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10 items you should probably buy as a UX/UI designer

I want to tell you something original: there are a lot of “unusual” items that regular guides do not talk about, but I think that these become fundamental once you enter the design world.


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Lorenzo Doremi

3 years ago | 4 min read

Lots of articles and tutorials try to give you advice on which design software to use, which laptop to buy, or which plugins you should download to efficiently become a better UX/UI designer…but not this one.

I want to tell you something original: there are a lot of “unusual” items that regular guides do not talk about, but I think that these become fundamental once you enter the design world.

10) A drawing tablet

99% chance you’re going to become a graphic designer too. Small companies need a jack of all trades, and probably logo design and similar things are going to become part of your job.

A drawing tablet is also extremely useful for fast layout explanation if you work remotely.

In my experience, people with no experience in drawing do not need drawing tablets with a screen, while experienced drawers feel a lot of frustration without the feel of directly looking at the point of their pencil.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

9) A wrist brace

If you buy a tablet, a wrist brace becomes mandatory. Wrists and hands are going to hurt a lot, and most professional graphic designers wear a brace when they’re working. So just go for it if you feel a bit tired.

8) a phone with a different OS

Google Chrome nowadays has a responsive feature, but I can guarantee there can be differences that our lovely browsers can’t emulate. Having both an iPhone and an Android can help you test out layouts more accurately.

This could be an expensive purchase, so just go for it when you have no troubles of any sort.

7) FAST Broadband internet connection contract

Simple and straightforward: You’re going to surf the web a lot, so ensure to have at least 20Mbps broadband. Especially if you work from remote and you need to do constant calls with your webcam: I have a 100Mbps connection right now but sometimes I still feel it slow.

Sure you can work without it, but your productivity is going to be a lot lower.

6) A good chair

This is extremely important for your health. You’re going to pass over 10 hours a day in front of a PC. That’s even more than you sleep. If you can’t sit comfortably, being a designer is going to be just pain and frustration.

I am still searching for the perfect seat, but the options are numerous.

Just don’t go for faux leather: you’re going to sweat a lot and it breaks easily forcing you to clean your room every single day.

Good chairs cost hundreds of dollars, but if you care about your health go for it, and ask your boss if you can bring it to work. If you can’t, well you should change boss in my opinion.

Photo by DEVN on Unsplash
Photo by DEVN on Unsplash

5) Over-ear headphones

Stop using uncomfortable in-ear headphones. If you want to listen to good music or tutorial while sitting for hours and hours, get the best comfort. You can get a good pair with less than 50 bucks.

Photo by Tomasz Gawłowski on Unsplash
Photo by Tomasz Gawłowski on Unsplash

4) Walking shoes

Sitting for prolonged hours is going to harm your body. Do not exacerbate this problem in your free time. I know that style is important, but walking without discomfort is more important. Also, remember to walk the more you can.

3) A yoga mattress

The same principle of shoes. Sitting for prolonged hours is going to weaken your glutes and femoral biceps. An extremely useful exercise most office workers should do is the back bridge.

2) eye drops / artificial tears

This is the thing I invest in more often. Since you’re going to be a designer, you will have to turn off your anti-blue screen filter. In fact, this is going to change your perception of color and ruin the whole “true color” screen feature you’ve paid for.

Artificial tears help you mitigate the strain caused by leaving the blue filter on, and in general, help you heal from 10–12 hours of PC a day.

I’ve tried different brands, but my favorite still is Stilla Decongestionante from Angelini (as sold in Italy), but I’m sure you can find the same active substance in other products: look for tetryzoline chlorhydrate.

1) something that relaxes you and your coworkers

Candies, scented candles… booze. Buy something that helps you with your nerves. I like to drink a light beer in the evening, but you know drinking isn’t the healthiest option.

If you work in an office, I recommend to bring and share some candies. Eating seems to reduce aggressivity and enhance your mood: in every Hollywood movie, people ask their boss for a raise after inviting him to dinner!

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

A recap

When becoming a designer, your “on-screen hours” are going to increase a lot, so be prepared for this kind of life.

A lot of people do not know how stressful this can be if you’re not trained or prepared for it: some of my friends hardly can look at a screen for more than two hours. Pretty low for this kind of job.

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Lorenzo Doremi

A Jack of all trades UX guy. Mainly interested in human-computer interaction, contemporary sociology and art.


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