What is an on-demand design service and how does it work?

What is on-demand design service
If you have purchased online, you have been part of the on-demand economy.

If you have booked an Uber or stayed in an Airbnb, you’ve participated in the on-demand economy. According to Business Insider, this economy is experiencing steady growth.

And this growth is a product of its ability to quickly match its services to consumers’ growing need for greater convenience, speed, and simplicity.

With 27.2% of the world population buying online (according to 2021 statistics), on-demand services continue to thrive. From rides to pet food, almost every service now has an on-demand online equivalent, including graphic design services.

What makes on-demand services so valuable is their ability to provide flexibility in scaling resources up and down according to business dynamics.

With Uber, for example, a customer can book a ride one after another on the same day, with many stops, until they’re done with their errands. And on the next day, they won’t book anything as they’re staying home for the weekend.

When they need a ride again, Uber’s ready waiting for them.

So what the heck is on-demand design?

On-demand design services answer the need for compelling and professionally created web and graphic design for growing businesses.

With the use of this kind of service, you get a professional designer to create your ideas into a tailor-fit brand identity. It’s like having a designer on tap, reliable and always available.

The same way Airbnb is for Travel & Lodging and Netflix is for Movies & TV Series, Deer Designer is for web and graphic design work.

merch design cartoon

What are the Pros of on-demand design services?

We all can agree that on-demand services deliver convenience, speed, and simplicity. Here are a few more benefits of tapping into the on-demand economy:

No HR drama

When it comes to outsourcing your design needs, on-demand design services are better than hiring your own designer – both financially and time-wise.

The hassle of sourcing, hiring, and onboarding is out of the way, not even mentioning training and management so you can focus on your core functions in the business.

And since the service is on-demand, you can scale up as needed – or downgrade as you deem fit – ensuring that every dollar you spend doesn’t go to waste.

No hourly fees, No surprises

Most on-demand services work with a subscription model, which makes it easier to budget for your monthly needs.

Since they charge a monthly flat rate, you’ll never get caught by surprise with hidden fees and you’ll always know how much your recurring bill will be.

Great Customer Relationship Management

The improved speed and quality of customer care is a great advantage of on-demand service. Clients can easily give feedback, which is usually fully documented and highly appreciated to improve and tailor the service around them.

Customer feedback is gold for on-demand services because good referrals directly affect the business profitability. And if someone you know is singing high praises about the service, they probably know you’d be a great fit right away.

Designer Using Laptop Cartoon

And what are the Cons?

None.

Nah, just kidding. Even an awesome subscription design service like Deer Designer cannot please everyone. So here’s an honest list:

Not the best option for one-off projects

If you want to watch a specific newly released movie, you don’t sign up for a monthly Netflix subscription, do you?

It’s the same thing with on-demand design services. If there’s no recurrent need for it, it might be a waste of your resources. Services like Deer Designer give you the best value as you work with your designer. And building relationships take time.

So, if you’re planning to request “just a logo”, for example, on-demand design services might not be the best fit for you.

I wouldn’t expect you to just request a logo anyway. In order to keep a great online presence and market your products and services continuously, you’ll need ongoing design tasks to go with your marketing content.

Cost isn’t [super] cheap

On-demand design services can’t – and won’t – compete with logo designers that charge less than a seasonal drink from your favourite coffee place.

Can you imagine your whole company’s reputation reflected on a $5 logo? 😰

– Fiverr, we’re looking at you 👀

The good news is that most on-demand design services offer a trial with a money-back guarantee. Deer Designer, for instance, lets you try the service for 14 days so you can decide whether we’re a fit for you.

Other services offer a freemium model, where you can try the basic features for free, and pay for add-ons if you like them. Some even have the option of booking a demo to know more before you decide to jump in.

Not for super urgent design work

– “Good things take time”.

If you’re looking for design work to be delivered within the next hour, your only alternative would be having your own in-house designer.

Turnaround times vary depending on the complexity of your requests, but most unlimited design services can only deliver your designs within 1 business day or more. Some companies might let you upgrade your plan to get priority service.

With Airbnb for example, homeowners will add a premium for weekends because these are the peak days. So if you’d like to book your stay during the weekend, you’ll have to pay more.

Why use an on-demand design service?

That’s simple: with on-demand design services, you’re in control.

  • You choose the plan that suits your business needs
  • You scale up or down according to your seasons
  • You send as many design requests as you need and control their priorities
  • You can add a designer to your design team if you need more work done at the same time
  • You can request as many revisions as you need if don’t like the designs. With unlimited revisions, your designer will only stop whenever you’re 100% happy
  • You can pause your subscription whenever there isn’t a high demand of design tasks

You have the power!

He Man I have the power
Yes, you do.

Having a designer on tap removes the barrier of having the extra overhead. It makes professional design accessible to all types of businesses (even small ones) by reducing the costs of hiring a full-time designer.

An on-demand design service allows companies to grow and scale faster. It’s great for business owners and anyone looking for design solutions that can fit into their financial model.

How to use an on-demand design service

Plan for your requests 

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”. It is always best if you have a Content Calendar all planned out for the year.

An even better idea is to prepare a long-term marketing goal for your company before getting an on-demand design service – or any resource for your design needs.

If you haven’t even started developing a Branding Guide, Deer Designer can do it for you. A Branding Guide is a document that outlines all the characteristics of your brand.

From the way your logo is supposed to be placed in different scenarios, to which fonts, colours and imagery should be used.

It is most useful for designers, suppliers, marketers and advertisers you will work with.

Check out this Branding Guide sample we created for a client and visit this article to learn how we did it.

CCC – Be Clear and Concise in your Communications

If you can describe (or sketch) what you need in an email, a designer will be able to do it. You could even send a video/screencast of your request, or scribble over some examples.

A good on-demand design service provider might send you some design variations for you to choose from.

Give feedback

Businesses would love to read minds to keep clients happy all the time… but they are no Professor X.

Professor X
We can't read minds like Professor X

That’s why whenever you use a subscription design service, you should always provide actionable feedback. That’s how they learn your preferences and, if they care enough, they’ll take note of everything you say to ensure a smooth long-term relationship with you.

After all, keeping the playing field fair for both sides through honest and fair feedback is a crucial part of the on-demand economy system.

Just like Netflix, but for designs

On-demand design services solve the problem of small and growing businesses when it comes to design. This is the most flexible service one can avail themselves of, especially when trying the market first.

Brand Guideline Example

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