30 Things To Create The Ultimate Web Designers Work Environment

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As web designers, we spend a lot of our time around the desk, so our workspace is our own personal environment. Here are 30 things to create the ultimate web designers work environment. Ranging from desk lighting to unusual gadgets, these 30 things will definitely make your work space stand out!

Please let us know what your favorite item on the list is. Also, if you think we have missed any essential items that you may have in your office, please let us know by dropping in a comment. We would love to hear what other items can make up a fantastic workspace.

The Checklist

#1 Retro Headphones

A great pair of headphones is always a good place to start. Headphones can be used for Skype calls with your clients and can block out background noise so your attention is fully focused on the client.

Between $40 – $80 | View Full Features

headphones

#2 Beer Fridge

Every web designer sometimes just wants to kick back, relax and have a nice chilled beer. Having a beer fridge under your desk is a great idea! Just don’t drink too many!

Between $150 – $250 | View Full Features

fridge

#3 White Board

Having a whiteboard on the wall can be very handy if you wish to write something down very fast, or suddenly have an idea.

Between $40 – $70 | View Full Features

whiteboard

#4 Cool Business Chair

You need to have a chair that’s comfortable, since you will be sitting in it most of the time when using your workstation. You want to make sure your back has good support (especially lower back), your chair has proper height as compared to your monitor (you should be looking slightly down at the screen to avoid eyestrain) and your arm rests are positioned properly to take pressure off your wrists.

Between $200 – $500 | View Full Features

chair

#5 Doodle Pad & Jotter

Having a doodle pad on your workstation is a great idea if you don’t have room for a whiteboard. You can write stuff down and doodle ideas right in front of you.

Between $10 – $20 | View Full Features

notepad

#6 Graphic Design Tablet

A graphic design tablet is great if you are designing using Illustrator or Photoshop, since it can help you draw pixel perfect. This is certainly a much better solution than using your mouse.

Between $80 – $120 | View Full Features

tablet

#7 Apple 27-Inch LED Cinema Display

Having a dual screen can be very handy. If you have room for it then why not? A dual screen from one monitor can reduce clutter on your desktop and make it easier to code and design.

Which one do I think you should go for? Apple 27 inch LED Cinema Display.

Between $200 – $2000 | View Full Features

monitor

#8 Glass Desk

You want a desk that looks good and has enough room for all your stuff. Now this doesn’t have to be glass (this is just a recommendation), but glass desks do look good.

Between $120 – $170 | View Full Features

glass desk

#9 Bulletin Board

Having a bulletin board is a great idea, so you can write important information that you don’t wish to store on your computer or online. You can also place sticky notes on the board.

Between $15 – $30 | View Full Features

notice

#10 Sticky Notes

Sticky notes are good for reminders, i.e. “Skype conference at 8 with Ron”. They can just sit at the back of your workstation for when you need them.

Between $5 – $15 | View Full Features

sticky

#11 Desk Lamp

A desk lamp is great for when you don’t want your whole lights on and you need to see what’s on your desk. If you are one of us “late night coders”, then you definitely need to invest in a good lamp.

Between $40 – $80 | View Full Features

lamp

#12 Retro Under Desk Bin

Of course you will need to throw away rubbish. And i’m pretty sure you can’t place hand held-rubbish in your computers recycle bin. So having an under desk bin is often a good idea.

Between $30 – $60 | View Full Features


#13 iMac

This is the ultimate system for designers. There’s only 1 cable and that’s to the main unit. Everything else is wireless. The monitor has an incredible 2560×1440 resolution.

Between $1500 – $2500 | View Full Features

imac

#14 A3 Printer

Designers often need to print out briefs, or large designs. An A3 printer is great to have.

Between $150 – $700 | View Full Features

printer

#15 Stationary Pot & Holder

You need something to hold all your stationary in. Keep it neat and tidy with a stationary holder on your desk.

Between $10 – $15 | View Full Features

stationary

#16 Cell Phone Cradle/Holder

Having your cell phone on your desk is very handy if you need to make calls all the time. Why not treat your phone to a handy holder rather than just chucking it on your desk somewhere.

Between $20 – $30 | View Full Features

phone

#17 Placemat

Now you’ve just spent all that money on a nice table, you don’t want to go and spoil it by marking it with a hot coffee. Just buy a simple placemat and your problem is solved.

Between $5 – $25 | View Full Features

placemat

#18 2 TB External Hard Drive

There gets to a point when you run out of space on your workstation. That’s when an external hard drive comes in handy. Or if you just want to keep backups of all your files, these are handy to do that too!

Between $90 – $150 | View Full Features

harddrive

#19 Speaker System + Sub

Listening to music whilst you code and design is pure bliss. It helps me to work, so having a half decent speaker system is something that you really need.

Between $80 – $200 | View Full Features

speaker

#20 Small CD Rack

Everyone has CD’s with data on, or those you want to burn to give to people. A small CD rack that you can put at the side / back of your workstation is a great item to have so you don’t lose all those loose CD’s.

