On cow paths & desire lines

Car park in front of new building, with red arrow pointing direction to front door, across all the paths

Where is the front door? Where do people want to go?

Years ago, I was a web designer, and where people wanted to go was a key idea in web design. The same applies to garden design.

I took a trip to the health centre today, for a 10 tonnes of hardcore shoulder injury I sustained a couple of years ago. In the photo you can see the paths going behind the cars, whereas people want to go from their cars to the front door. The red arrow is the way everyone was walking!

It’s the same in gardening, get the paths right first of all. If you’re not sure before committing your plans to hard standing materials, try a wood chip path or mown grass path first of all, see how it feels.

Arrow showing worn mud path across a car park to pedestrian exit

Same again, where is the exit? Where do people want to go?

And I saw something similar half an hour later, walking through a car park to the exit. People wanted to go the shortest route, so they did, as you can see.