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Expectations of a Toptal Designer

Toptal designers are expected to perform with extreme professionalism at all times. Our clients expect to be working with elite designers, and like our clients, we do not tolerate subpar work or poor communication for any reason.

Full-time Toptal designers are expected to work at least 40 hours per week. Always make sure you understand your client’s expectations in advance.
Part-time Toptal designers can have varied work hours and schedules, but they are expected to work at least 20 hours per week. Always make sure you understand your client’s expectations in advance.
Hourly Toptal designers can have widely varied work hours and schedules, and there are no weekly minimums. Always make sure you understand your client’s expectations in advance.

Designers will rapidly learn and adapt to the client’s working environment, including understanding their specific role and the client’s work style. The trial period will be as productive and efficient as possible.


Designers will be available during the client’s preferred hours to meet and work as live, remote team members. This may require lifestyle adjustments as dictated by client needs and time zone.


Toptal designers are live, remote additions to on-site teams, and are expected to be highly accountable and to respond to clients rapidly. Designers will always be mindful of all client communications and will respond via the client’s preferred channel (email, Skype, etc.).


Designers will establish and maintain a consistent workflow, and will give advance notice if unable to work on a given day or will notify clients when they step away from the computer with a brief explanation and expected return time. Reliability in work and communication must be proven every day.


Designers will update clients regularly on work progress, issues, solutions, and outputs. Clients should never have to ask for status updates. Toptal designers should actively identify and offer to do additional work if they get ahead. It is the designer’s duty to contribute wherever possible and to keep the client up-to-date and informed on every aspect of their work.


Designers must speak and write in clear and concise English that has been double checked for typos so that all clients feel comfortable collaborating with and delegating work to them.


Designers will incorporate feedback, address issues, and complete all work with maximum efficiency.


While Toptal designers will take both speed and quality into consideration, they will never make compromises on the quality of their work for the sake of speed or anything else. Designers are expected to act, think, and contribute like a core member of the client’s team.


Toptal designers are expected to continually improve their skills by:

  • Taking advantage of Toptal’s educational and professional development resources.
  • Collaborating with other Toptalers to solve problems that arise on the job.
  • Building and maintaining a best practices library.
  • Completing supplementary reading materials, participating in competitions, etc.

Because we set such a high bar for our designers, we incentivize them to exceed it.