in Design

The lazy way to accept design requests

The bane of any designer’s existence is the design request.

Of course, getting these design requests is great. The more work, the better — especially for freelance designers.

But dealing with these requests can often be a nightmare. The reason? Most people don’t know how to formulate a proper request.

More often than not, these requests lack the right information, meaning they’re vague and uninspiring. This doesn’t give the designer much to go on, and it can lead to a lot of back and forth between the designer and the client that could have easily been avoided.

A designer needs as much information as possible about a design in order to create one that drives results.

Designers need to be well-versed in the brand itself, understand what the goals of the design are, and be informed about the intricacies a client wants to be infused into the design.

That’s where the confusion comes in, because it’s really hard for a designer to dissect a request and come up with a way to get all of the additional information without falling behind schedule.

Luckily, there’s a “lazy” way to accept design requests that is much more efficient and proactive — one that will satisfy all parties.

  1. Create a basic data-collection template

The first thing any good designer should do is have an email template or document ready to send out to clients the second they get a design request. Better yet, designers should send these requests to clients upon signing. This way, all parties know what they need to include before any confusion arises.

Data collection is extremely important for a designer. It helps them to better understand who they’re working with, what their style is, what their budget is, what they like, and what they don’t.

A number of different factors go into making an exceptional design. There are industry standards, of course, but there are also specifics that are unique to each and every client.

Designers need to be proactive about gathering this data to ensure that when they get a request, they can easily determine what the client wants and needs. From here, designers must ensure they have a system in place to store, save, and protect this information so it doesn’t get lost or fall into the wrong hands.

  1. Use online forms for invoicing, requests, and more

One way to simplify the design request process is to use online forms. These forms answer all the questions both the designer and client have about a project, making it easy to exchange information and get feedback.

JotForm offers a number of intuitive design request templates that ensure all parties get the results they’re looking for. JotForm also offers a number of templates for invoices, payment forms, and data collection that are useful throughout the entire design request and payment process.

In addition to forms, JotForm provides a range of PDF templates as well as a guide on how to edit a PDF. Thanks to JotForm’s free PDF editor, all of a client’s or designer’s needs are met with just one platform.

  1. Use a team calendar to track projects with your clients

Another way to take a “lazy” approach to accepting design requests is to use a shared calendar to track progress and ask any simple, quick, and urgent questions.

Trello is a great option for designers. This platform allows anyone to create a team board, using the cards to highlight specific projects.

In these cards, users can note due dates, progress, available drafts, questions, and more. Everyone assigned to the board will get an update anytime something is added, moved, or changed.

This helps designers stay productive and on task. It also keeps clients in the loop without requiring the designer to go that extra mile and send a message or transfer files using other platforms.

This eliminates any unnecessary back and forth, prevents confusion, and is the quickest path to success.

Why everyone needs to be more proactive in the design request process

There’s nothing actually lazy about this process. By planning ahead and being a little more proactive, designers can ensure that the projects they create are comprehensive, clear, and engaging.


Alexandru is the co-owner of TopDesignMag. “If it looks easy, it's hard. If it looks hard, it's impossible. If it looks impossible, it's due tomorrow. At 8 A.M.”