You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

October, 2009

More Desire Paths

Designers can learn from the 'desire lines' users create in systems.
I've written a few times about my fascination with desire lines: "the unpaved paths that people wear down over time." Anyway, Peter Merholz, who wrote the first post that exposed me to the idea, just wrote a new post on the topic:
Designers come from a tradition of figuring out the whole system, and putting it out there. But the success of Twitter has emerged from an approach that's nearly 180 degrees from that. Twitter began simply as a way to post 140-character messages, and allowed remarkable freedom in following. Almost no structure was placed on the system. It's through the paths that users have worn in the system (e.g., @ replies, retweets, hashtags, followfridays) that Twitter has grown to realize the value of the service, and they've made initial steps to "pave" those most popular paths (most notably replies, though Doug mentioned that they are considering how to more formally support retweeting as well).
October 27, 2009
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.