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  • When we're designing new products,

  • services or businesses,

  • the only time you'll know if they're any good,

  • if the designs are good,

  • is to see how they're used in the real world, in context.

  • I'm reminded of that every time I walk past Highbury Fields

  • in north London.

  • It's absolutely beautiful.

  • There's a big open green space.

  • There's Georgian buildings around the side.

  • But then there's this mud trap that cuts across the middle.

  • People clearly don't want to walk all the way around the edge.

  • Instead, they want to take the shortcut,

  • and that shortcut is self-reinforcing.

  • Now, this shortcut is called a desire path,

  • and it's often the path of least resistance.

  • I find them fascinating,

  • because they're often the point where design and user experience diverge.

  • Now at this point, I should apologize,

  • because you guys are going to start seeing these everywhere.

  • But today, I'm going to pick three I find interesting

  • and share what actually it reminds me

  • about launching new products and services.

  • The first is in the capital city of Brazil -- Brasilia.

  • And it reminds me that sometimes,

  • you have to just focus on designing for a real need

  • at low friction.

  • Now, Brasilia is fascinating.

  • It was designed by Niemeyer in the '50s.

  • It was the golden age of flying,

  • so he laid it out like a plane, as you can see there.

  • Slightly worryingly,

  • he put most of the important government buildings in the cockpit.

  • But if you zoom in, in the very center of Brasilia,

  • just where the point is there,

  • you see it's littered with desire paths.

  • They're absolutely everywhere.

  • Now, they thought that they had future-proofed this design.

  • They thought in the future we wouldn't need to walk anywhere --

  • we'd be able to drive --

  • so there was little need for walkways or pavements.

  • But as you can see, there's a real need.

  • These are very dangerous desire paths.

  • If we just pick one, in the middle,

  • you can see it crosses 15 lanes of traffic.

  • It won't surprise you guys

  • that Brasilia has five times the pedestrian accident rate

  • of your average US city.

  • People are resourceful.

  • They'll always find the low-friction route

  • to save money, save time.

  • Not all these desire paths are dangerous,

  • I was reminded flying here when I was in Heathrow.

  • Many of us get frustrated when we're confronted

  • with the obligatory walk through duty-free.

  • It was amazing to me

  • how many people refused to take the long, meandering path to the left,

  • and just cut through to the right,

  • cut through the desire path.

  • The question that's interesting is:

  • What do designers think when they see our behavior here?

  • Do they think we're stupid?

  • Do they think we're lazy?

  • Or do they accept that this is the only truth?

  • This is their product.

  • We're effectively co-designing their product.

  • So our job is to design for real needs at low friction,

  • because if you don't, the customer will, anyway.

  • The second desire path I wanted to share

  • is at the University of California.

  • And it reminds me

  • that sometimes the best way to come up with a great design

  • is just to launch it.

  • Now, university campuses are fantastic for spotting desire paths.

  • I think it's because students are always late and they're pretty smart.

  • So they're dashing to lectures.

  • They'll always find the shortcut.

  • And the designers here knew that.

  • So they built the buildings

  • and then they waited a few months for the paths to form.

  • They then paved them.

  • (Laughter)

  • Incredibly smart approach.

  • In fact, often, just launching the straw man of a service

  • can teach you what people really want.

  • For example, Ayr Muir in Boston knew he wanted to open a restaurant.

  • But where should it be?

  • What should the menu be?

  • He launched a service,

  • in this case a food truck,

  • and he changed the location each day.

  • He'd write a different menu on the side in a whiteboard marker

  • to figure out what people wanted.

  • He now has a chain of restaurants.

  • So it can be incredibly efficient

  • to launch something to spot the desire paths.

  • The third and final desire path I wanted to share with you

  • is the UNIH.

  • It reminds me that the world's in flux,

  • and we have to respond to those changes.

  • So as you'll guess, this is a hospital.

  • I've marked for you on the left the Oncology Department.

  • The patients would usually stay in the hotels down on the bottom right.

  • This was a patient-centered organization,

  • so they laid on cars for their patients.

  • But what they realized when they started offering chemotherapy

  • is the patients rarely wanted to get in cars.

  • They were too nauseous, so they'd walk back to their hotels.

  • This desire path that you see diagonally, formed.

  • The patients even called it "The Chemo Trail."

  • Now, when the hospital saw this originally,

  • they tried to lay turf back over it, ignore it.

  • But after a while, they realized it was an important need

  • they were meeting for their patients,

  • so they paved it.

  • And I think our job is often to pave these emerging desire paths.

  • If we look back at the one in North London again,

  • that desire path hasn't always been there.

  • The reason it sprung up

  • is people were traveling to the mighty Arsenal Football Club stadium

  • on game days,

  • from the Underground station you see on the bottom right.

  • So you see the desire path.

  • If we just wind the clock back a few years,

  • when the stadium was being constructed,

  • there is no desire path.

  • So our job is to watch for these desire paths emerging,

  • and, where appropriate, pave them,

  • as someone did here.

  • Someone installed a barrier,

  • people started walking across and round the bottom as you see,

  • and they paved it.

  • (Laughter)

  • But I think this is a wonderful reminder as well,

  • that, actually, the world is in flux.

  • It's constantly changing,

  • because if you look at the top of this image,

  • there's another desire path forming.

  • So these three desire paths remind me

  • we need to design for real human needs.

  • I think empathy for what your customers want

  • is probably the biggest leading indicator of business success.

  • Design for real needs

  • and design them in low friction,

  • because if you don't offer them in low friction,

  • someone else will, often the customer.

  • Secondly, often the best way to learn what people really want

  • is to launch your service.

  • The answer is rarely inside the building.

  • Get out there and see what people really want.

  • And finally, in part because of technology,

  • the world is incredibly flux at the moment.

  • It's changing constantly.

  • These desire paths are going to spring up faster than ever.

  • Our job is to pick the appropriate ones

  • and pave over them.

  • Thank you very much.

  • (Applause)

When we're designing new products,

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B1 UK TED desire path friction shortcut design

【TED】Tom Hulme: What can we learn from shortcuts? (What can we learn from shortcuts? | Tom Hulme)

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    劉京樺 posted on 2017/11/30
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