Defining design is a hugely complicated task. Today design covers everything from graphic design, industrial design, interaction design, user interface, experience design, and even high art. In theory, design is an approach or technique to solve problems, be they visual or physical, spanning these different disciplines.
Apple have shown that design in a business context is no longer a nice to have, but a competitive advantage. This has trickled down to a number of new startups that are disrupting existing categories and "eating the world" - organisations like Uber, Airbnb, Square, GitHub and Dropbox have made design a core of their business, which has led them to grow faster than their existing or emerging competition.
Defining "good design" then becomes hugely important, however this definition is also hard to break down as design always remains subjective.
In the 1970's, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned about the state of the world around him, an "impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises". As design cannot be measured in a finite way, he created ten principles for good design, often referred to in the design community as the 'ten commandments'.
These principles are even more valid today with the growing complexity around digital, and should be remembered when starting any project.