This is a great response but I want to clear up one misconception. I never said anyone should ever “trust me I’m right because I have a warm fuzzy feeling inside”. As I defined in the article, I consider a “designer’s instinct” to be far more than warm fuzzies. And I also stated that a designer’s instinct should temper and complement data, not replace it. As I concluded, they are not the enemy of each other. They should work together, which is exactly what you’re saying too with exploration X validation.