Active Design

A standardized design review process based on active listening for agencies and freelancers

Good design is hard, and the lack of an agreed upon design process makes it a lot harder. Active Design helps standardize the process so that stakeholders feel heard and designers feel sane.

Meet, Document, Make, Review

Repeat 3x

  1. Client and Designer go over what they want to create. Designer lists out what they heard.
  2. Designer creates and presents 2-3 creative directions, referencing each item on the list
  3. Client chooses a direction and provides input about the direction. Designer again lists out what they heard.
  4. Designer flushes out chosen direction to full scope and presents for detailed and complete feedback. Designer makes a new list.
  5. Designer creates and presents all revisions, and any final tweaks have to be made during that final meeting.
  6. Designer delivers final version.

Active Design in 4 Conversations


1 hour

Define as clear of a target for the designer to aim at. Stakeholders, customers, brand, inspiration, and requirements.



30 minutes

Choose 1 of X creative directions and either keep going, stop all together, or start over. The last two come at a fee.



2-4 hours

Provide detailed feedback on the full scope as a team in person. No more stream of consciousness feedback.



2 hours

Feedback and changes are reviewed, and any final tweaks have to made during the meeting. Package and ship.


Let's jump into steps 1-5