A Carnegie Mellon professor once said, "Our duty as designers is to rid the world of ugliness." Over a decade later, I still take that responsibility to heart. I interpret "ugliness" as ill-defined purpose, poor function, confusing directions, frustrating experiences.
Designers solve problems. They reduce clutter and incorporate more intuitive, aesthetic outcomes to improve human interactions. There is reason, passion and/or cognition; there is strategy, intention and purpose. It is not as much about invention as innovation, to connect the dots and improve upon them.
For instance, I walk into a bagel shop or an ice cream parlor and immediately see opportunity — fix the ingress/egress, print the menu board to improve readability, rearrange the layout chairs and tables. It is simple things that would take a literal hole in the wall, patch it and completely transform the space.
Everything artificial is designed in some form or fashion. Whether it is a parking lot, presentation deck, coffee pot or cellular phone, everything relies on interactions with the end goal (hopefully) to improve the function, value and appearance based on human-factors. It may seem pompous, or lofty, to think Designers are the world's fixers but they sure do make life more practical, pleasant and beautiful.