We tend to hold knowledge in one of two ways, consciously and intuitively. Consciously-held knowledge is what we have learned by study and practice. Oddly, it is (sometimes) not easily usable by designers, as we cannot ‘feel’ what’s right. For that, we need the knowledge to be held intuitively (unconsciously). Oddly, it is (sometimes) not easily usable by a designer, as we cannot articulate or describe what we know in our gut.
To be really great designers, we need to internalise our consciously-held knowledge until we can ‘feel’ it too. This isn’t so bad, it just takes practice. [Lots of it.] But we also need to bring our vague gut knowledge out into the light of conscious consideration, and this is hard. The joy when you consciously learn something you already knew is better than sex. [YMMV] It is the stuff of ‘aha’ moments. But how to consciously seek it out, to aim for it? I don’t know, do you?
The conclusion I draw from this brief consideration is that only knowledge held consciously and intuitively is knowledge that can be fully utilised. I didn’t expect that. Did you? 😉