Design Thinking - Understanding Its Phases

Innovation is a constant demand in an increasingly competitive market. That's why companies must keep the culture of innovation constantly in motion within their businesses.

Vetor editado do Storyset. 2021 por Storyset

Among the ways to innovate, we have design thinking, a set of methods and techniques that aim to create an environment conducive to the most creative solutions. So, get to know the phases of design thinking and understand how it works in practice!

Get to know the phases of design thinking

Before explaining the phases of design thinking, it is important to understand that it is not a linear process. This means that the phases presented here can follow different orders, depending on the business where they will be applied.

Furthermore, the stages do not exist to follow an exact and fixed script, and creativity is encouraged in all stages of the process. Below, you will find more details.


Discovery is the first stage of design thinking. It is in this phase that the scenario for transformation is presented, with the goal of understanding what is happening, what the problems, pains, difficulties, among others, are. It is truly an immersion in the environment to assess the situation and start thinking about innovative solutions. The objectives of this stage are:

  • Map the environment, with its boundaries and possibilities.
  • Gather relevant information, such as expectations, available resources, and the level of adaptability to innovations.
  • Observe what innovations have already been made in the environment and what the results are.
  • Understand the current situation to map future possibilities.

Depending on the case, the immersion can be more superficial or profound. In the case of superficial immersions, general data and generic research on what needs to be transformed are presented. In deep immersion, there is a detailed analysis that may be focused on a more specific problem.


In this stage, all participants are invited to enter the process. It is the moment for everyone to become aware of the current situation, identifying the problems and the possibilities from there. It is the moment when the process planning is presented, defining tasks for all participants.

At this point, the desirable results with the execution of the process are also presented.


Having a project in design thinking does not mean having a fixed script to be followed strictly. That's why, with the planning in hand, all participants are encouraged to have ideas to optimize the process. In this phase, it is the time to use creativity and come up with ideas based on your field of action in the project.

For this purpose, it is possible to promote moments for brainstorming, a concept that involves sharing ideas among a group of people involved in the same project. The goal is to confront different ideas on the same subject and improve them according to their applicability and the presented solution.

Prototype Development and Validation

What separates ideas from realization is the ability to turn them into prototypes and validate them based on their applicability. Therefore, this stage is essential to test whether the ideas will adapt to the reality of the business.

At this stage, presentations are made along with data and samples of the idea's application. This stage aims to provide a sample that can be evaluated by clients and employees. Possible problems are also assessed during this phase, which can be discussed in light of the ideas that arise during the presentation.


Finally, we have the implementation of the solution. After the presentation and the necessary tests, it is possible to apply the innovation with confidence and certainty that the solution will meet the intended demands.

Although design thinking does not have a fixed script, it is important to go through all these phases in order to truly present effective solutions according to the scenario. Responding to demand is only possible through an understanding of the environment, the stimulation of innovative ideas, and testing. The process can go back to previous stages whenever necessary, with the goal of truly meeting the demands.

Did you like learning about the stages of design thinking? Keep browsing and check out other articles we have prepared for you.

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