This week’s Articulate challenge is to render your work space in simple flat-style images.
Oddly enough, it coincides with my move from a standard desk to a standing/walking/kneeling/sitting desk, so that’s what I illustrated in my entry.
The Problem and The Solution
I’d never seriously thought about doing this before, but I happened to glimpse an article on Facebook that was talking about standing desks. (Here’s the article. It has lots of good info including both high-end and very simple, inexpensive options.)
If you know me even a little bit, you’ve gathered I spend an insane amount of ’round-the-clock time at my desk. Leaving the house to move involves a 40 to 60 minute round-trip drive (more sitting) to go somewhere I can bike, take a walk, or go to a gym. When you’re in the middle of work you love, that’s a big disincentive to take a break.
When I lived in Chicago and Portland I could roll out my front door every day and walk for miles or go to a nearby gym. In Europe I’d go for walks or run errands on foot every day and it was fantastic. Where I am now makes me insane and my body is going to stop speaking to me completely if I don’t do something.
So the standing desk idea resonated with me, and once I delved into the topic I realized that making it into a walking desk (plus a kneeling desk), and a sitting desk were just what the doctor would order if I made it to the doctor before I gave out completely.
The Images and Interaction
Some of the pieces and parts of my new setup are still in transit, so I rendered the scene as I expect it to be. Much of it is already in place, so those things are pretty spot-on.
Since the whole scheme hinges on the desk raising and lowering to specific heights, that’s what I focused on in the interaction. I put in a flat person to illustrate, but also animate them out so you can just see the room. All you do to morph the desk is push a button to move it to a preset height, so that’s what I have the user do in the demo. It’s quick and simple to illustrate the concept.
Try It! (+ My Setup Details)
Here’s the quick interaction if you’d like to see it. Also, since some people have asked for the details of my setup, I’ve shared them below.
Desk: I chose the UpLiftDesk 900, 80″ wide – enough to accommodate both a treadmill and sitting/standing station below; though 72″ wide might be enough. Unlike other desks, you can decide when you put it together how far apart you want the legs. I chose the white top and white base to go with my other office furniture.
This desk had good reviews for its smooth lift motors, which are housed inside of the legs, and sturdiness. I believe there are four presets you can customize for different heights.
I didn’t choose to go with a keyboard tray for now, but if you want one on a regular full-sized slide you can get the 920 desk model instead. I thought the 900 might be a bit sturdier and knew I could use a half-track keyboard tray with it if I really wanted to.
I also chose the 12-year extended warranty. The last thing I want to figure out 10 years from now is where and how to get the motors in my desk legs repaired!
Treadmill: I chose the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill. Seems to be the go-to choice. Several desk companies, including UpLiftDesk, sell this same treadmill for the same price if you want to buy from them – but all of the advice I found said to order from LifeSpan directly for ease of dealing with any warranty issues, etc. I went with the extended warranty on this, too.
Standing/Sitting Mat: I chose the UpLift Sit-Stand Desk Mat (an option you can choose when you order the desk) in the 3′ x 5′ size so it’s large enough to place a chair on it.
Monitor Arm: Since you want your monitors to swing to whichever side of the desk you’re working on you probably want them on arms like this. I went with the UpLift Single Monitor Arm (an option you can choose when you order the desk) for my regular monitor, but I’m hesitant to be swinging my iMac around on an arm! (Plus I’d have to find one that fits.) It’s just as easy for me to slide the iMac over from one side to the other, so that’s my plan for now.
Kneeling Chair: I already have the Jobri Jazzy Kneeling Chair; though I got it a few years ago and offhand don’t remember who I ordered it from. I like switching off between it and my regular office chair.
Regular Office Chair: I’ll give a shout-out to my chair since I’ve used it incessantly for an unbelievable 17 years now. It’s put up with lots of grief and it’s still a complete champ. I believe it’s Via’s Terra Low-Back chair. I bought it at a furniture store in Portland and they let me customize the fabric.
More Info & Videos: I think that’s it for my setup – but the UpLift site has some nice videos to give you a better look at how all of this works together, plus a whole lot more.
Let me know if you decide to revamp your desk in a similar way. I’d love to hear about it!