The design thinking framework consists of an overall flow of three main buckets, Understand, Explore and Materialize. These larger buckets can further fall into 6 phases: Empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test and implement. It is a user-centric process that focuses on user data and creates design artifacts addressing the real user needs, and further testing those artifacts with the real users.
The design thinking process is a non - liner process and is meant to be iterative and cyclical as shown below. One can return to the two understanding phases, empathize and define after creating an initial prototype and testing it. Looping back in the process to find if your research is useful or not, makes it easier for you to accurately assess your solution.