Then read Sketching User Experiences for sketching, learn what a persona is (google it or read the entire book The Inmates Are Running the Asylumn), and Emotional Design for desirabity.
Good solutions are usable, useful, and desirable.
To start designing, understand who will be using your solution and what your objectives are. Why are you doing this? What should this accomplish? How can I write this in a way that can be measured?
Products suck because people build the first thing that comes to mind. Or they build something they think is cool. Keep building cool stuff if you want to invent something big like the railroad, the telephone, or the TV. Realize 97% (or some ridiculously high percent) of those projects fail. To innovate, you need to find a need. Contextual Design or Observing the User Experience will get you started observing people.
Design of Everyday things will snap you out of that trance you've been in your whole life. Inmates are Running the Asylumn will demonstrate how awful engineers and programmers are at designing solutions, beginning with their attitude toward people.
Nuclear plant meltdowns, plane crashes, space shuttle disasters, the 2000 United States Presidential Election being awarded to George Bush, and almost all the shitty stuff in your life could be prevented with good design. Read Thoughts on Interaction Design to learn how designers will be working with politicians in the future to solve the world's "wicked problems:" poverty and education.