Design is about more than just making the user interface look pretty.
Like Steve, I believe design is not just about aesthetics but about how a product functions and how it makes the user feel while interacting with it.
In a fragmented digital ecosystem fraught with attention deficit and competition, it's about creating products that work exceptionally well and that lead with getting the user's jobs done and are aesthetically pleasing - in that order.
Relying just on aesthetics alone is a significant pitfall in design. While a product may look gorgeous, it will almost certainly fail to deliver if it's not usable or functional.
If you're not placing the user first, understanding their needs and expectations, and crafting products that closely correspond and meet those needs, you are ultimately failing at the product design game.
Don't get me wrong, aesthetics are crucial, but they're just one small piece of a much larger puzzle. Functionality, usability, and the totality of the user experience are the critical pieces that determine a product's success.
Neglecting to consider the whole picture in design will result in products that are confusing, hard to use, or even worse - just plain bad.
So, listen up designers! The future of design is in our hands. It's up to us to define what it means and determine its impact on society. So, let's ask the essential questions: What does design mean to your end users? How do aesthetics, functionality, and usability play a role in your definition of design? Do you have a firm grasp on how to create products that are both functional and aesthetically appealing? The future is in your hands, and it's your obligation to you to push the boundaries of design and unleash its full potential.