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5 Design Books Every UX Designer Should Read

UX Planet — Medium | Guy Ligertwood

Question 7: An amazing curated list of design books

20 Designers, 20 Weeks, 1 Question Per Week

Learn From twenty experienced designers as we go deep into one question every week.

This week we talk design books

Previous articles in the series (so far)

Intro Article: Get to know the designers
Question 1: How did you get into design?
Question 2: How your typical work day?
Question 3:What things you wish you knew when you started in design?
Question 4: What are the best ways for you to stay inspired?
Question 5: What do you want to see in my UX design portfolio?
Question 6: 5 important questions you need to be able to answer in the UX interview
Question 7: (you’re here) 5 design books every UX designer should read

“I’m a believer in doing over reading. You learn the most from actually designing and building products instead of reading about the practice.” (Mizko)

“Psychology and social sciences are the foundation of user experience.” (Kaiting Huang)

Simon Pan — Senior Product Designer at Medium, San Francisco, USA

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

simonpan.com or on twitter

Andrew Doherty — CEO, Another.ai, Berlin, Germany

Formerly Product Design Manager at Google, Mountain View

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

I have never read a design book. Ever. Wait, was I supposed to? Maybe I was away sick that day when they suggested this in design school. Oh wait, I didn’t go to design school either.

Shit! I’m an imposter!!!

Where can people follow you?

My website or on Medium

Nirissa Govender — Product Designer at Standard Bank, Johannesburg, South Africa

Nationality:

South African 🇿🇦

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

My Linkedin

Adham Dannaway — Senior UI/UX designer, Contract/Freelance, Sydney, Australia

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

adhamdannaway.com

Ben Huggins — Sr Interaction Designer, YouTube, San Francisco, USA

Nationality:

American 🇺🇸

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

hugg.in or I’m @bhuggins on Twitter and Instagram

Chirryl-Lee Ryan (aka Cheech) — Head of Experience Design at Isobar, Hong Kong

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

My Linkedin

Charbel Zeaiter — Chief Experience Officer, Academy Xi, Melbourne & Sydney

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

In no particular order

For those entering UX

For pros

Where can people follow you?

My Linkedin

Audrey Liu — Director of Product Design at Thumbtack, San Francisco, USA

Nationality:

American 🇺🇸

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

My Twitter

Nick Babich — Development Team Manager, Ring Central, Russia

Nationality:

Russian 🇷🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

UX Planet, Twitter Facebook

Paola Mariselli — Product Designer, Facebook, Menlo Park, California, USA

Nationality: Peruvian 🇵🇪

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

Twitter or Medium

Michael Wong (Mizko) — Founder & Creative Director at Mizko Media, Sydney, Australia

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

I’m a believer in doing over reading. You learn the most from actually designing and building products instead of reading about the practice.

However a couple of design related books I’d highly recommend would be:

Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products — Nir Eyal
One of my favourite books as it’s a blend of design thinking and psychology. Since I come from a marketing background, I’m always fascinated by how design can influence user behaviour. If you’re interested in getting started in the UX field, this book will give you a good head start.

There are many books which most designers recommend including, The Design of Everyday Things, Lean UX, Don’t Make Me Think etc. But as a designer turned founder, I believe designers need to be open to learning more than just the fundamentals of design.

A couple of other books which I believe would benefit designers who want to be more than just a visual designer, but a product designer include:

The Lean Startup by — Eric Ries
Learn the methodology and framework of how many modern day startups approach product development.

Zero to One — Peter Thiel
Every creation goes from zero to one. Peter Thiel shares his thoughts on innovation. An excellent read for designers driven by innovation.

Made to Stick — Chip & Dan Heath
A great read and an eye-opener on why some products are more sticky than others. Something all designers should keep in mind.

The list goes on. If you’re interested in more titles, I’ve crowdsourced an extensive library through TheDesignership.com community.

Where can people follow you?

Twitter and my Dribbble

Alessandro Floridi — UX Manager at Deloitte, Sydney, Australia

Nationality:

Italian 🇮🇹

5 design books every UX designer should read

With these five books you’ll be able to get things right.

Where can people follow you?

My Linkedin

Leslie Chicoine — Experience Design and Product Management Consultant, Denver, USA

Nationality:

American 🇺🇸

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

My Instagram and Twitter

Buzz Usborne — Product Designer at Help Scout, Sydney, Australia

Nationality:

British 🇬🇧 and recently Australian 🇦🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

My work at buzzusborne.com, my Twitter, my writing on Medium and my resume on Linkedin

Kylie Timpani — Senior Designer at Humaan, Perth, Australia

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

5 design books every UX designer should read

Where can people follow you?

My Twitter and also on my Dribbble for haphazardly timed insights into my work.

Graeme Fulton — Writer, coder, designer at Marvel Gibraltar, UK

Nationality:

British 🇬🇧

5 design books every UX designer should read

In no particular order:

Where can people follow you?

My Twitter

Kaiting Huang — Interaction Designer at Google, in Seattle, USA

Nationality:

Taiwanese 🇹🇼

5 design books every UX designer should read

About user experience:

  • The Design of Everyday Things — by Don Norman
    This book has been out for almost 30 years. It’s fascinating to see that most of the design principles proposed in this book still hold true disregarding what devices we use. This book is a powerful reminder that technology changes but humans don’t. Understanding human minds and behaviours is the crucial step toward designing a great product.

About web usability:

  • Don’t make me think — by Steve Krug
    This book, like it’s straightforward title, is a friendly introduction to why some interfaces “make sense” and some don’t — — the so-called usability. It strikes me that with hindsight UX is just common sense, but applying the right UX in the right context in advance is not.

About people:

  • 100 things every designer needs to know about people — by Susan Weinschenk
    Psychology and social sciences are the foundation of user experience. This book is a distilled version of dozens of books and hundreds of research articles about people’s behaviours. It was written in such a succinct and easily consumable format that serves well as a reference book when I’m creatively stuck.

About modern design process:

  • Lean UX — Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden
    You might have heard of Scrum, the “agile framework” (versus the traditional waterfall method). It has become a preferred process for fast-moving tech companies to develop complex products. This book is a canonical primer explaining how design can be integrated into short, iterative cycles early on in the process to make an impact across teams and the company.

About design philosophy:

  • The Laws of Simplicity — by John Maeda
    I became a designer partly because I’m a lazy person. I’m always looking for the path of least resistance to accomplish a task. I also have a minimal taste of design. That’s why I resonated with this book a lot, in which the former professor at the MIT Media Lab reflects on his journey and principles to achieve simplicity in the digital world.

Where can people follow you?

My Medium

“I became a designer partly because I’m a lazy person. I’m always looking for the path of least resistance to accomplish a task.” (Kaiting Huang)

If you enjoyed this…

Read the other articles in this series

Intro Article: Get to know the designers
Question 1: How did you get into design?
Question 2: How your typical work day?
Question 3:What things you wish you knew when you started in design?
Question 4: What are the best ways for you to stay inspired?
Question 5: What do you want to see in my UX design portfolio?
Question 6: 5 important questions you need to be able to answer in the UX interview?
Question 7: (you’re here) 5 design books every UX designer should read

Thanks for the read, before you go

Clap 👏 👏 👏 if you enjoyed this article, so others can find it
Comment 💬 if you have a question you’d like to ask the designers
Follow me Guy Ligertwood to read all the articles in the series

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5 Design Books Every UX Designer Should Read was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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