Answering with an aphorism, I believe that your study design will be successful as soon as it actually exists in its full-fledged form. The game of reviewing as it is played in academia is primarily a game of academics showing to each other that they have not completed that step in its full depth, e.g. by violating assumptions or omitting biases where they should be expected. If study design is a skill, it's the skill of making your research bulletproof to these critics.
Your question is very interesting but I am afraid that there is no short answer. To the best of my knowledge, the only way to learn thoroughly about research designs, whether experimental or observational, is to read the literature in your field of specialisation, and then to go the extra mile by connecting with academics in order to learn even more on how they work, in order to, eventually, write up your own research design.
In my field (European political science), we generically offer "research design" courses that span over all types of studies, but even then we miss important trends and also lack a deep understanding of our methods. After taking at least three of these courses, I have become convinced that no academic resource can replace learning from other academics, before confronting real-world settings directly.
I guess that your field also has these 'methods journals' that can be as painfully boring and complex to the outsider than they are helpful and interesting to actual 'study designers' -- and so would recommend that you start digging this literature first, eventually tracking down the recurring bibliographic items that might help you most with study design in biology/ecology. Google Scholar definitely flags a few books with the words 'ecology research methods'.