Between $10 – $20 | View Full Features

cd

#21 Portable Air Conditioner/Fan/Dehumidifier

You really need one of these for those hot summer days slaving away at the workstation coding a clients website. Maintaining a nice room temperature is very important both for you and your expensive office equipment.

Between $250 – $550 | View Full Features

air

#22 Lava Lamp

A lava lamp can really spice up your desk, and make it look that extra bit better. It also looks great at night when you switch it on and can bring your desk alive.

Between $15 – $50 | View Full Features

lava lamp

#23 Retro Wall Clock

Now I know there’s a clock in the corner of your computer screen, but sometimes its nice to have a wall clock. It can break up your workstation a bit and if you get a nice one, it can be a cool feature to your office.

Between $30 – $55 | View Full Features

retro clock

#24 Digital Photo Frame

Having a digital photo frame that showcases photos and designs is great. Web designers could display inspirational sideshows of literally thousands of photos.

Between $60 – $120 | View Full Features

digital photo frame

#25 Wireless Router

Having a wireless router is essential because it connects you to the internet. If your office is where it all happens, then its wise to put your wireless router in there, so you can get full signal strength and the fastest internet speeds.

Between $70 – $100 | View Full Features

router

#26 Mouse Pad With Wrist Support

Giving your mouse a smooth ride can be essential when designing. There’s nothing worse than having a jumpy mouse. You want your cursor to be smoother than a ruler. You also need to make sure you have wrist support.

Between $15 – $20 | View Full Features

mousemat

#27 Money Tree Plant

This really depends on how much extra space you have on your desk. Its not an essential, but can bring life to your desk, and overall look nice. According to Feng Shui masters, the Money Tree or Pachira is thought to bring good fortune and luck to those who place it in their home or office.

Between $10 – $25 | View Full Features

plant

#28 Fountain Pen

Its so handy to have a pen around on your desk. When you need to quickly write things down, or write a simple note to leave for someone. A nice ink fountain pen will set you back only around $10.

Between $10 – $40 | View Full Features

fountain pen

#29 Ambient LED Monitor Backlight

A really cool light behind the monitor is a great feature to have and can improve your workspace. Having a beautiful ambient light behind your monitor can make your work space really stand out.

Between $50 – $90 | View Full Features

dioder

#30 USB Mini Desk Fan

If you don’t feel like turning on the air con, then a mini usb desk fan is the answer. This one from John Lewis looks really stunning, and can be the last item to complete your desk.

Between $15 – $30 | View Full Features

fan

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74 thoughts on “30 Things To Create The Ultimate Web Designers Work Environment”

  1. Cool!!! haha!
    Great List! But I don’t think #21 and #24 are really really nedded!

    And My favortie is the Tablet! 😀

  2. Great list,
    Ok guys, for all those who really want to be precise about the money plant and Fengshui-
    Place the Pachira in a glass bottle on the top left corner of your working table.
    Now how do I make you visualise the position? Sitting- facing screen. The screen is in the centre of your table. The top left is thus going to be behind your screen! Water regularly. Your table should of course be placed diagonally across the room, with your seat supported by a wall. That means the moment you lift up your eyes to take a move neck break, you should be able to see the open door, full facedly and without turning your neck!. Never facing an open door or with your shoulder to an open door. (That last position means you are sitting with your side to the open door, got me???)
    Also another tip- If you can’t find a Pachira or buy it, oriental lore says (haha) “steal”a twig or a green bunch of leaves Because initially you are stealing your fortune from Fate’s grasp!

  3. well! There is so many things I want on the list, a comfortable chair, dual screen etc.. It all comes down to money issue unfortunately. Thanks for informative share!

  4. A 3″ x 5″ Tablet? Seriously?! My hand is bigger than that and I’m a small framed female. Back to the drawing board for you!

  5. Ok, so far I haven’t seen what I think is the #1 ESSENTIAL item (after a computer and monitor) for anyone that stares at a screen all day…

    Gunnar glasses!!!! I swear by them and have colleagues that run IT departments and medical imaging departments and have made the company buy these glasses for the entire department. No more eye strain!

  6. Stationary? ok whatever.

    and how exactly are you supposed to fit all that stuff on the really cool (but really TINY) glass table? Table is out. Beer fridge is in.

    : )

  7. If you are really serious I would opt for a backup system that was built with a redundant RAID configuration. So when you have two terabytes of data and one hard drive fails you do not loose everything! In fact I recommend NEVER having a hard drive larger than 500GB in any configuration, unless it is setup using a redundant array. There is nothing worse than loosing your data, no matter what your profession. The extra money spent here will be one of the best investments you can make, second only to setting up an off site backup system in case of a flood, fire or something else that destroys your office.

  8. Getting the dual screen sorted out as we speak, can’t see why you would want more than that. I’m using Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-v to virtualize different PC environments so that should do the job.

