After all, what is design thinking and what’s it for?

design thinking

Nowadays, there are several approaches to make your team focused and find solutions to different problems in a company.

Among them, it is worth knowing what is design thinking and how this approach can create more engagement and promote the use of creativity in favor of productivity in your company.

In the following post, learn how this concept emerged and its advantages. See also the step-by-step process to apply it. Enjoy your reading!

What is design thinking and where does it come from?

You have probably heard a lot about the concept, but do you know what design thinking is and how it was created?

Basically, it is a thinking model that aims to solve problems, but in a creative way.

In other words, similar to a designer's way of thinking, who needs to see everything from different angles in order to find his creative solution, this model aims to explore several points of view so that the best ideas can be found to solve an issue.

In this process, not only a consumer audience, but also the team itself and the mistakes already made are important so that solutions can be found quickly and objectively.

But where did this kind of thinking come from?

Basically, it was developed by several people over time. In the 1970s, the first ideas came from Robert H. McKim, in the book "Experiences in Visual Thinking".

In the following decade, Rolf Faste, a professor at Stanford University developed the idea further.

In the 1990s, David Kelley of the design company IDEO added his contributions.

Finally, design thinking became popular in the 2000s, and is now a widely used approach by many companies, even those that are not in design or creative markets.

design thinking imagem

Objectives and pillars

The goal of design thinking is innovation.

That is, not only solving problems, but also evolving.

For example, answering to consumer needs, but doing it in the best possible way, going beyond what is expected and proposing better and innovative results.

This is why design thinking is usually related to technology.

Moreover, there are three main pillars that guide the formation of this creative thinking and support its application anywhere.

• Immersion: the identified problem is fully known and people are immersed in this reality to be solved.
• Ideation: the team produces ideas, which can be broken down and generate new solutions.
• Prototyping: the best ideas take shape to be visualized and tested, with the objective of finding one or more final solutions.

What are the advantages of design thinking?

Now that you know what design thinking is, discover the advantages of applying it in your company in order to find the best results.


The cost-benefit of applying design thinking is extremely positive for a company.

After all, it can be done in partnership with your own collaborators or specialized consultanciesthat help your company come up with real and practical solutions, which optimize time and financial resources, preventing them from being applied in badly elaborated and little explored ideas.

design thinking imagem


As one of its main objectives, the more a company opts for design thinking, the easier it will be to create innovative solutions.

With this, it is possible to always have something new for the customer, which helps differentiate the company from its competitors.

Empathy and integration

In its creative process, design thinking encourages the people involved to develop empathy for each other, understanding and respecting each other's points of view and ideas.

In addition, it is a way to integrate people in your company.

Valuing people

By actively participating in the development of ideas, employees from different areas of your company can feel heard.

With this, there is also an increase of value of the work and greater engagement, which directly affects productivity.

How to apply design thinking in a company?

How to apply design thinking in a company?

Although it is possible to define what design thinking is, there is no formula for its application.

That is, you can test different formats and tools to help implement the step-by-step process. Here is how it happens.

Know your problem

Following the pillars of design thinking, the first step involves the knowledge of the problem through a great immersion. At this moment the central problem is defined, and then different means are applied so that it can be understood in its entirety.

For example, if a company detects that a certain product did not sell well, it analyzes its sales data, but also involves employees in understanding what the competitors were doing at the time, what the customer's point of view was at the time, the economic scenario, what people thought of the item, etc.

For this, you can use interviews, surveys, des landing pages, specialized consulting, among others.

Coming up with ideas

Having clearer definitions, it's time to analyze the material and from that, point the direction of ideas.

In the example, your team will create a list of possible factors that led to the sales problem and, from each one, come up with ideas on how they can be solved.

At this point, there is brainstorming and mind-map building, use of visual tools for better understanding, storyboard creation, and meetings with experts and people who can help find a solution.

Testing solutions

After the best ideas have been discussed and approved, comes the prototyping phase so that they are organized, structured, well visualized and understood. Lastly, they will be tested.

In the sales example, if a product didn’t sell because your campaign was weak, it is time to implement new marketing solutions and even do tests to find out how to solve the problem.

For example, you could test ideas such as an influencer-initiated campaign, paying for social media ads or a promotion with video and giveaways.

Testing solutions

Continuous improvement

After a design thinking solution has been found and applied successfully, the process continues.

In other words, it is time to follow up and define its long-term improvements.

With this, it is possible to guarantee the sought-after innovation.

Knowing what design thinking is is the first step to implementing new ways of thinking in your company leading to creative solutions and continuous improvement.

For this, besides applying tools and processes that meet the pillars of this approach, it is also important to count on companies that can help you come up with ideas and put them into practice.

Want to know how Able Digital makes it possible to test your design thinking solutions and reach problem resolutions quickly and surely? Talk to us!!