Design thinking patterns reflect the process of designers solving “wicked problems”. In many design processes, designers need to use design strategies to help them inspire ideas and improve conceptual creativity. To understand the traits and differences of design thinking patterns and strategies application of designers on different design capability levels in the design process, this study tries to reveal design thinking patterns in the novice group, competent group and expert group respectively, by using the Linkography method and uninhibited concept generation environment, and extracted the strategies that can stimulate new ideas, and discusses the strategy application tendency of the different capability of designers. The results show that designers on three different design capability levels exhibit four design thinking patterns and have a different tendency in design strategies application. These findings provide insights not only for designers themselves but also for the cultivation of thinking patterns and strategies application guidance in design education.