Reframing in Design Thinking

Share Button

The immersion phase is crucial for Design Thinking. This is when we understand the context of the problem, conduct interviews, in-depth research and use techniques for data analysis simultaneously.

Understanding the challenges, however, can lead to another very important action during the structured innovation process: Reframing. Learn how to reorient your projects by using a qualified innovation team.

Reframing - MJV Blog

What is Reframing?

It involves examining the unresolved problems or issues in a company from different perspectives and several angles, thus allowing for the deconstruction of beliefs and assumptions from the actors (stakeholders), and breaking their thought patterns, helping them shift the paradigms within the company and, with this, take the first step towards reaching innovative solutions.

A problem cannot be solved with the same type of thinking that created it, that is why reframing should be used as the first step towards generating innovative solutions. It is also useful as the initial step in the improvement of products, services and/or processes, as it allows for approaching the issue under new perspectives.

How to apply it?

The process takes place in 3 different cycles: capture, transformation and preparation, which repeat themselves until the objective – stimulating those involved to see the problems under different optics – is reached, creating a new understanding of the context that leads to the identification of innovative paths.

Usually the project team acts as enablers in a process that can last from several weeks to a single workshop. The important thing is that meetings are carried out with the actors, who will be probed with little tasks that encourage new thought patterns.

Reframing Cycles


This is the collection of data on the raison d’etre of the product/service/company in relation to the beliefs and suppositions of the interlocutor that will be used during the transformation stage.

This cycle usually takes place during meetings or get-togethers with the actors involved in the process who, usually, are questioned (interviewed) about innovation, but can also be instigated into performing exercises involving analogy, acting or other dynamic activities that aim to reveal another perspective on the issue.


With this data in hand, the transformation is performed by the project team, that is responsible for mapping the data collected during the previous stage and adding new perspectives. During this stage, several techniques, such as mental maps, journey, negation etc., can be applied according to the objective, client type and moment of the process.


The preparation is the moment when impact sensitivity materials are created, based on the results from the transformation stage, that stimulate the interlocutor to reflect. Often, issues are raised that are not made clear and tools are developed/chosen for the next cycle (return to capture).

4 points for the success of the reframing process:

–  Provide a relaxed environment, where the client is invited to unwind and rethink their work.

–  Create speeches that are confrontational and emotional, filled with examples of real stories, to facilitate the understanding of what is being proposed.

– Offer, at the end of each session, material that allows the client to pass along (inside and outside the company) what he has experienced and learned in the Generating Sessions.

– Select a facilitator that can provoke the client, provide a new understanding of the initial issues and transform an unsure future into something plausible.

Reframing is essential

Reframing is essencial - MJV Blog

MJV applies this technique in most of their projects. This happens because the external viewpoint, which is more impartial and free of pre-conceptions on the problems, allied to an in-depth investigation of the challenges and diverse opinions, creates a different perspective of the possible paths towards the solution.

Oftentimes, the stakeholders believe that the greatest challenge is external, when in fact it comes from within, from the company’s culture. Other times, it’s the other way around. This being the case, through fast prototyping and testing of new solutions of Design Thinking, it’s possible to find new nuances for innovation in a very agile way.

Have you still not downloaded our e-book?

This content is a part of our E-Book Design Thinking – Innovation in Business, which features dozens of techniques that guide innovation through Design. Download it for free!

ToolKit DT

Share Button

Subscribe to receive our updates

Sobre o autor:


Write a comment

Required field


<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>