HCD) principles are used by successful companies worldwide to transform thinking and inspire innovation. This professional certificate program teaches you how to apply HCD strategies to reinvent your work reality, and support others who are doing the same.

Each module includes inspiring video conversations with guest speakers from a range of industries, including physiotherapy, game design, ecommerce, health and communications, and more. Uncover how these people have transformed their work from a distance, and apply strategies and best practices gleaned from these case studies to reimagine your own work at a distance.

Gain a toolkit of visual maps based on design processes used by the digital media, game, arts, medical, and emerging technology sectors. And reflect, adapt and prototype actionable solutions to solve a variety of remote work challenges.

This professional certificate program is taught by UBC Professor Patrick Pennefather, a strategic design expert who has taught human-centered design and scalable MVP’s (minimum viable prototypes) strategies to a range of institutions, nonprofits and corporations over the past 15 years.

Expert instruction
2 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
2 months
3 - 4 hours per week
Discounted price: $286.20
Pre-discounted price: $318USD
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. UBCx's Human-Centered Design for Work at a Distance Professional Certificate

  2. 3–4 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    Learn and apply human-centered design tools to transform your work with others at a distance.

  3. 3–4 hours per week, for 4 weeks

    Draw from human-centered design tools learned in Human-Centered Design for Work at a Distance: Toolbox Essentials to identify and solve real-world case studies for individuals reinventing their work at a distance.

    • The World Economic Forum has ranked problem solving, critical thinking and creativity – the fundamental elements of human-centered design - as the top three skills employees will need to thrive in the workplaces of the future (World Economic Forum, 2016).
    • Design methodology is in high demand: according to Rutgers research using Burning Glass Labour Market Data, between 2016 and 2018 there was a 200% increase in jobs requiring design thinking skills (compared to a 6% increase in all positions).
    • Human-centered design skills are particularly valuable in a climate of disruption. Design methodology can help solve complex human problems spanning multiple industries, such as the challenges of working at a distance.
    • Distributed work is on the rise, and has been even prior to COVID-19. Gallup data showed 43% of U.S employees worked remotely in some capacity in 2017, a 4% rise from 2012.
    • According to a 2020 Gartner survey, 74% of CFOs plan to shift at least 5% of their previously on-site employees to ongoing remote positions, even after COVID-19 has subsided.
    • Distributed work has many benefits, including a lack of commute and more time. A 2020 Gitlab survey found that 52% of respondents found themselves to be “more productive” when working remotely.

Meet your instructor
from University of British Columbia (UBCx)

Dr. Patrick Parra Pennefather
Assistant Professor
University of British Columbia

Experts from UBCx committed to teaching online learning

Enrolling Now

Discounted price: $286.20
Pre-discounted price: $318USD
2 courses in 2 months
Pursue the Program

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