Design is like baking a cake. You get all the ingredients together and mix them up in a bowl and you put it in the oven. When it goes in, it doesn’t look like a cake. You can’t be sure it’s going to become a cake. But if you’ve used the right ingredients, set the heat right, and then leave it for 30 minutes it comes out a cake. There’s some magic in there that you have to trust but it’s consistent with practice.
Process is super important, as are the right inputs. If you haven’t put enough eggs in the batter — if you haven’t done the research — then yeah, it’s not going to turn out. And there’s nothing you can do about it at that point. Opening the oven door and poking it a bunch of times is just going to wreck it. But if you're smart about your planning and methodical about your process, there's a lot of room for creativity without risking the result. Who's hungry?