Design thinking is a problem-solving methodology focusing on developing empathy and understanding the needs of people. The main feature of design thinking, in contrast to critical analysis, is a iterative creative process in which new ideas grow through experimentation.
Design thinking helps you to develop a sense of empathy. By putting yourself in the shoes of your users, you can obtain a deeper understanding of their needs and create relevant solutions.
The iterative nature of the process helps to fail cheaply, adapt quickly and roll out well-refined products and services. Prototyping or building a model is a technique to generate ideas, a creative activity to implement your ideas on a small scale.