The late Bill Moggridge says it well in his 1-hour lecture delivered at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Bill's clear definition for “What is Design?” is about just two things: 1) understanding people, and 2) prototyping examples to try them out. In other words, it's about empathy and efficacy.
At minute 22, Bill makes a pivotal point about the design process diagrammed below. He says, “There's a tendency for this process to move in a clockwise direction. The reality is slightly different -- the green arrows show the instance of a real example. You see it jumped around from place to place .... So the process doesn't have to follow any rigorous way. It just can be followed in a pragmatic way where you go to the things that are most successful.”
Thanks, Bill! -JM
Copyright 2013, John Maeda