Design inspiration: What’s on your desktop?


A desktop can say a lot about its owner. Is it a chaotic mess or spare and tidy? Is the wallpaper vivid or nonexistent? Strictly functional or ever-inspiring?

That’s why, this week, we asked you to share screenshots of your desktops. Check out what your fellow creatives see every time they boot up.

“My wallpaper depends on my mood, so it changes a lot. Right now, I’ve set it back to a Windows 7 wallpaper featuring Katharina Leuzinger’s work.” Kimmy Lee, Brand / Visual Identity Designer
“It’s fairly sparse because I’m on Linux (Ubuntu Gnome 15.04, actually). I did get Photoshop running on it — a feat! This gives me the dev freedom I need and still lets me work on the graphical side of things.” Mitch Canter, Web Developer and Digital Strategist at UpTrending
Simon C. Page, Graphic Designer
“I treat my desktop as a temporary file space and regularly purge everything there to keep a ‘clean house’. All the files I care about are on cloud storage via Dropbox, Confluence, or InVision.” Stephanie Tucker, Creative Director at StudioNow
“I’m a minimalist so my desktop is squeaky clean. And the different sections of my life are categorized.”
Ryan Regan, Copywriter and Social Strategist at Team Epiphany working on Nike Basketball
“I use Behance’s Wallpaper app that switches backgrounds every week. This is the one I have this week. I have two folders, one that is a temp which I save temp files to, and the other Beatport music which I download temp music to from Beatport.”
Yaron Schoen, Design Lead at Compass
“My focus is UX, so naturally my desktop is obsessively organized. At any given time I usually have about 5 million windows and tabs open, so that makes things a bit less organized.”
Marci Ikeler, Founder of Little Arrows
“I sweep my clutter under the rug of the ever popular Cleanup folder. Truth be told, it’s more like cleanup inception, one cleanup folder leading to another. It haunts my dreams. My background comes courtesy of Unsplash.” Josh Austin, Interaction Designer at YouTube
Joey Roth, Industrial Designer
Adam Betts, UX/UI Designer
“I am kind of a hoarder when it comes to my desktop, as you can tell. Background is Retna — similar to a piece of his that I own.”
Amber Lee, Partner and Director of Operations at Visual Country
Dan Matutina, Designer & Illustrator
Maria Fidalgo, Architect
“I keep a very clean desktop, I don’t like having any folders visible. I have a photo I took from a recent trip to Tokyo as a background that I’m very fond of.”
Kyle Meyer, former Product Designer at Facebook
“I keep my background black so it remains neutral against anything that I’m working on. I move my work files to the cloud after a block of design work so it doesn’t clutter my desktop, and it keeps both of my machines up to date.” Nicholas Scimeca, Creative Director at We Cant Stop Thinking
“It’s very clean, only 4 folders: Work, Interim (which I use as my daily dump or the spot in between my desktop and it’s final home), Photos, and lastly my #100daysproject folder.” Veronica Domeier, Freelance Designer
“There is nothing to my desktop organization — but at least I have a cool desktop picture at the moment (usually it’s just black).”
Duane King, Creative Director at Huge/KingCoyle
“I keep my desktop totally clean! My current background was created by illustrator Andrew Fairclough (got it from Poolga).”
JC Cammaert, Art Director
“I actually keep tons of throwaway files (screenshots, gifs, ‘scrap paper’, etc.) in a disorganized pile in my desktop directory, but I hide all of it from the actual desktop with a little OSX hackery.”
Mat Marquis, Open Web Engineer at Bocoup
“I like to keep my desktop fairly clean. I use folders in my dock to quickly gain access to the things I use most. My background is a photograph I took of the Golden Gate Bridge last year.” Robert Padbury, Freelance Designer
“I have two monitors, the one on the left is a bit of a disaster with last documents and some shortcuts. The image from the background is mine from Instagram. Most of the time, I have a photo of my 3 daughters and some times I use the African Wildlife theme from Windows.”
Cristian Eslava, Freelance Web Developer/Designer and Trainer
“Honestly, I don’t really use my desktop at all. I store everything in a Work folder inside Google Drive.” Cameron Olivier, Freelance UX Designer and Frontend Developer
P.J. Onori, Director of Design Technology at Waybury
“I am a Dropbox lover and have 2 Gig there. So all of my working files are in Dropbox, in alpha by client. I have 2 monitors and usually 20 active window open while I work.” Maureen Birdsall, Web Designer
“Usually I have like 1,000 files on my desktop, but recently I moved everything into Drive and went sparse on my desktop! I use kuvva.com for my backgrounds, which switches them out everyday.”
Marc Hemeon, Co-Founder of North Technologies
“I intentionally leave my desktop clean and grey. I also consciously try to keep everything in the cloud, so that my 3 primary machines stay up to date.” Erik Natzke, Principal Artist at Adobe CTL
“I’ve turned my desktop off for years. I never miss it, or feel like I’m missing out by not having it. I rarely get to see my desktop, but when I do, it truly feels uncluttered.”
Zach Inglis, Co-Founder of Superhero Studios and HybridConf
Andreas Pihlström, Principal Designer at Pinterest
“Very clean with only the most important icons. I keep everything organized through extensive subfolders.”
Jason Phillips, VP of Sales & Marketing at Phillips Collection and Founder, Jason Phillips Design
“No icons and a black background. No mess, no distractions.” Siggi Eggertsson, Designer
“For my desktop background I am using Jeff Sheldon’s (Ugmonk) Iceland images on rotate.”
Jonathan Moore, Founder and Product Designer at Style Hatch
“A big chunk of my work is done with cloud-based tools like Confluence (which is great for presenting design and getting feedback), InVision and the like, so no desktop files.” D. Keith Robinson, Product Designer, Developer Tools at Atlassian
“I use bartender to keep the menubar icons under control (InVision is hidden). Screenshots are saved directly to a folder which shows up in my dock. That keeps the desktop clean and gives me quick access to them in any app.”
Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain, President and Designer at 31Three
Chris Haughton, Author and Illustrator
“I keep the desktop clean, with all of my work related files in a Work, or Work 2.0 folder. This folder gets backed up to an external hard drive for added protection against a computer crash.” Mike Smith, WordPress Developer
“There’s nothing exciting about my desktop, because it’s just a workbench. So, I set the background to grey and clear everything off the surface. All I’m left with are the files I need for the current job. Additionally, I use Alfred to launch apps quickly with keyboard commands.” Eric Karjaluoto, Creative Director
“I tend to dislike artificial backgrounds, so I always go for pictures of amazing places. Living in the north west of England, I tend to get demoralised by the amount of rain and bad weather that we get here, so I need to fantasise about beautiful places I’d rather be in.” Fabio Basile, Creative Director and Brotherhood.io Co-founder
Simon Manchipp, Executive Strategic Creative Director and Founder of SomeOne
“My desktop in its current iteration is very neat and files are organized in project folders, with one folder for private stuff. But when I am in the middle of making a deck, all files are all over the the desktop — that’s the messy, exploratory phase.” Ana Andjelic, SVP, Global Strategy Director at Havas LuxHub
“As I am currently traveling around the world for 15 months, I don’t have a desk. I take sketchnotes of our journey (which, if any, is currently my job), and I get drawing at any table. Currently I am in Fiji.” Eva-Lotta Lamm, Designer, Traveller and Sketchnoter

Originally published at blog.invisionapp.com on May 15, 2015.