I originally thought of the broad definition of design in terms of the infinitive – “to design”. Design might then be the act of creating or improving upon a plan and take in several strategies to use creative ideas and angles to meet the needs of all involved parties.
Design as a noun is the makeup of a certain thing, be it tangible or intangible. Any design must be created within a certain environment, and toward certain parameters. Designers then, take available elements and arrange them into the best arrangement they can under their circumstances.
Good design strategies involve an understanding of the needs of the project and how they can be better met; working from multiple angles to meet the needs of all parties and thinking creatively to invite new possibilities. A good design serves all parties simply and efficiently.