Aside from the typical designer tools that we need in order to fulfill our duties, there are a few other desk items that I have found to make life as a UX designer a lot easier for myself — especially now that I spend about 11 non-stop hours at my desk.
- Ergonomic Desk Chair
I would highly recommend saving up to purchase a nicer chair for yourself. As designers, we spend most of our time at our computer, and having a comfortable chair is really effective for your work. Before I purchased the chair I have now (which I ordered from Wayfair), I was using a small plastic desk chair from Ikea and it was really uncomfortable. I found that I was getting all sorts of back pain and neck pain, and I would have to take breaks throughout the day because I started suffering from migraines — an issue that I have never had to deal with before. These breaks were definitely getting in the way of my productivity and, in turn, my performance as well. Pretty much one week after purchasing my new chair, along with a few additional accessories, the migraines were completely gone, and I have been able to keep my productivity levels and my performance as high as ever.
2. Blue Light Glasses
These are a huge must, and I swear, they are not a scam! I was really skeptical about blue light glasses at first too, but I did my research and decided that I wanted to invest in a nicer pair of glasses. It has proven to be a really wonderful decision. I have 20/20 vision, but my eyes definitely get sensitive to being at the computer all day, looking closely and carefully at pixels on Figma, making sure everything is aligned and perfect. The blue light glasses have helped eye fatigue immensely, and I definitely recommend purchasing a pair. I ordered mine from Warby Parker, and I am a huge fan. From the research I have found, it was suggested that you know the glasses are working if you can see a blue or purple light reflecting off of them when looking in the mirror. Make sure to do your research though — many don’t actually work!
Related to eye fatigue, this one is a huge life savor as well. Flux is an app you can download onto your computer. It essentially takes your screen light and dims it to the color of your space depending on the time of day. I do a lot of work early in the morning, and well into the evening, so I have mine set to sunrise and sunset hours, and it basically dims my computer screen accordingly so it puts less strain on my eyes. This is especially helpful at night, because my brain is not as activated by the blue light emissions, so it’s easier to get to sleep after logging off the computer. You can download Flux here.
4. Tablet & Stylus
This isn’t a necessity, but I have found that it’s made things a lot easier for me when it comes to drawing some quick mockups. One tool that I have used a lot of is Miro, and have spend a lot of time drawing storyboards or wireframes on that. Having the stylus to be able to deliver that on my iPad virtually is really convenient — especially with Apple’s airdrop capabilities — I am able to quickly airdrop the wireframes to my MacBook, so I can upload it into InVision and make it into a clickable prototype.
5. Project Planner
Another one of my favorite accessories is the project planner. I ordered mine from Poketo, which is a great resource for notebooks and organizers for designers. The link to the planner is here. This planner has been really effective in helping me keep all of my projects in check by having a checklist box for each day and also having some weekly goals. That way, at the beginning of the week, I am able to divide up my project into smaller, more attainable daily goals, and am able to check them off one by one. It makes it a lot more realistic to complete projects by a given deadline.