Graphic design isn’t about “making things look pretty”. Yes, there’s a strong visual component to it but the core is actually in communication. It’s about conveying and communicating ideas through imagery, text, and layout composition, etc. I completely agree with the quote, which is why good UX is often invisible. But as a tip for people completely new to design, learning about the principles and elements is a great way to step in this new world.
That’s a great suggestion. Decoding effective design solutions will definitely help you understand UX.