Things to do on a new computer if you are a designer

Introduction

When starting a new job as a designer you need to set up your newly issued computer. Whether you received a OS X MAC or Windows 10 PC, here is a list of things to do when first receive your computer other than what is suggested to setup from your company.

1.) Settings (PC) or System Preferences (MAC)

First step is to adjust settings or system preferences on your computer. I like to change the mouse speed one notch higher for faster movement of the mouse. When it comes to the touchpad (PC) or trackpad (MAC) I like to change settings for multi-touch. I tend on removing the soft touch on Windows machines. On MACs, Mission Control settings are also another area that I adjust settings to my liking. So set up your computer preferences then read on to number 2.

2.) Install Software

Next step is to install or get permission to install software. Major companies go through a system of approved software and you might not be able to download all software that you need. Go through the steps of the process to gain approved software. Here is a list of software that you might need:

  1. Browsers (and plugins)
  2. Balsamiq
  3. Adobe CC
  4. WebEx
  5. Microsoft Office

3.) Pin and remove applications to the Task Bar Icons (PC) or Dock (MAC)

Applications on the Task Bar or dock must be modified to suit your needs I tend to pin the following applications.

  1. Email, 
  2. Browsers (recommended Chrome & firefox)
  3. Adobe Creative Cloud Applications
  4. Sketch or Adobe XD
  5. Sublime Text Editor
  6. Microsoft OneNote, Word, Powerpoint, and Excel
  7. Communication app (like Skype)

4.) Wallpaper

As a designer changing your wallpaper is a must for several reasons. You want your wallpaper to be a neutral gray color for color accuracy. Color is relative to the eye and if you have a color showing in the background your color might be inaccurate. However, you don’t want a background that is boring. Use great photography but turn it gray (30-40% black). Using interesting images will engage viewers when sharing your screen. You might also want to keep your wallpaper informative. You can add a help desk phone number and email, screen capture keys or anything you need to have readily available.

5.) Monitor Calibrator

Normally new monitors have a color range of 6000-6500 kelvin however in the case of most PCs the color is off and normally too cool (Blueish color). It is important that your color is accurate. 

6.) Email setup

You might want to set up your email application. Most companies use Outlook Exchange. You want to set up folders and color code them. Don’t forget to add your signature. To look uniform you should follow a template from your company’s branding website.

7.) Organize Calendar

You might also want to color code your calendar that uses the same color scheme as email.

8.) Bookmarks

Bookmarks are important tools. It allows you to get to certain websites quickly. Don’t forget to do this important step right away. You want to set up folders to help you organize your favorites bar. I like to create the following

A. References

  • Colourlovers
  • Myfont.com
  • Brands of the World

B. (Company name for company sites)

C. Tools

D. Temporary (Folder for deletable items)

9.) Printer setup

Now of days computers should already be setup for printing when received but that isn’t always the case. Check if you are able to print to a local printer. You might also want to set up your home printer. If your printer is on the network, even though you are in a VPN you can add your home printer if you know the printer’s IP address. 

10.) OneNote Setup

As a primarily MAC user, the only reason I’d use a PC is for their excellent note taking software called OneNote. Note taking is so organized and easy that I don’t see anything else in the market that I rather use. OneNote has OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to search text in picture files. You can also color code to imitate your calendar and email. It is a good idea to setup your first few pages within a notebook like below: 

A. Glossary (tab)

  • Acronyms
  • Words
  • Pronouns

B. Contacts (tab)

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