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Certificate of Design Research

Get a certificate in design research with a 12-week live, instructor-led online course.

14+ hours of face time with a veteran design researcher. Training delivered via Zoom.

Certificate of Design Research

You’ll learn how to

  • Plan a user research program
  • Select from a range of research methods
  • Confidently facilitate a range of research techniques
  • Conduct insightful customer interviews
  • Analyze your research findings
  • Engage stakeholders with your findings
  • Facilitate workshops that spark ideation
  • Conduct a usability test & evaluate the usability of an interface or content

What you’ll get

  • A PDF course workbook
  • A certificate of completion
  • Access to a network of peers ​
  • 3 x 30 minute one-on-one coaching sessions with Lisa
  • 12 hours of live classes delivered by Lisa (no more than 16 students per class)
  • 5 x 15-minute prac-pod homework review sessions with Lisa (4 students per prac-pod)
  • Feedback on your group’s final presentation
  • A portfolio piece, and guidance on kickstarting your job search
  • Bonus: Experience Design Job Seeker Kickstart training
  • Bonus: Insider Tips Training – What are design managers looking for in new hires?


This program gives you the foundation you need to bring qualitative design research into your work. You’ll learn how to shape a research program, recruit participants, conduct research sessions, analyze results and present your findings to stakeholders. This course will give you a strong foundation for your first design research role, or equip you with the skills you need to bring more research capability into your work.


  • Classes are delivered live via Zoom. That’s right – in real time! Each theory session is combined with a practical element, so you can try out the skills you are exploring.
  • Classes are small – maximum class size is 16 people. So everyone can have some face time with Lisa and space to ask questions.
  • You’ll be allocated to a prac-pod- a small group of 3 4 other students that you will work with on assignments and homework during the course. Each prac-pod gets a dedicated homework review session with Lisa each week.
  • Theory tutorials run for the first 6 weeks. After that, weeks 7-11 are focused on your group work. You get a client case study to work through, research and produce research artifacts to support your findings. In week 12 you will present your research findings and sit a 1-hour exam.

Who is this COURSE FOR?

  • UXers who want to strengthen their research muscles
  • Design students who are taking a DIY approach to build their design chops, rather than spending big bucks on an expensive design boot camp
  • Career-changers who want to work as a service/product designer or UX researcher
  • Marketers who want to undertake qualitative research
  • Business analysts, entrepreneurs, PMs, engineers, POs, scrum masters, and management consultants who want to bring design thinking and customer-centricity into their work
  • Anyone who wants a better understanding of their customers
  • Students who want to learn about design research in a more personal setting than a bootcamp, and learn from a trusted, highly experienced practitioner


This program is delivered live (via Zoom) by Lisa Wade, a 20+ year veteran of the human-centered design industry.

In the decades Lisa has been working in this industry she has built, run, and sold her own experience design practice and has advised some of the world’s leading organizations how to shape their customer experiences. Lisa has also built an experience design capability from the ground up for the world’s largest professional services firm, PwC. She is a highly experienced facilitator, trainer, and coach, and loves to share her decades of experience (and a few stories from the design research trenches) with others.

Throughout her career, Lisa has trained people from all different industries with different professional backgrounds in all aspects of research and design. She has delivered various iterations of this course to organizations around the world such as Atlassian and PwC.


Module 1: Think like a design researcher


  • 2 hours of live training
  • 30-minute introductory one-on-one coaching session with Lisa

What we will cover:

  • How the design process works from beginning to end
  • The role of research in a design program
  • An understanding of how you can bring greater customer-centricity to your role
  • How to appreciate a customer problem
  • How to work effectively with the other members of an Agile team during the design process

Module 2: Design research methods


  • 2 hours of live training
  • 15-minute group homework review session

What we will cover:

  • How to choose the most appropriate research method
  • Exploration of a range of research methods, including secondary research reviews, customer interviews, contextual enquiry, diary studies, intercept interviews
  • How to identify the right participants for your research, and how to recruit them

Module 3: Conducting an effective customer interview


  • 2 hours of live training
  • 15-minute group homework review session

What we will cover:

  • Understanding the soft skills required to facilitate a great customer interview
  • Interview preparation
  • How to ask effective questions
  • Developing a listening strategy
  • Considering the participant experience
  • Understanding consent and privacy
  • Managing note-takers and observers

Module 4: Analyzing and communicating insights


  • 2 hours of live training
  • 15-minute group homework review session

What we will cover:

  • Estimating the time and resources you will need for analysis
  • Managing internal bias to produce objective insights
  • Identifying insights from your customer research
  • Telling the story of your research to project stakeholders
  • Producing key artefacts, such as personas and journey maps

Module 5: Ideation


  • 2 hours of live training
  • 15-minute group homework review session

What we will cover:

  • How to align a team on customer needs
  • How to run an effective ideation workshop
  • A series of plays to move through the ideation process
  • How to balance input from the business, tech and customer
  • How to prototype and test an early-stage concept (Note – you don’t need to be a designer to do this)

Module 6: Usability testing


  • 2 hours of live training
  • 15-minute group homework review session
  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session with Lisa

What we will cover:

  • The strengths and weaknesses of moderated and unmoderated usability testing methods
  • How to prepare and run a moderated usability test
  • Awareness of the soft skills required to run an insightful usability test
  • Different approaches for analysing and reporting on the results of your test

Module 7: Group assignment - weeks 7-11


  • A weekly 30 min check-in with each group, facilitated by Lisa. These check-ins will help keep each group on task and focused on what they need to do to deliver a great final presentation

What we will cover:

  • In weeks 7-11 each prac-pod (small group of 3-4 students) works on their group assignment. There will be new practical tasks for you to focus on each week. These tasks will enable you to get hands-on with different design research practices. By the end of the five weeks you will have conducted research for your client case study, and produced research artefacts to use in your portfolio

Frequently asked QUESTIONS

When are the sessions held?

The program has two intakes per year. Live tutorials are held at 4pm EST. The next course commences 13 April 2021.

What happens if I miss a session?

The sessions are recorded live on ZOOM so you can catch up later.

How many students in a class?

There are a maximum of 16 students per class. You will be working on practical tasks with a small prac-pod group of 3-4 other students.

What’s a prac-pod?

It’s a small group of 3-4 other students who work together to complete practical homework tasks and the major assignment. This work ensures that you become familiar with collaborating with others – our industry is highly collaborative and teamwork is a given in most workplaces.

What materials do I need for this course?

You’ll need:

  • A computer with a camera and microphone, and a good internet connection
  • Accounts with Google, Mural, Zoom and Slack

How many hours a week will I need to dedicate to this course?

There are 2 hours of weekly tutorials for the first 6 weeks, plus a short 15-minute homework review session for your prac-pod. You’ll also need to spend another 2 hours during the week working on your homework tasks and connecting with your prac-pod.

In weeks 7-11 you’ll be working on your practical assignment. This will take you approximately 4-6 hours per week. You will also have a 30-minute check-in each week.

Is this course graded?

Yes. The exam comprises 40% of your final grade, and the practical assessment will be worth 60%.