Discovery is part of the first stage in the design thinking process. It consists of the formation of new ideas, recognition of challenges, and the preparation of research.
The purpose of discovery in design thinking is to frame a problem within its context in reality. The challenge is to do this in a way that can be understood and shared by the entire team. In order to create this fluidity of knowledge, activities such as brainstorming and critical analysis are used to promote open discussion.
While these techniques are used in more traditional modes of market research, the design thinking approach to discovery often takes an ethnographic perspective. This way of thinking focuses upon the broader social content around a product or service, rather than the features of the object itself.