I avoid using the word design as a noun. This keeps me from lapsing into lazy thinking about the object of my practice.

Consider this sentence: “I like the design of the new iPhone.” Can you point to what “the design” is? What exactly do you like about it?

“The design” is vague. A semantic cop out, fit for the pages of a general business publication — but not for practitioners.

Designers need precise language that lets us assess our decision-making process. Design is a critical part of this process. It’s how the thing arrives at its form — not a characteristic of the form itself. A verb, not a noun.