Lifewide learning courses and programmes

Design Bits

This is an introductory online course about design for non-designers: people who are curious about what design is, how designers work, and how to work with designers. On this course, you will learn the basics about design, how designers solve problems, and design tools.


Continuously ongoing

Teaching time:



Design and arts

Form of learning:



Aalto University




2 By Aalto University (ECTS)


Free of charge

Application period:

No application needed

Course description

Through seven chapters, we explain the basic definitions of design, introduce models for understanding the design process, and demonstrate the value of design in industry and society. Each chapter has multiple-choice questions, open-ended activities, and reflections on the topic.

We introduce the four essential pillars of design today: sustainability, collaboration, innovation, and management. Through hands-on activities and reflections at the end of each chapter, we give you a taste of some widely-used design tools, guide you in thinking like a designer and show you possibilities for deepening your design studies at Aalto University.

After taking this course, the student:

  • Understands the value of design and its main approaches to sustainability, collaboration, innovation and management.
  • Knows about the different design fields and understands design’s possible application to different areas.
  • Understands the importance of the user’s perspective and knows design tools that help including users in projects.
  • Can describe the design thinking process, its phases and its most relevant tools and methods.

Study load

Readings and online materials: 40 h + activities & reflections: 14 h. Total: 54 h.

  • Updated: