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Course Empathic Design & Innovation



Next start date: 19.02.2024

Length of programme: 2 semester
Costs: 995 € plus ÖH-Beitrag
Type of study:
2x2 attendance days (9.00 to 18.00) and online sessions OR intensive week in presence on campus.
Language of instruction: German/English
Programme director:

Dr.in Astin Malschinger

Application deadline
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Academic calendar

The development and realisation of a successful product idea is the key to the success of a business model in times of ever-increasing competition, growing customer needs and faster trend developments at various levels. The challenge is to create a special innovative strength under pressure in order to keep consumers as highly satisfied and loyal customers! To achieve this, the use of design thinking and empathic design have established themselves as successful approaches. This enables creative innovation management to be realised, which allows products and services to be continuously developed or redeveloped quickly.

This is precisely where the "Empathic Design & Innovation" course comes in, focussing on the development of innovative problem solutions and realistic concepts. Users can be observed in their actual usage environment and their everyday routines in order to gain a realistic understanding of their needs, experiences and emotions, for example.

In the Empathic Design Lab, you will learn how to react hands-on to potentially critical customer needs. From theoretical know-how to practical application in the workshop playground, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the creative innovation methods Design Thinking & Empathic Design. Through Strategic Thinking and Ideation, you will experience a strategic mindset that embraces agility, flexibility and adaptability. Today, long-term planning is no longer the key to success. The ever-increasing pace of change requires strategic skills to make quick decisions, evaluate trade-offs and determine the best solution for success. Real cases are worked on together with experienced experts and proven methods such as Lego® Serious Play® are used to support the creative process of developing product concepts.

Admission requirements

  • General university entrance qualification according to § 64 Abs 1 UG
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Information session

Dates will be announced shortly…

Who is this course for?

This short course is aimed at interested parties from the fields of innovation, marketing, branding, design, user experience management, research & development, who need to manage and control processes for user-centred innovations in an agile environment.

Your competences

As a participant, you will familiarise yourself with the sub-processes of Design Thinking & Empathic Design in a practice-oriented way and apply them in a results-oriented manner.

Another focus of the course is the Empathic Design Lab. In the first phase of the innovation process, you will learn to understand people's needs, emotions and experiences in order to create the basis for relevant solutions. This also includes planning surveys and evaluating the results obtained. In this way, you will acquire the ability to identify aspects that are relevant and meaningful for users.

The special thing about Design Thinking & Empathic Design: users are observed in their actual usage environment and their everyday routines or you slip into the role of the user in order to gain a realistic understanding. This requires specialised methods beyond data collection, market and consumer research.

After completing the course, you will also be able to qualitatively test and evaluate concepts or solutions with users and then strategically assess their potential. To do this, you will learn how to conduct user workshops in a results-orientated manner.

As a future empathic design specialist, you will be able to further develop your own creative mindset. You will learn creative methods that will enable you to lead interdisciplinary innovation teams with the aim of developing solutions that are better established because they are more relevant than the competition.

Empathic design is a fast and low-risk way to identify potentially critical customer needs. It is an important source of new product ideas and has the potential to align a company's technological capabilities to completely new business areas.

How to complete the course:

  • Online and 4 attendance days
  • Intensive as a boot camp in 5 days
  • Or we can come to your company and work directly on one of your problems - the advantage is that you have your own case, complete a course and experience continuous learning within the company.

Dates & application deadlines

Depending on when you would like to start your further education programme, the attendance days at the FERNFH Campus in Wiener Neustadt and the registration deadlines vary. The next start dates for this programme are as follows (subject to change):

Start date Attendance Days Application deadline

19.02.2024 | Intensive week | on site

19.02.- 23.02.2024


05.03.2024 | 18:00-20:00 p.m. | Online 13. & 14.03.2024
03. & 04.04.2024


You still have questions - we will be happy to advise you personally!

If you have any questions, you can contact the course team at any time: 

Course team

Astin Malschinger

Astin Malschinger

Course director
Always available via WhatsApp:

Marlies Moravitz

Available by telephone: Mon - Fri, 8.00 am - 1.00 pm
+43 2622 32600-307





Application deadline