Do you think that design has to look good to be good design?
No, I think design has to resonate with people to be good design. I think design has to resonate in whatever way it needs to, depending on whichever industry or path you're down. Like, if you're doing a product experience, it has to resonate a bit more than, say, if you're doing a poster where the form factor needs to resonate, the message needs to resonate. It's about, "What's the strongest point?" and working off the medium itself.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Bad, I don't have a design aesthetic. I honestly don't think I have a good one right now. I'm at a loss for an aesthetic. I can work within people's design paradigms, I can work within a company's design language, I can create a design language for other companies based on a brief, But personally, do I have one right now? No, I don't have one or I don't have a good one.
I think about this a lot. My title is designer, but I wouldn't know what to do, if I had to create a "design language" or drum up the graphic design for any kind of brand. I'd fiddle around and end up with some rookie work.
However, going through a lot of Longform podcast episodes recently, and listening to writers talk about editors and vice versa, I've started thinking about if "editor" would be a better fitting title for what I do. An editor at a publication doesn't necessarily write stories themselves, but edit others' to make sure they fit the constraints of the publication, whether it's language, length or style. That's closer to what I do best, even if it doesn't fit perfectly; I outline something, we get it closer to reality (high-level mockups/PSD-comps, or preferably code), and then it can be edited until it fits the bigger picture as well as possible.