Whenever I discuss designs with colleagues, I start with the problem I am attempting to solve. This grounds the discussion in a framework that avoids speculative whims and personal preference.
Totally makes a lot of sense. I feel that there are many designers out there that have become too focused on the production/implementation over functionality and solving the problem at hand. The most valuable aspect to design is critique. Being able to talk about and critique work is still the main argument for designers to get a formal education, despite the general antiquated curriculum at a lot of institutions.