December 18, 2015

Still looking for a gift for your favorite UX or web designer? Look no further! The 4K design team has put together a list of a few of our favorite things.

These items are ordered (approximately) from least to most expensive, so you can find the right gift for your budget.

Post-it notes: Around $8

Post-it notes are essential for any ideation session or workshop. Any designer can tell you that the most important characteristic of Post-it notes is their stickiness! UX designers rejoice: 3M makes super sticky Post-its. No more notes falling off the wall! They should be available at your favorite local office supply store or 6 pads for about $8 on Amazon!

A nice notebook: $10 to $20

Every design process starts with a sketch. Why not give your designer the gift of nice paper? Our team is split between Moleskine notebooks and Field Notes dot grid paper.

Other sketching or drawing supplies: $13 to $30

Pencils

The smoothest pencil we’ve found so far is from the line of Palomino Blackwing pencils. They have a several styles, but we find that the 602 has smooth lead without being too soft or smudgy. Get your designer a 12-pack for around $23.

Pens

For beautiful lines and archival quality ink, nothing beats Sakura Micron Pens, $13 for a set of 8 black pens of different sizes and styles.

Stencils

A UI stencil kit is a unique gift for a UX designer. This tool could save time during sketching and paper prototyping and shows that you understand how a web designer spends his or her days. Gift a useful stencil for $29.

Something colorful: $11 to $60

For the color geek in your life, the Pantone Store is heaven. The colors of the year for 2016 are PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz and PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity, so keep that in mind if you want your gift to be on the cutting edge of 2016 trends. Getting a designer a mug, journal, or another colorful household item from Pantone shows that you truly understand their passion for color and design.

Classic hoodie: $89

For those of us who work in a chilly office, American Giant makes a thick, warm, durable hoodie in both men’s and women’s cuts. 4K designers love the classic black hoodie, but we wish American Giant made them in Four Kitchens green!

An amazing UX reference library: $339+

Rosenfeld Media publishes great books on UX and Design. They’re currently offering all 23 of their published books in digital formats as a library pack for $339. Any designer would be glad to have a resource like this at their fingertips. The Web Chefs like The User Experience Team of One ($39 for print+ebook) if the full library is out of budget.

A big dry erase board: $400+

A huge dry-erase board is an invaluable tool, allowing for quick ideation and testing out ideas. Designers at 4K have been known to install them in their home offices. There are many sizes and styles available, but one example here is 4 feet by 5 feet for about $430. Make sure to measure your designer’s wall space before deciding on a size for this amazing gift! Don’t forget to pick up an eraser and some markers for about $7!

Conference registrations for 2016: the sky is the limit!

We all know that attending conferences is a fun and wonderful way to learn new skills and network in the industry. Alas, it can be super expensive to attend all the great events out there, even if registration is free. Splurging on your favorite designer? Check out this list of conferences for 2016. For those who want to attend, but can’t easily travel to some of the more exotic locales, there are several online courses and conferences that look interesting!

That’s a wrap! (See what we did there?)

We hope you found this list useful in your search for the perfect gift for the design geek in your life. If you have any great designer gift ideas that we should include in next year’s list, leave us a comment! Happy holidays from the Web Chefs!

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Caris Hurd is a user experience strategist at Four Kitchens and a total geek for product management and user research. She enjoys travel, yoga, drinking craft beer, and laughing at her ridiculous dogs.

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