The web designers' gift guide 2011

Christmas is less than four weeks away! If you haven't thought about what to give to your geek friends or put on your own wish list for Santa, it's high time you do. To help you we have quizzed some of the industry's finest designers and asked them to recommend their top gifts.

And they haven't disappointed us. In fact, they've come up with more than 50 inspiring ideas, ranging from some geeky gadgets to an owl lamp (guess who suggested that one!). Whatever the idea, you will notice our contributors' love for great design.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Paul Boag – Headscape

Paul Boag is the co-founder of web design agency Headscape and host of the boagworld podcast. He has been building websites since 1994 and frequently speaks at a lot of web design conferences.

Below Paul recommends his top geeky hardware and software. He successfully avoided the blindingly obvious such as the MacBook Air or iPhone 4S:

Wireless Modem Huawei E585

Buy now

"One of the things I love about my job is that I can work from anywhere. At least anywhere with a WIFI connection. However, all too often public WIFI sucks or is just not available. In such cases having a wireless modem is a life saver. With this little beauty you can work from literally anywhere whether it be the beach or your gran's house."

Drobo (4 Bay FW800 and USB 2.0 Storage Array)

Buy now

"Although off-site backup is crucially important, it's not easy to put everything in the cloud. If, like me, you have ripped your DVD collection, a Drobo is a must have gadget.

This magic little box keeps your data safe by sharing it across multiple drives as well as being almost infinitely expandable. When you run out of space or a drive fails, just simply pop it out and shove another one in. You don't even need to stop watching your film while you do it."

Dragon Dictate 2.5 (Mac)

Buy now

"Many of us who work on the web spend far too much time writing. Blog posts, proposals, emails, the list goes on. With so much time spent in front of the keyboard, our chance of getting RSI is high. Dragon dictate for the Mac eliminates that and increases your typing speed at the same time. If you love Siri's dictation feature you will love Dragon Dictate. This technology has come a long way over the last couple of years."

Fred Boyle – nGen Works

Fred Boyle is digtal chef at Florida agency nGen Works. He's always enjoyed figuring out technology and has gotten good at discovering how things work. Fred brings a pretty well-stocked tool box to the nGen garage, with experience in programming, servers, networks and strategy.

Here Fred lists his two gadgets he put at the top of his wish list:


From $399
Buy now

"The new Lytro light field camera changes the way you think about taking pictures. You don’t need to focus on getting the perfect picture, instead it lets you create the perfect picture later by grabbing a snapshot in time and space. It’s a time machine and a holographic magic box!"

Logitech Ultimate Ears 600vi noise-isolating headset

Buy now

"An Ultimate Ears headset to listen to awesome tunes while creating awesomeness. The 600vi sound great and are very comfortable for a full day of kicking ass.

Since this version is also a headset you can use them with your iPhone (or other compatible device) and answer that call from the big client. Or use them with your iPad to watch a movie on your flight to your next big speaking gig. All around these are great and won't break the bank."

Andy Budd – Clearleft

Andy is a founding partner and managing director of Clearleft. He also goes by the title of user experience director depending on what mood he’s in. Andy is the author of CSS Mastery, curates the dConstruct and UX London events and is the man responsible for Silverback.

Andy has moved away from the development world over the last few years and is currently focused on the way people interact with technology. Below he proves that he is a man of many wishes:

Cast iron ampersand

Buy now

Andy says: "Already miss the Ampersand conference? Don't worry as you can relive your memories with this giant, fu