Mykea is a webshop which redesigns IKEA furniture by adding cool graphics covers. The founders of the company loved the well-designed IKEA furniture, but didn’t like the idea that it would look the same in every single living room. That is why they came up with the idea of customizing the furniture, to make it more beautiful, unique and personal. (1)
Mykea selected the most sold and well-known IKEA furniture pieces. They measured these furniture pieces, so that the stickers perfectly fit these pieces. The stickers are easy to apply and can be removed without leaving marks. At their website, after selecting your IKEA piece of furniture, you can choose one of the designs that are available in the Mykea shop. There are many designs to choose from, from easygoing to more high-end designs, and the collection is still growing. There is also a possibility to create your own cover. You can upload your favorite image or photo with the custom upload tool.
Perhaps most exciting is that customers can become a Mykea artist themselves. After creating an account on their website, people can send their design portfolio to Mykea. After Mykea checked your portfolio, they will send you the design toolkit. The toolkit is available in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Next, you can create a cover and upload your design in your Mykea account. Mykea will check the design before making the design available in the Mykea shop to make sure your design is not a copy of somebody else’s work, doesn’t have an unpleasant attitude and is good enough to be placed in the shop. By then your design is ready to be sold worldwide and may become part of several households around the world. In your personal artist account you can see how many times and where your design has been sold. And last but not least, every time Mykea sells your design, you earn money!
In my opinion it’s good that Mykea differentiate between people who just want to upload a nice picture or photo to customize their furniture and the more experts with unique design ideas and who have the skills to create these ideas. Mykea assigns them a different toolkit, giving them a different solution space.
Mykea also integrated feedback in the design process. Mykea checks the created designs to make sure they are good enough to be sold, otherwise they give advice how to improve it. Furthermore, for Mykea artists there is the possibility to give and receive feedback on each other’s designs. This peer-based feedback can improve the design process of the artist. (2)
Unfortunately, the covers are rather expensive relative to IKEA prices. Covers for the well-known BILLY bookcase are €65 while the bookcase itself costs just €19.95 (in white) or €32,95 (in the other colors). So the covers are twice as expensive as the bookcase itself. Beside, people also have to pay shipping costs, in the Netherlands an amount of €5.95.
Eline Groenveld (400617)
(2) Franke, Nikolaus, Peter Keinz, and Martin Schreier (2008), “ Complementing Mass Customization Toolkits with User Communities: How Peer Input Improves Customer Self-Design,“ Journal of Product Innnovation Management, 25(6), 546-559