Whether you’re a recent convert to working from home or a seasoned pro and have been working remotely for a while, sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are other ways to help keep your designer mind ticking over in a healthy manner.
Here’s a roundup of resources that fall into 5 main categories that any remote designer can use to make sure they remain inspired, challenged and most of all connect, as we all are sociable human beings by nature.
Online Communities for remote designers
Hundreds of companies are using Slack to organise and facilitate how their employees communicate daily. But whether or not the company you work for uses Slack, you can still use it to connect and stay in touch with other designers. The best part is that anyone can join and take part in discussions that range from events, best practises and inspiration across industries. Slack is available on the web, desktop, ios and android.
- Animation at Work
Conversations on web and UI animation
- Designer Hangouts
Designers and researchers from around the world discussing user experience
- Product Tribes
A community for designers, PMs, and developers
A community-driven effort to make web accessibility easier
- Content + UX
For people who are interested in the user experience of content
- The Designership
An active community of creatives to learn, share and grow with
- Better UX Community (previously known as What Users Do)
From the creators of the homonym user testing tool
- Women in Technology
A safe, confidential space for women who work in technology
If Slack isn’t for you, then here are some other places to find your design tribe:
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Working where you live is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you share your space with others. Here are a few apps that could help you avoid the darker side of remote work and breathe a little easier. All the apps in this category are available on the App Store and Google Play.
Provides people experiencing stress and anxiety with guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music.
Learn the skills of mindfulness and meditation by using this app for just a few minutes per day.
A collaboration between ustwo and Danish mental health company PauseAble. This app uses ancient principles of Tai Chi and mindfulness practice to bring calm to busy minds.
- Smiling Mind
A completely free app that provides hundreds of exercises tailored to different demographics and ages, helping anyone practise their daily meditation.
Encourages people to create a daily ritual for their emotional health by asking a few simple questions and providing resonating audio tracks from meditation, life coaching, music and many more.
- Insight Timer
An extensive library of free and searchable guided meditations suitable for beginners and experienced people. There is also the ability to practise different meditation types from secular or Buddhist mindfulness, to walking or breathing meditation, and many more.
Tools for remote designers
There are so many distractions in life that may slow us down and waste our time when we’re trying to get things done. From the endless temptations of procrastination to the huge volume of tasks to keep track of across different projects, it can be quite overwhelming. Here are a few, well and tested tools recommended by the Marvel team to help you be more productive in your workflow.
A browser extension designed to eliminate distractions and provide focus and productivity. Reminding you to stay on track with the task you’ve set yourself every time you click on a new browser tab. Available on Chrome, Firefox and Edge.
Another browser extension similar to Momentum but takes on a more heavy-handed approach as it blocks sites and apps that constantly tempt you. Available on PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
A sound companion which provides a range of ambient background sounds to help increase your productivity and block other, more distracting sounds that are currently slowing down your process. Available on Mac and iOS.
A real-time interactive whiteboard that allows collaboration with team members anywhere in the world. Mixed also integrates with design tools like Sketch, and us! Read our latest post to find out more about how Mixed.io works with Marvel. Available on the Web.
An easy-to-use tool that helps you organised your ideas and projects into visual boards, similar to Trello but with its flexible drag-and-drop interface you can arrange anything in whatever way makes sense for you and your project. Available on iOS, Android, Mac and Web.
Along with adjusting to working from home, you might have to work out how to entertain restless kids or maybe you just want something else than watching various streaming platforms such as Netflix or YouTube. Every day brings even more choices, but here are a few just to get you started in having fun.
- Some Good News (SGN)
A youtube channel created by John Karsinksi which features all the good news stories going on around the world
- Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage
This London based theatre has announced that it will present a series of performances online featuring the digital premieres of full-length dance performances, screen dance and new dance workshops which have specially created for families with young children, and the over 60s, to take part in at home.
- Adobe Colouring Book
Adobe has launched a new project which will feature new illustrations from incredible artists each week this spring, suitable for all ages.
If you are looking for more interaction with other people, why not try Viral Film Festival, where you get to watch and discuss films online. Or if getting stuck into a good book is more of your kind of thing, then try one of these reading book clubs: Quarantine Book Club | Silent Book Club | Rebel Book Club | Translated Fiction Book Club | Salon London
Virtual travel is becoming more of a necessity, cities and museums around the world have opened up webcams, so you can still tap into life, far away from your own.
- Virtual Yosemite
- Giant’s Causeway via the National Trust
- Baltimore’s National Aquarium
- San Diego Zoo’s live cams
- Houston Zoo’s live cams
- Atlanta Zoo’s “Panda Cam”
- LA’s Getty Museum
- The Vatican
- British Museum
- The Louvre
- Google’s Arts and Culture
Learning platforms for remote designers
Online learning is a growing trend and many choose this route instead of traditional methods as it is more affordable, allows for a more flexible schedule and has a greater selection of classes and programmes to take.
An online learning platform where the world's most successful people teach the thing that made them successful. Available on the Web.
Aimed at professional adults and students with over 100,000 courses that explore an extensive library of topics. Available on the Web, Android and iOS.
An online education provider based in the UK that offers online courses from top universities and institutions around the world. With more than 160 partners including many top universities and non-university partners including Amnesty International and UNESCO, students can gain qualifications and even degrees. Available on the Web.
- Teach From Home
Google has recently launched a temporary hub filled with information and tools to help teachers and parents to keep kids learning online.
- Design Calendar
Usually, a hub for the “best creative talks, workshops, conferences and exhibitions around the world,” Design Calendar has shifted its coverage to online events. Featuring both creative classes, one-day long programmes and shorter talks by creatives.
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There are so many more resources and tools out there that make remote designers’ lives easier when working from home. If you think we’ve left a fantastic resource or tool out of this collection, then let us know via twitter and we’ll add it to the list!