Let’s divide the nuts and bolts stuff into four different areas
- The different interfaces and their requirements (digital, mobile, print, packaging, spatial, etc)
- The ‘toolbox’ that designers use – fonts, layouts, images, colours, content……
- The different file formats that they work with (vectors like eps and ai, image files like jpgs, pngs, cross-platform files like pdf)
- The skills needed to actually design or create something
First be clear, that as a non-designer it is highly unlikely that you will ever crack 4. But 1 to 3 are all areas that you should try and understand. It’s not rocket science and if you work closely with design teams, it will make a huge difference to your interactions and to the end outcome. Everything you need is available on Internet and mostly for free.
Most importantly, start honing your appreciation of what good design means. The best way to do this is to just open your eyes (and your mind) and keep looking at examples of great design. This is a process that takes time but is infinitely rewarding.