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Learn industrial design with online courses and programs

Industrial designers combine artistry, engineering, and a strong understanding of user needs to design and develop products that seamlessly integrate into users’ lives. These can ultimately help to solve problems and improve human interactions.

What is industrial design?

When companies set out to create products that customers love, they rely on industrial design to drive much of their strategy. Industrial design involves collaboration between research, design, and marketing teams. This ensures that products strike a balance between form and function, offering both aesthetic appeal and practicality.

Industrial design is a creative process. It involves crafting the physical appearance, usability, and overall experience of products ranging from electronics and appliances to furniture and automobiles.

Industrial design is the creative process of designing and developing products that are not only visually appealing but also functional, user-friendly, and efficient to manufacture. The goal of industrial design is to make products that seamlessly integrate into our lives, solving problems and improving our interactions with the world around us.

Today, industrial designers can use computer-aided design (CAD) for rapid prototyping. CAD can cut down on production time by allowing designers to create prototypes quickly and build complex products with precision. Learning how to apply industrial design principles to traditional and tech-enabled processes can keep you competitive as you explore career opportunities in the field.

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Industrial design course curriculum

Learners who want to start or advance their industrial design career have a variety of courses available through edX to choose from. A good place to start is with the fundamentals of product design, including:

  • Development processes 

  • Concept generation and selection

  • Product design and architecture

  • Principles of prototyping and user experience

  • Wireframing and prototyping models

  • Robust design considerations

  • Testing and troubleshooting

  • Project management

You can further build your industrial design toolkit and enhance your abilities for design thinking with advanced coursework. Individuals interested in sustainable design may opt for classes covering methods to improve the reuse, repair, remanufacturing, and recycling of products for a circular economy.

Start building the knowledge you need to work in the industrial design field with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. Busy professionals can even take advantage of executive education courses tailored to those in leadership and management positions. Find the right course for you.

Explore industrial design jobs

Industrial design knowledge is integral to any work that ends in the creation of a product. As a result, individuals with varying degrees of experience with industrial design principles can qualify for a variety of different jobs. Some example career paths include:

  • Product manager: Uses their industrial design knowledge to communicate across teams, understand constraints, and ensure that product ideas align with design principles.Footnote 1

  • UX designer: Applies industrial design principles to create visually appealing interfaces that mimic real-world interactions and are intuitive to use.Footnote 2

  • Interior designer: Uses their understanding of industrial design principles to select and arrange furniture, fixtures, and other elements.Footnote 3

  • Industrial designer: Creates new products or improves existing ones, considering form, function, materials, ergonomics, and user experience.Footnote 4

  • Architect: Uses industrial design principles to design buildings that are functional, visually pleasing, and integrate well with their surroundings.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant skills in a UX/UI boot camp. However, some employers may seek candidates with a degree in engineering, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.