14 UX design books: the essential reading list

Staying up to date is a key to success whether you’re a designer or an entrepreneur. To keep up with the ever-changing world, you have to follow trends, you should search for inspiration and you should create and innovate. If you’re a genius UX designer, you need to develop your business skills, etc. There is always a room for growth and self improvement.

Although there are a lot of long-form articles about User Experience and they are increasingly becoming available online, for free, books still have a place in our hearts and in our minds. The challenge of reading in the browser is that we’re constantly distracted by notifications, emails, etc. whereas books allow us to focus on a much more immersive type of reading experience.
We believe that Books make a difference, they make you see the situation from different angles and live the situation of other people, seeing yourself there. UX books are full of tips, trends, visual examples, recommendations and warnings. Books might be a good investment for your personal and professional growth. But what kind of books ? As time is money and as we are overloaded with content in the internet and books options in Amazon, I created a list of Top 14 fabulous UX design books, which our designers recommend to read!

1. The Design Studio Method by Brian Sullivan

This book is a great way to get your design team thinking towards a common goal and solution. The process of creating a multi disciplinary design team made up of product stakeholders who all contribute to designs is awesome and Brian Sullivan does an amazing job articulating the process. It is about balancing creative products that are innovative, technically feasible, and financially sound. This book is about a creative problem solving process that allows you to quickly generate ideas, evaluate them, and reach consensus. Here Brian shows you how to be innovative and efficient without sacrificing quality and collaboration. This book simplifies the complicated method, explaining each step, each participant’s involvement, and how to adapt the method to your needs.From illumination, to generation, to presentation, all the way to iteration, this book provides the roadmap you’ll need to start generating innovate products.

2. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

This book teaches people how to observe the world of design from a completely new perspective. It has been over 20 years since this book was published, but the core design ideas mentioned in the book are never out of date. This book is about usable design, about how-and why-some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.

3. Agile Experience Design: A digital Designers Guide to Agile, Lean, and Continuous By Lindsay Ratcliffe & Marc McNeil

This book gives you key information about agile design: people, process and tools. This book is very useful for managers and designers. It clearly articulates benefits of agile in design, but also points out the challenges and how to overcome them. This book doesn’t explore experience design techniques in depth; it’s much more focused on the integration of these tools into the process and the context of the agile team.
This is a great book about agile that shows how designers, product managers, and development teams can integrate experience design into lean and agile product development. It equips you with tools, techniques and a framework for designing great experiences using agile methods so you can deliver timely products that are technically feasible, profitable for the business, and desirable from an end-customer perspective.

4. The Joy of UX: User Experience and Interactive Design for Developers by David Platt

Without outstanding user experience, your software will fail. David Platt has written a comprehensive developer’s guide to achieving world-class user experience. He explained what developers need to know about UX, in a complete but compact, easy-to-absorb, and implementable form. Platt s technology-agnostic approach illuminates all the principles, techniques, and best practices you need to build great user experiences for the web, mobile devices, and desktop environments. He covers the entire process, from user personas and stories through wireframes, layouts, and execution.

5. Data-Driven Design: Improving User Experience with A/B Testing by Rochelle King

Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Facebook have used data-driven design techniques to improve the user experience of their consumer products. With this book, you’ll learn how to improve your design decisions through data-driven A/B testing, and how you can apply this process to everything from small design tweaks to large-scale UX concepts.

6. How to by Michael Bierut

This is an amazing book about how to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry and how to change the world.
Michael offering insights and inspiration for artists, designers, students, and anyone interested in how words, images, and ideas can be put together. He provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world.

7. User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product by Jeff Patton, Peter Economy

This books is about how to build a product that delights users. With this practical book, you’ll explore the often-misunderstood practice of user story mapping, and learn how it can help keep your team stay focused on users and their experience throughout the development process.

How do you build a product that delights users? You must first know who your users are and how they plan to use what you’re building. With this practical book, you’ll explore the often-misunderstood practice of user story mapping, and learn how it can help keep your team stay focused on users and their experience throughout the development process.This book will help you understand what kinds of conversations you should be having, when to have them, and what to keep track of when you do. After reading this book, you will understand how user stories really work, and how to make good use of them in agile and lean projects.

8. The Practitioner’s Guide to User Experience Design by Luke Miller

This book breaks down the essence of what it takes to meet a customer’s needs and shows you how to apply these principles while working in tech. From finding your inspiration to creating prototypes, this book combines information from case studies, research, and personal experience to give you the tools and tactics you need to survive in the fast-changing world of UX design.

9. Prototyping for Physical and Digital Products by Kathryn McElroy

Prototyping and user testing is the best way to create successful products, but many designers skip this important step and use gut instinct instead. By explaining the goals behind prototyping , this books make designers more comfortable with creating and testing prototypes early and often in the process.

10. Point and Line to Plane (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) By Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky believes that the geometric elements such as point, line, and plane have the basic aesthetic meanings, which is called as the “Inner Sound”. He analyzes each element both externally and intrinsically. He is an expert in non-objective art, he develops the idea of point as the “proto-element” of painting, the role of point in nature, music, and other art, and the combination of point and line that results in a unique visual language. He then turns to an absorbing discussion of line — the influence of force on line, lyric and dramatic qualities, and the translation of various phenomena into forms of linear expression. With profound artistic insight, Kandinsky points out the organic relationship of the elements of painting. This books has the power to spark new thoughts, theories, ideas, and opinions.

11. Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team By Alina Wheeler

This book is a bestselling toolkit for creating, building, and maintaining a strong brand. It is about research and analysis of brand strategy, design development, identity standards, etc. This book offers brand managers,marketers, and designers five phase process for creating and implementing effective brand identity. This book also has case studies show casing successful brands. It takes a detailed look at the latest trends in branding, including social networks, mobile devices, global markets,apps, video, and virtual brands.

12. Sunday Sketching by Christoph Niemann

Illustrator Christoph Niemann, whose work you can find in publications like New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, WIRED, etc spend his Sundays engaged in a drawing exercise. He sits down with a sheet of paper and a random object, then find ways to incorporate the item into a drawing. In this way, bottles of ink became cameras, highlighters became light sabers,etc. In this book you will find interesting, inspiring and creative drawings.

13. Envisioning Information – Edward R. Tufte

This book celebrates escapes from the flatlands of both paper and computer screen, showing superb displays of high-dimensional complex data. This books shows maps, charts, scientific presentations, diagrams, computer interfaces, statistical graphics and tables, stereo photographs, guidebooks, courtroom exhibits, timetables, use of color, a pop-up, and many other wonderful displays of information. The book provides practical advice about how to explain complex material by visual means, with extraordinary examples to illustrate the fundamental principles of information displays.

14. Smashing UX Design – Jesmond Allen and James Chudley

This book provides an overview of UX and User Centred Design. It shows in detail sixteen of the most common UX design and research tools and techniques for web projects. Also, there is a collection of case studies from real projects which explain the reasoning behind the use of specific techniques in specific circumstances.

Guest article written by: Ekaterina Novoseltseva is a CMO at Apiumhub – software development hub, which is specialized in web & mobile app design and development.

2 thoughts on “14 UX design books: the essential reading list”

  1. hi,

    thanks for this informative information for us , it is great information for us , nice stuff ,

    thanks for this ,


    mansi desai

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