Everything is designed and everyone is a designer, says David Butler, VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The Coca-Cola Company. The only choice is whether you're designing on purpose (or by accident) and whether your designs are good (or less-than-good). Here are some observations that lead inevitably to Butler's big conclusion that it's essential to learn to think like a designer, making connections work for you instead of against you.

1. Everything is designed. The chair you're sitting in now, or the standing desk you're at, or the train car you're riding in. Even the most rudimentary construction that ignores aesthetic criteria must still grapple with function — and that's design too.

2. Everyone is a designer. Whatever your responsibilities are in work or in life, you shape how you respond to them. And chances are that people are interacting with your work, meaning your design will make the information or product more approachable, more comfortable, etc. or it will obscure your original intent.

3. Design is about connection. Butler compares good design to a restaurant, any one of which has a thousand moving parts. How does the kitchen interact with the wait staff? How does the space create an easy-in, easy-out experience for the customer? Connecting the different parts as seamlessly as possible is what makes good design great.