I manage IT for a medium-sized VA hospital.

My users seem unable to use the Win 7 program groups effectively. Despite the fact that they need dozens of applications to do their jobs, there is a historical expectation that IT should put icon shortcuts to most applications directly on the user desktop. These shortcuts are usually not removable by users.

Seems to me that we should let users control their own desktops. I'd prefer that we install shortcuts in the All Programs folder and let users create their own desktop (or toolbar) icons if desired. But I'm getting resistance from the support team (who anticipate that they will get calls for missing icons) and dev team (who want their app front and center in the UI).

Am I crazy? Does anybody know of any practice guidelines for managing the user desktop environment?

  • What are the typical personas of your users? What is their expectation of whether they should control their desktop or not?
    – Midas
    Mar 22, 2016 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


Have you thought about a compromise like a "Launch Pad" where all the icons can reside? This could even be a web page with all the icons that the users see when they open their browser.

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