Successful digital designers need a handful of necessary tools to make things happen and get noticed. A computer with a high-res monitor, a reliable hard drive, design software, and a good mouse, but what is the best mouse for designers?
A mouse is such a small feature, but if you think about it, it just might be the tool you use the most. From basic clicking and scrolling to drawing and selecting, rearranging layers, dragging elements and more, a mouse is the main way you interact with your screen. Upgrading to a better mouse can save you time and boost your productivity.
The best mouse for designers is precise, easy to use, and has options to make it a good fit for the type of work you do. To find your perfect fit, read on.
The best mouse for designers
So, what is the winner? With all of the above factors in mind, instead of just giving you a list and forcing you to pick the best mouse for designers based on limited information, we’ve divided up the contenders to help you find one that might suit your needs.
Best mouse for designers who don’t like to use a mouse
If you’ve grown up using your fingers to scroll, but like the idea of a larger monitor and desktop setup, the Apple Magic Trackpad might be just the solution. The trackpad pairs with any Apple desktop, and allows the same functionality (on a larger scale) that a standard trackpad on a MacBook Pro or Air has.
Best mouse for designers who use multiple monitors
Lots of design projects require several windows to be open all at once, so many designers find multiple monitors helpful. The Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse syncs with up to three different machines all at once, and is compatible across both Mac and PC. Talk about versatility!
Best mouse for designers who experience discomfort
Working long hours in front of a computer sometimes turns into carpal tunnel, cramping, or even shoulder, back or neck pain.
It might look funny, but using a vertical mouse such as the Logitech MX Vertical Wireless Mouse, which can also integrate with up to three monitors, or Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse, which has five programmable buttons, can help reduce these issues. Once you get used to it, keeping your wrist upright might change your life.
Best mouse for designers who need customized functions
Programmers, web or game designers in particular might find the ability to program shortcuts right into the mouse particularly convenient.
With the click of a button, you can flip between web pages, apply photo filters or add lines of frequently used code. The Logitech G502 SE Hero, Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse or Redragon M908 Impact RGB LED MMO Mouse are all great choices with customization options.
Best mouse for designers on an iPad
If you mainly use an iPad for design work, you’ll want to go for the Apple Magic Mouse 2, which integrates seamlessly with the latest OS. The Apple Magic Mouse is fully rechargeable, lightweight and wireless, so it works well for traveling as well as tablet use.
Best mouse for designers who travel often
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When you are out of the office often, you need a cordless mouse with long battery life that doesn’t take up too much space or weigh a lot. Rechargeable batteries are a plus. Two of our favorites are the Microsoft Arc Mouse, which fits into any bag, or this budget-friendly Rechargeable Wireless Mouse.
Other tools to improve your workflow
Having the best mouse for designers in your toolkit will go a long way towards helping you work smarter and feel great. That said, if your design work is causing you physical pain, have trouble completing tasks in a timely manner or need better motivation, there are some other things you might want to try.
A vertical mouse can help work out carpal tunnel and other issues, but if the pain doesn’t go away, using an ergonomic keyboard may help. Kinesis makes a good one.
If you’re upgrading your mouse, it makes sense to upgrade your mousepad. More than just a decoration, a mousepad actually affects the way your mouse tracks and how often you have to reposition your arm. You will love this oversized mousepad, made for gamers, by Glorious.
A mouse, even the best mouse for designers, can only go so far in improving your workflow process. If you find yourself falling behind, it’s definitely time to invest in an automated solution.
How to find the best mouse for designers
A logo artist needs different functions than a game designer, and product designers need completely different tools from web designers. So the best mouse for designers is subjective, depending on not only your skillset but your home office setup and your existing digital tools.
If you’re looking for the best mouse for designers, you need to start with some basic questions that will help narrow down your search:
1. What size are your hands?
Just like taller people are more comfortable with added back support for chairs, the mouse you use needs to fit comfortably in your palm. A given tool can only be the best mouse for designers if it doesn’t put a strain on your hand muscles.
2. What do you use your mouse for most often?
Designers typically do a lot of visual work that requires really precise details, but that is not always the case. Some artists use analog tools like paper and pen, paints or another medium to create their work, and then digitize it through scanning, so their mouse would not need to be as specialized.
Many designers do a lot of work on tablets, and only need the mouse for navigation. Others need their mouse to draw, highlight and have shortcut keys. Write out your most common daily tasks and compare the best mouse for designers against your list to see if it’s a good match.
3. How much work do you do out of the office?
For some designers, most of the work happens right at their workplace or home office desk. Others do a lot of travel, work from the road, in hotel rooms or even poolside (jealous!). Where the work happens makes a big impact on which mouse is the best mouse for designers.
If you’re sitting at a desk full-time, a wired mouse will offer a hassle-free experience, but if you’re holding a tablet on your lap in an airplane more often than not, you’ll need a wireless mouse with great battery life. And the smaller your workspace, the more important the sensor placement becomes. Inaccuracy with limited room for manoeuvring is a very frustrating experience.
4. What tools do you currently use?
Think about the computer you already have and the software you work with on a regular basis. You need a mouse that is compatible with each of these. You can’t use an Apple product with a Chromebook, and not all tablets accept USB connections. You could have the best mouse for designers ever made, but if it won’t connect to your favorite tools, it would be useless.
5. What is your budget?
While it is true that you get what you pay for when it comes to design tools, you have to keep your budget in mind. You might not actually need the best mouse for designers if your work is more of a hobby. And you definitely don’t need a gold-plated or diamond-studded mouse (although if that is your jam, more power to you!).
Happy mouse shopping!
Whether you are a seasoned designer or just looking to start out on your freelance journey, it’s definitely time for a mouse upgrade.
You need more than a clearance bin mouse to make your design work shine. If you wait until your mouse starts glitching or stops clicking when you need it to, your business will suffer. It’s as simple as that.
That’s why it is so important to do your research before deciding which is the best mouse for designers. Think carefully about the functionality you want and read customer reviews to narrow down your choices, and then don’t hesitate to order a few different mice and test how they actually feel in your hand.
Looking at a screen just isn’t the same as holding the real thing.
Investing in the best mouse for designers will give you the freedom that comes with working more efficiently, feeling less frustration and having tools that work for you instead of against you.
Working with a mouse that doesn’t fit in your hand or doesn’t work seamlessly with your applications is just as bad as using the wrong software, to begin with.
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