Summary of What Can We Learn from Shortcuts?

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What Can We Learn from Shortcuts? summary
Customers frequently communicate their needs via their interactions with products and services.


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7 Style


Preempting, identifying and deciphering user needs can be arduous. Happily, customers frequently communicate their needs via their interactions with products and services. Designer Tom Hulme cleverly explains how to recognize and interpret these messages, which aren’t overly cryptic, and once you learn how to spot them, you will notice them everywhere. Though Hulme procures most of his examples from the field of town planning, getAbstract believes designers of all ilks can derive important lessons from his pithy thesis.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How “desire paths” form,
  • How they communicate your customers’ needs, and
  • How to identify and leverage desire paths in a changing world.


Designers often are unable to gauge the efficacy of their ideas until they can observe users interacting with their concepts in the real world. Highbury Fields, a parkland in North London, offers a fitting example. This pretty green area is lined on all sides by historic Georgian buildings. But a muddy...
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About the Speaker

Designer Tom Hulme is a partner at GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet. He also works as a design adviser.

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    Jonatan Martinez Perez 10 months ago
    As the procedures and needs are changing very quickly we need dynamic tools with a high flexibility level to don't loose the already done job because of the continuous changes.

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