Ask ten designers what design is and you’ll probably get ten different responses. There are dictionary definitions, ones worked up by heroes of graphic and industrial design, memes that flood the internet.
Ultimately the answer to “what is design” is a personal one that reflects the approach the designer takes and their underlying philosophy.
This is my answer:
Design has function. Without it the “design” is just art.
Design has form. The form is produced to achieve the function.
Design is pleasing. It evokes a positive emotional response in the user the first time they come into contact with it.
Design is simple. It achieves function with the least amount of effort.
Design is complicated. It requires considerable effort from the designer.
Design is of its time. Nothing lasts forever.