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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Leadership Through Design Innovation by Northwestern University

184 ratings
46 reviews

About the Course

Today’s workplace calls for a new style of leadership to embolden and accelerate innovation. Design offers a novel way to discover market opportunities, experiment to validate concepts and mitigate risk, and deliver value to all stakeholders. This course offers hands-on experience applying human-centered design process to real-world challenges, and requires you to explore the world around you. Learn how to engage with end users, effectively frame problems, identify potential solutions, and build prototypes to test assumptions and learn what works (and doesn’t). Then dive into a range of ways large and small to bring design innovation into your organization....

Top reviews


Apr 16, 2018

SO far I've enjoyed it and it's the course why I started the specialization for, and instead of taking it separate from the others, it's way better to have the full track to get the 360 view


Sep 29, 2016

Enjoyed the journey through the course. The projects are integral to gain confidence on applying design thinking. However, they are time intensive and require commitment.

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1 - 25 of 45 Reviews for Leadership Through Design Innovation

By Michael R

Feb 11, 2017

The least helpful of the specialty. Arduous assignments with a lot of errors and not well planned. Specialty has been great up until this one.

By Seth M

Aug 01, 2016

You absolutely have to change this course. It's out of control.

It's unreasonable to expect people who aren't from the design, marketing, or graphics worlds to do this much sketching, prototyping, interviewing of people, and field trips for this class. It's 20x the work I've done for any other Coursera course and I physically can't finish it. It's actually impossible for me to do this much work, particularly on skills I will never use, because I'm not a designer. I'm a leader and a manager.

You need to fix this. I'm all for experiential learning but this is absolute nonsense.

By sarah b

Jun 21, 2016

This is supposed to be a leadership specialization-this course is wildly out of place and very disappointing. I will be dropping the specialization due to this course.

By Florian M

Jan 14, 2019

A lot of work, but definitely great!

By Jennifer M

Oct 20, 2017

Content and information = 4.5

Amount of time needed to do assignments when you have a full-time work and travel extensively = 2.5

I found it really difficult to complete the course assignments because of my workload and travel schedule. Needing to go to a grocery store during a particular week to make observations; sit with a colleague in the office in a week that I'm supposed to be working from home - it was difficult to complete these assignments. Also the intensity of the assignment felt larger than the learning/value gained from doing it. This is the 5th out of 6 classes as part of the 6 course specialization on Org Leadership. This is the only class where I've struggled with the time commitment for the assignments and didn't feel like the time put in was equal to the value I got in return. I've also taken one other coursera class and didn't have this issue.

By Max R

Mar 29, 2016

good interesting and practical course, but assignments are way too burdensome and lengthy to complete if you are a busy professional.

By Mohamed A T K

Feb 08, 2016

Warning: this is a VERY demanding course, the required weekly time assignment is underestimated.

By Praktikant H

Feb 09, 2016

Pretty Shallow Course: once you have understood the basic principles of Design Innovation in week 1 (Observe and Ask your Users, collect Feedback, Rapid Prototyping, have a learning mindset), the following lectures just repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat how you can use those principles in different settings.

By Peder A

Aug 29, 2016

I have been disappointed with this course and my learning outcomes do not justify the huge amount of time invested. More importantly, the course has little to do with organisational leadership in its classical form.

The course focuses on stimulating creativity and innovation. Subsequently your assignments will include drawing, sketching, making storyboards, building prototypes out of Lego, cardboard or other material, interviewing people etc. It is very hands-on and extremely time-consuming in particular as the graded assignment focuses fully on quantity, no quality measure is used at any point in time.

By Phillip S

Aug 05, 2016

This class is not very well connected to the topic of leadership. It is more of an engineering course.

By Brian A

Jul 22, 2016

Assigned coursework is overly burdensome and does not yield a sufficient amount of additional understanding over that which is gained watching the videos.

By Vikash P

May 29, 2016

This is a highly inadequate course on Design Thinking. And it made worse by excessively demanding assignments that are totally at odds with the quantity and depth of the course content.

By Wasseem A

Apr 20, 2016

Totally irrelevant in terms of marketing & brand management perspective. It can a be a good course for designers rather than marketer.

I am stuck to take it, but if i have the option to drop it, I will do so. But I want to earn the specialization certificate.

By Michael A

Apr 10, 2019

Enjoyed the

By Lawrence D

Sep 16, 2016

I held a Design Thinking for Innovation workshop with my employees by asking them to identify pain points associated with completing their day to day tasks. 45 ideas were generated in the ideation phase. In a matter of 3 months we have already completed 30% of their ideas and another 25% are in various phases of development. These ideas have streamlined our communications and accelerated the learning curve for training of new hires. The activity also increased teamwork and job satisfaction, which is evident in the level of creativity and initiative shown by the employees.

By Alexander T

Feb 24, 2016

I found this one extremely useful for all managers who need to work with new products or improve existing ones.

By Ranabir D

Feb 17, 2016

Fantastic experience :)

By Martha V

Mar 31, 2016


By Antonio L

Jun 01, 2017

Excellent course which provides the foundation to make Design a part of Leadership

By Matteo U

Jun 03, 2017

Loved it!

By Pooja S M

Sep 29, 2016

Enjoyed the journey through the course. The projects are integral to gain confidence on applying design thinking. However, they are time intensive and require commitment.

By Sawyer K

Jun 08, 2017

This course does a tremendous job providing the fundamentals of Design-Thinking into the bigger picture of leading yourself well with an even-keeled skill set. This will bridge your mind with standard quantitative decision making and qualitative intuition. It brings the creative back to scientific experimentation. If you are considering learning about this course, would definitely recommend due to structure, reading lists, case studies, and additional materials provided.

By Todd H

Feb 15, 2016

This is the most comprehensive innovation course I've seen. Due to family reasons, I had to transition to be a stay-at-home-Dad for the past 5 years. Before that I worked in innovation at Fortune 100 companies and also at small companies. I've worked with IDEO, Sterling-Rice, Kuczmarksi, Geppetto and others.

This course captured the process perfectly - and the step-by-step handout for the final assignment was perfect. This process takes time!! It's fun and rewarding... but it does take time. But the process works.

Excellent course. I took it to get my edge back. It more than delivered.

By Timothy P J

Jun 12, 2016

Probably the most eye-opening and useful class of all the specialization. Took significantly more time, but was very insightful.

By BySan M

Feb 04, 2016

I am really enjoying learning at this course.