  9. Love the list! I have a Salton coffee mug heater thingy gadget. Haha. I always forget I am drinking coffee/tea when I get immersed in my designs. This keeps it warm so when I remember it’s there, it’s drinkable. Think I may have to add the Money Plant to my desk though!!

  10. Hmm, allot of excess stuff here. I do just fine with my designs with only about five of the things mentioned in this list.

    All you need are the essentials – excess stuff is distracting.

  11. I’d love to have all of that, but all I really need is a great set of headphones that will work for more than a week and that my dog does not find too tasty! Essential items on my list are a LazyBoy rocker recliner, laptop, and lapdesk! I don’t like to sit at a desk. lol

  12. Hi,

    Some of the stuff in list are good and if you have it’s awesome but I don’t think of iMac is an essential part, if you have that’s good but if not your Windows 7 can provide you all Ultimate things to work you know.

    Best

    1. Are you sure?

      sta·tion·ar·y Adjective/?st?SH??ner?/
      1. Not moving or not intended to be moved: “a car collided with a stationary vehicle”.
      2. (of a planet) Having no apparent motion in longitude.

      sta·tion·er·y Noun/?st?SH??ner?/
      1. Writing paper, esp. with matching envelopes.
      2. Writing and other office materials

      🙂

  13. Can add to this list laptop docking station with extra coolers…
    Some things that are not on the list but I have them in my workspace:
    1) photoprinter – it’s good to have different printers, type of paper and ink for different tasks.
    2) another small desk for paperwork only – prevents a mess around you.
    3) power stabilizer (UPS) – don’t let your expensive worktools to get killed just by a power jump in mains. There will be no one to blame.
    4) Book shelf – I love paper books.
    5) Some pieces of photography equipment, tripod, lightbox, extra light etc.
    6) Two real, deadly sharp Japaneese Katana swords hanging on the wall – just because I love them.

  14. Notice how your dual screens won’t fit on your glass desk 😛 Also this is for VERY rich designers and you know how rich we all are 😛

  15. Ok I have to draw the line at a Lava Lamp? I would have to spend all day kicking my own ass if I had one of those on my desk!

    @Jonny da pigg – I like where your heads at, a coffee machine is a must have!

  16. of course you need 2 screens, how else can you watch sin city while working? add coffee machine and you’re there

  17. All I WANT is:
    Retro Headphones = $50
    Beer Fridge = $150
    Glass Desk $150
    Desk Lamp $50
    iMac $1500
    A3 Printer $500
    1 TB External Hard Drive $150
    Speaker System + Sub $100
    Wireless Router $100
    Mousemat $20

    Total = $2770
    OMG! >.<

  18. I liked glass, but I opted instead to make my own desk using itso boxes and plywood–covered in pink leopard fur! Word is now a tactile adventure! and because the fur is both patterned AND absorbent, I need not worry about the occasional spill of tea.

    Also, I don’t see “pet fish” up there anywhere.

  19. Am I the only one who didn’t see “Desk” on the list. Sure, you talk about desk in the introduction and it may be obvious but you still need a desk that’s a good height and that has enough space.

    Overall, an alright article but it would probably create one hell of a cluttered workspace.

  20. #30 is excellent, but where’s the USB hub? That’s a definite must-have. I’d die without one. I would love a tablet, but Logitech has a free wireless mouse and keyboard app for the iPod touch/iPhone, so I guess I’ll use that as a mini-tablet for now. Too bad I can’t afford the 27″ iMac (with a second monitor, of course).

  21. I’m not quite sure I’d agree with you over a glass table; you constently need to use a mouse mat otherwise the mouse won’t function properly.

  22. Great list of things! One thing I would suggest is a painting, fliers, or some type of art work to keep your creative flowing. Whether it is clean, grungy, colorful, retro, anything is good to always keep your design senses alert.

  23. For a dual screen, I can recommend forgetting about a second monitor and using virtual desktops instead. I Use Compiz-Fusion for KDE, but there should be equivalent software for all other operating systems out there. For all that still praise a second display, I do not understand why? As if you would look at both display simultaneously? For me, I can only look at one screen at a time.

  24. So many things I want on the list, a comfortable chair, dual screen etc.. It all comes down to money issue unfortunately. – –

  25. I’m just about to purchase some JBL Creature II speakers for my office.

    I’ve put up with my tincan iMac speakers for far too long!I

  26. Two screens is a good start, but a good Web Designer needs multiple machines. You need at minimum a dual-screen Mac setup, and 3 PCs — 1 for IE6, 1 for IE7, and 1 for IE8.

    So if I’m counting what’s in front of me, that’s FOUR screens.

    “And that’s ALL I need…”

    1. You don’t necessarily need 1 PC for each version of IE. I use IETester, BrowserShots, and/or CrossBrowserTesting.

  27. Two screens are not enough, need three min lol much more space increases workflow by about 30%.

    Also like the idea of plant in a mug lol great!

  28. #10 is indespensable; however I always seems to have too many of these things all over the place…

  29. Great list! My tablet is by far my favorite item, but I guess my workstation could use a little “jazzing up” with #22 or #27.

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