Design is solving for a context.

We need to understand our clients: what drives them, what makes them successful, what their goals are.

We need to understand the medium: its limitations and opportunities.

We need to understand our users: their existing mental models, their aspirations, their goals.

We need to understand the project team: their abilities and preferences, their goals and propensities.

Our solutions are constrained by all of this. That is design.

 
Subtract until it breaks.
 

If its worth doing…

…do it well.

Design is details. Without attending to the details, design work isn't happening.

 

Start. Iterate.

On the other hand, often the best approach is to get less done sooner, then expand and improve it when there's more time. The point: do what each situation calls for.

 
Normally, I’m against big things. I think the world’s going to be solved by millions of small things.
— Pete Seeger
 

We’re not artists, we're designers.

Our job is to solve problems, not express ourselves. We may elicit an emotional response, but in service of an objective goal. Our success is defined by our clients success. Our goals are often measurable.

 

We’re all creative.

So many shops call their designers Creatives. For one thing, “creative” is an adjective, not a noun.

More importantly, those aren't the only creative folks in the place. Creativity is at the core of what so many people in so many roles do.