Should Product Designers work remotely, and the ultimate desk setup for UX/UI work

Community Mar 23, 2023

Show notes for Season 2, Episode 3 of the Diary of Design Thinking by Simon Hoang, co-hosted by Chuck Rice.

Isometric drawing of a grid of books. All are blank except the central one, titled: Diary of Design Thinking.

Post-pandemic, we’ve gone from home bound to remote whenever we can, but is it even possible for a modern Product Designer? We discuss the ultimate desk setup, the worst desk setup, what belongs in your “go-bag”, and what setup graduates and freshly minted designers might need.

Plus, a couple books we can recommend, and tips to avoid causing your colleagues ear bleeds.

Listen now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

What we discussed

  • 0:00:52 — episode begins
  • 0:01:30—post pandemic desk setups
  • 0:02:40—dedicated microphone, is it worth it?
  • 0:04:15—adjusting gain levels, to prevent your team mates’ ears bleeding
  • 0:05:20—Chuck’s ultimate desk setup items
  • 0:08:00 — posture, neck positions, and preventing injuries
  • 0:10:00 — Simon’s ultimate desk setup items
  • 0:11:30 — managing all the dongles and devices
  • 0:14:15 — notes and sketching during meetings: pencil and paper, iPad..?
  • 0:17:10 — desk setup tips for fresh graduates and early career
  • 0:20:00—desk setup tips if you have a dedicated space or room
  • 0:22:00—standing desk versus normal desks
  • 0:26:15—history of Chuck’s setup and how it developed over time
  • 0:29:40—history of Simon’s setup and how it developed over time
  • 0:31:30 — is there truly a de-facto ultimate setup? Show us yours!
  • 0:33:50—ultimate bag setup for digital nomads and people on-the-go
  • 0:46:10 — what’s the worst desk setup item?
  • 0:51:30 — desk mats, decoration, and more
  • 0:55:45—book recommendations to feed your brain
  • 0:58:55—discovery by speaking to users… every week?!
  • 1:05:00—a question for next time
  • 1:06:45—final thoughts


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Creative Confidence by David Kelley and Tom Kelley

Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres


Here's a breakdown of both our setups, with links to the Amazon UK store.

Chuck's stack

Simon's stack

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Chuck Rice

Lead Product Designer @AnimaHealthInc (YC). @Figma Advocate. End-to-end Design System builder. Certified Design Sprint facilitator. Author @uxdesigncc with 300k+ views. CrossFit and Travel 🏝.