The Ideas on Ideas blog had an interesting posting about what design is, as contrasted with style. Pretty interesting piece overall. What I think is fascinating is the author’s focus on a design process that has consistently meaningful results. He writes:
The challenge here is that as we are bombarded by these styles, designers, by their own accord and that of their clients and peers, gravitate towards reiterating whatever the style-du-jour happens to be. (Think of the swoosh logos of the late 1990s.) It’s easy to do, the pay-off is immediate, and for a short while, one’s portfolio seems deceptively strong. Most times though, this work is void of the research, strategy, and logic that are necessary to do something effective. As a result, it’s in fact a big pile of shiny bullshit.
So even if your end product is an effective design, if your design process is not robust, your success was just luck. Not sure if I agree, but it’s something to think about.