Organise your desktop with Ikea

Hungarian ad agency Laboratory Ideas have come up with a nifty desktop app that allows you to organise your computer as if it were a set of Ikea shelves

Hungarian ad agency Laboratory Ideas have come up with a nifty desktop app that allows you to organise your computer as if it were a set of Ikea shelves

We could make a very weak joke about flatpacks and allen keys here but suffice to say that Laboratory promise that their digital shelving unit is very straightforward to set up.

“Just like Ikea’s furniture, the Ikea e-Folder set has to be assembled by you: it consists of a background picture with an Expedit storage unit and an icon set made of Ikea’s very own organisers,” the agency say. “Once you set it up, you can put order to the chaos on your desktop.”

For those wondering exactly how it works, or who would like to have a go, here are the English setup instructions for the Mac version:

1. Select the volume, application, folder, or file whose icon you want to stamp onto another, just click the icon to select it.

2. From the File menu, choose Get Info or press Command-I to open the Info window.

3. Click the icon in the upper-left corner of the Info window to select it.

4. From the Edit menu, choose Copy or press Command-C.

5. Select the volume, application, folder, or file whose icon you want to replace.

6. From the File menu, choose Get Info or press Command-I.

7. Click the icon in the upper-left corner.

8.  From the Edit menu, choose Paste or press Command-V to replace the icon.

The e-Folder set can be downloaded from the Ikea sites in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Advertising agency: Laboratory Ideas / Laboratory Digital, Budapest
Creative director: Sándor Haszon, Alex Szénássy
Copywriter: Judit Kun
Art director: Diána Pusztai, Sándor Haszon
Illustrator: Péter Muka
Developer: Gergely Muka

  • sam

    thats very nice indeed…. But IKEA? come on.

  • D I Why

    The set up instructions seem about as clear as the assembling steps for IKEA furniture, i’ll pass!

  • Paul

    nice…but it’s not really a desktop app if you have to manually change all the icons is it?

  • Maria Black

    It seems really cool, but perhaps too much work really. Do I care what my desktop looks like? Not really. Thanks for sharing though.

  • Klaus

    very funny idea. but sam say it. IKEA?

  • Req

    What a bunch of sour comments so far! The instructions seem a bit muddled at first but essentially it’s no different to copy + pasting icons into your current folders as if you were to download any set of icons.

    And Maria… if anyone cares what their desktops look like it would be graphic designers and creative types non? It’s not as if it’s on the wrong blog now.

    And what’s so bad about this coming from IKEA may I ask?

    I think it’s a pretty cool idea. And comes from the right place and the idea keeps with the tone of the store’s ideals.

  • Req

    Only thing I can’t sort out is what the grid spacing is supposed to be in order for the icons to fit on the shelves.

  • Est

    I found the answer on this other site, it looks like some kind of self-help group formed there in the comment section:)

    For PC, someone wrote that “Also, if you can’t get your “boxes” to move exactly where you want them to on the “shelves” Right-click on your desktop > Arrange Icons By > Uncheck “Align to Grid”

    Maybe there’s something similar for Mac.

  • nija

    Yeah, I tried to use this background and icons, and I couldn’t get the icons to snap to the shelves. To be a really good app, the icons should snap to the shelves.

  • Siong

    There is a setting to not have the icons snap to grid automatically.

  • Adey

    Nice idea, woefully executed. This could actually be quite good if it was a desktop replacement with ‘boxes’ as desktop folders.

    Get a development team as this idea could have been something interesting.

    At best this is a concept.

    Check out Bumptop (before Google/Android bought them)

  • Michael B

    Great, love it!

    (…but don’t have time to do it myself)

  • Robyn

    You can also just drag-and-drop your icons from the IKEA folder they come in, to the icon shown in the top left of your “get info” screen to change them! Oh the beauty of Mac…

  • GraphicDesignBoss

    If it’s supposed to be assembled like an IKEA product then the following should happen to the app:

    1) The instructions for the app should not work in order

    2) The app drawing in the app store should look nothing like the final app

    3) A virtual alan key should be used to put it together and give your hand carpet tunnel syndrome after the 15 hours it takes to assemble the shelving

    4) The app should never look quite in real life as good as it did in the catalogue/app store

    5) It should break down in about 2 weeks and an update bug fix should come in the app store. But it is held up because of the ship coming from Sweden.

    Can you add more?

  • Luke

    While I’m not going to advertise Ikea to myself on my desktop, I do like the concept of some kind of filing background… it feels closer to the iphone backgrounds that so nicely contain and structure app icons.

  • Shane

    I don’t think the trash can icon for mac works in it’s automatic “full and empty” cofigurations simply with the cut and paste icon, does it?

  • Lucy ann Clark

    I’m a designer and I love this idea. I don’t mind that you have to manually apply the icons. I think any thing so custom should have each individuals touch (literally). It’s hard to believe but it seems by the comments that there are plenty of people who want everything done for them. What about the zen of assembly, mindfulness and beauty.

    It also makes sense that IKEA would render shelves and bins. Cute! Now who on etsy is going to offer their own custom units. I can design and illistrate one to match your office decor for $130.00 per inch. Isn’t that about the right price for custom cabinetry per foot rate?

    Email me with what you would rather have for a desktop organizer. Maybe a refrigerator, mountain cabin scene or a fish tank?

  • RobynMc

    It’s a great idea and a bit of fun – I like it.

  • Pickle Design

    Downloaded but totally confused! Love the idea and love the style, but have a feeling it will be trashed very shortly…

  • Gareth Coxon

    Great idea but can’t see many using it day after day as it seems to labour intensive, looks good though.

  • Jeni – Web Design Essex

    Just downloaded the files and done my desktop…

    Takes a bit of work but does look cool!

  • thesmu

    I thought it was really easy to set up! Took about 5 minutes – I love it!

  • Lucy Bateman Photography

    That’s brilliant and very funny.

  • Mark Warner

    It’s quite a cool idea, agree it would be better if it was more of an automatic app style thing, cos you have to change every icon of everything you place on your desktop to fit in.
    Also… the names of the folders sort of ruin the look, even if you reduce the font size, I almost want a ‘rollover’ effect so when you put the curser over a box it reveals the name of the folder/shortcut etc.

  • Sarah

    I can’t change my icons? :S

  • Ed

    This would be awesome as a widget on the Mac, rather than as desktop backgrounds and folder icons.

  • Est

    Sarah, these instructions are only for mac. But you can translate the word file that is in the package you downloaded, and find the right instructions for your own operating system.

  • This Paper Ship

    Love it! So easy! Plus,who cares about it taking time—would anyone say the same thing about painting your house or picking out nice curtains?

  • matt_salsa

    u cound do that with CandyBar

  • marlee

    dot some reason i cannot get it to line up right :(

  • Rant

    Heyy, as Est already wrote earlier, this can be helped:

    “Also, if you can’t get your “boxes” to move exactly where you want them to on the “shelves” Right-click on your desktop > Arrange Icons By > Uncheck “Align to Grid”

  • David Nash Photography

    Funny, if only I didn’t hate IKEA with a passion, I may just use it!

  • Kent Wedding Photography

    Brilliant and very funny indeed!

  • GADget personalizzati

    There are programmers who have created the same application on the same principle for Ipad … the application is on sale, and now they are rich!

  • Tony Sale

    Not a big fan of IKEA but loved this