Im new to design, what is the best way to design. Do you draw it first or just go at it
That's one way to go about it.. plans can draw on a number of resources - your brain, magazines, other layouts you have seen, or prototypes (ie the real thing).
Sitting down with a pad and paper, or a scale track template preferably is fine. This works for some people (think of drawing on cocktail napkins) but others will use software packages such as XtrackCAD
or similar. Atlas
also has a software package as well for use with their track systems.
There is a huge amount of small and micro layout designs on this site - it's an invaluable resource for layout planning, large or small, as you intregate many of the designs into one large layout.
Most of my ideas on first done on pencil and paper, then on to XTrackCAD.