Incoherent thought is not good for your ideas.

People have practiced design for decades without having as much discourse as there is today on the subject. It’s a good thing that design has come to the forefront of people’s minds and that they perceive it as a force for creating change, developing new products and solutions, and solving complex problems.

Is it possible for everyone to be a designer? At some level, yes.

Will everyone be a good designer? Not necessarily.

Is there something you can do to increase your chances of being good designer? Yes. Develop your critical thinking and communication skills.

Good design requires a rigorous and disciplined approach. The ability to discern also comes to mind. There’s a logic to it and it’s not enough to simply go through the motions and follow one process or another that you read about in a book. Design is as much about personal discovery as it is about solving a problem for someone else. The people that do it the best also have a deep understanding of themselves.

When someone approaches me with a solution to a problem, I ask them to walk me through their proposal from beginning to end. Your idea should make sense from the beginning to the end of your explanation. Detours are certainly encouraged along the way and I would expect to see many iterations including reasoning about why you opted for one solution over another. Don’t show me more problems along with your solutions. Incoherent thought [and speech] will kill your ideas.

A sound design solution should meet and exceed the needs of the users. I like to use the word transcend. Whether you are solving a problem in architecture, cross cultural advertising, developing a organizational strategy, or a new website, the challenge is the same—figuring out how to best serve others.