Also known as a desire line, social trail or goat track, a desire path is the path of least resistance -- created by people (or animals) going the same way over and over. They are created despite the officially constructed or established path that exists, because they are the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination.
We see this all the time online. The @reply on Twitter is a great example. It began as a desire path, established by the community, and it become so popular that Twitter officially sanctioned it. Twitter knew that users would keep using it anyway, and since they didn't have an easier or better option, why not embrace it? They put down concrete where a desire path once was.
So next time you're wondering why people aren't following The Way, look for the Desire
Path. It's being used because it works.