Software Design for Non-Designers (Edition Q4/2017)

This free Software Design for Non-Designers interactive course aims to explain common aspects of design as way to improve user experience in software engineering, and will provide an introduction to a few basic steps you can apply to your next project. It is taught by Scott Klemmer from UC San Diego, and a team of design-driven development experts from SAP.

This course was retired in October 2023.

Self-paced since December 21, 2017
Language: English

Course information


This course was retired in October 2023.

In This Course You Will:

  • Grow an understanding of the relevance of design to the development of quality products
  • Learn how to extend the current sense of "product quality" to include delighting end users
  • Understand the role of designers, developers and development architects, product managers, and business experts in design
  • Become familiar with the skills and resources you will need to design and build quality products
  • Deepen your knowledge of design and the work of designers with development and other teams
  • Get familiar with how good design can become a part of your daily work

Course Structure:

Each class includes five components to make learning more effective and more fun.

  • Video Lectures – Design thought leaders presenting topics with examples drawn from various sources
  • Check Points – Each lecture will pause at key points for a brief quiz so you can assess your understanding of the materials presented thus far
  • Hands-on Exercise – Small, manageable exercises related to and extending the class topics, to be completed individually or in collaboration
  • Further Reading and Resources – Annotated links to additional class materials as well as topic experts and other sources of guidance

Throughout the course, students will receive points for weekly challenges. Upon completion of the course, students will receive a document confirming course participation.

Course Characteristics

Target Audience

  • Anyone interested in Software Design

Course Requirements

  • No specific course requirements

Previous Versions of This Course:

Previous versions of this course are available here:

Course contents

  • Course content no longer available

  • Week 1 - What is Design and Why Design Matters:

    Design thinking, design practice, and the language of design
  • Week 2 - Design Process:

    The software interface design process, roles and concepts
  • Week 3 - Needs Finding:

    Understanding the needs of the people you are designing for.
  • Week 4 - Conceptual Design:

    Matching product design to the work of the user
  • Conceptual Design Challenge

  • Week 5 - High Fidelity Design:

    Simple, yet impactful considerations when design software applications.
  • Week 6 - Design at Work:

    A peek behind the scenes of how software design works at SAP.
  • I Like, I Wish:

    We Love Your Feedback … And Want More

Enroll me for this course

The course is free. Just register for an account on openSAP and take the course!
Enroll me now


Course End
Dec 21, 2017
Course Start
Nov 08, 2017


This course was rated with 4.42 stars in average from 211 votes.

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 50% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 50% of the course material.
  • Gain an Open Badge by completing the course.

Find out more in the certificate guidelines.

This course is offered by

Sam Yen

Former Chief Design Officer, SAP

Sam had multiple roles at SAP: Chief Design Officer, Global Head of Design and User Experience, and prior to that he led the SAP AppHaus, an innovation team tasked with building new solutions, establishing new markets, and reaching new users for SAP. Sam initially joined SAP as a senior member of the Design Services Team, a group in the Office of the CEO tasked with accelerating the adoption of Design Thinking as a process for innovation and development of internal and external SAP products.

Andrea Anderson

Former VP Design Thinking, SAP User Experience Strategy

Andrea is a veteran of Design Thinking in software. With more than 10 years of practicing and teaching design thinking, she has applied the approach to software solutions, product strategy and services.

Andrea has been instrumental in leading the organizational transformation of SAP into an organization that practices Design Thinking throughout the world.

Goran Peuc

Principal UX Designer, SAP

Goran has been working in the digital design industry for over 15 years, with no intent to stop. As an SAP Principal UX Designer he is creating products for multi-billion global clients and evangelizes design both within SAP and at the many design conferences he is requested to speak at. Goran loves nature, hiking, and mountain biking and on occasion grills a mean steak.

Scott Klemmer

University of California, San Diego

Scott is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego, where he is a co-founder and Associate co-director of the Design Lab.

He previously served as Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford, where he co-directed the HCI Group, held the Bredt Faculty Scholar chair, and was a founding participant in the He has a dual BA in Art-Semiotics and Computer Science from Brown (with Graphic Design work at RISD), and a PhD in CS from Berkeley.