This post pretty much summarizes my thoughts on design, as well. I’ve long felt that to become a great “designer”, I had to get much better at Photoshop and other graphic-related technologies. “That’s what designers do!” Some do, yes.
But to me, design, at least in the context in which I make a living, is the experience. The look sure does play a huge role in that, but mostly, it’s what the design affords the user in the end. And, while I’m certainly welcoming of better graphic-related “chops” (they will come with time), I no longer see that as a mandatory piece to the puzzle. That’s a very exciting realization.