UX designers surely know a good product when they see one, right?
We think so - that’s why we decided to ask our in-house UX designers here at CareerFoundry what their ultimate stocking fillers are. Guess what we found? Our UXers love good old-fashioned pen and paper - and they recommend these great tools to take analog to a whole new level!
Whether you’re an established designer, or starting out, we’re sure you will fall in love with these UX design must-haves.
Each toolkit includes:
- The Betabook Pro
- Multi-colored Post-its
- 3-pack of Field Notes (graph, ruled, and plain)
- Faber Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch Pencils 12-pack
- Copic Doodle Pack including 4 marker pens
We think these five items have you covered for tons of different UX exercises, and they compliment eachother perfectly!
#1 Betabook Pro
Love analog, but don’t want to waste heaps of paper? Enter the Betabook Pro. This handy portable book turns into an A3 whiteboard. It’s wipe clean, so you can use it again and again. Had a great planning session? Simply take a quick photo, and wipe clean.
Recommended for: creating personas, wireframing, site architecture mapping, user flow mapping, brainstorming, mission statements, note-taking.
Post-it notes have become synonymous with UX design. So much so, it’s almost a running joke, but there is a reason they’re so loved amongst the UX community. There aren’t many UX exercises that couldn’t be made easier with Post-its; from simply gathering ideas or opinions and and then grouping them by theme, to designing a whole website taxonomy.
Recommended for: agile planning, retrospectives, card sorting exercises for site architecture, brainstorming, and of course, leaving your colleagues friendly greetz!
#3 Field Notes
These little notebooks are perfect to keep on you at all times. They’re compact, stylish, and made in the U.S.A. The design was inspired by promotional memo books distributed to American farmers by agricultural companies.
They offer a range of different versions, but we recommend the mixed pack of 3, which includes one book each of graph, ruled, and plain paper. A look at their website will show you why they are a clear favorite for many designers. It has a nice user interface (check out this page of traditional memo book covers) and they’ve got some cool products such as limited editions, and even short story books, on offer.
Recommended for: mission statements, user interviews, creating personas, wireframing, project planning, note-taking (or cathartic doodling).
#4 Faber Castell 9000 Sketch Pencils
Sketch pencils are a classic for designing - with the right type of notebook paper and a good eraser, you’ve got lots of room for trial and error. Our team recommend the 9000 sketch pencils set from Faber Castell.
The 9000 has been on the market since 1905 and comes in 16 different degrees of hardness; the classic, and most well-known being the HB pencil!
Recommended for: anything sketchable - user interviews, wireframes, user personas, note-taking and of course, doodling.
#5 Copic Doodle Pack
Copic marker pens came highly recommended from several UX designers. The Doodle pack includes 4 pens in complimentary color combinations. They are satisfying to draw with and make your sketches stand out. They are especially good for making cool-looking wireframes with nice shadow effects, to really lift it off the page and bring your designs to life!
Recommended for: like with sketch pencils, Copic marker pens are good for all-things-sketchy, but that you don’t want to erase: wireframes, site architecture, user flow mapping, paper prototyping, offline moodboards, and anything arty you want to try!