Human-Centered Design for Work at a Distance - Ubbergo

Human-Centered Design for Work at a Distance

Top Value video Human-Centered Design for Work at a Distance
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Course type


Mixed Levels

Created by

The University of British Columbia


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More features

Coaching and mentoring, Discounts for eligible learners, Discussions forums, Flexible learning program, Graded assignments





Skills Covered: Effective Work at a Distance, Human-Centered Design Process, Remote Leadership, At-a-Distance Communication Technologies, Problem Solving, Task Planning, Usability Testing

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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.



  • 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.



  • 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 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.
  • 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

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