The strongest use of the word “design” is to describe a process of decision making to reach a desired goal – design as a verb. Often “design” is used to describe the result (a logo, piece of clothing, blueprint, etc.) instead of the process responsible for the result. Some attribute this type of linguistic shorthand to laziness. Whatever the motivation, confounding the result with the process does a disservice to a key part of achieving any goal – the problem-solving process.
If we consider design the entire process, we should expect everyone involved to be a designer; not just those with design degrees from an art school or “designer” in their title. Each of us takes on challenges and solves problems in order to create something that achieves the desired aim – we should all be considered designers.
Often, people will confuse the process with the resulting product, calling a deliverable a “design” instead of what it actually is (a logo, a layout, a schematic, a storyboard, etc.). Design can produce many artifacts and deliverables but those pieces in themselves are not the “design.”
Using design as a verb puts the emphasis in the proper place, on the problem-solving process.