Are you a budding UX designer? Or maybe you simply love to learn about UX. Wherever you find yourself in your UX journey, we’ve created a list of books just for you and your career goals.
From the basics of UX design to the more technical information, this reading list covers it all. The examples and success stories in these books will reignite your spark, and motivate you to take the next step in your UX career.
Making the effort to consistently improve your skills is always a good idea, no matter how much experience you have. The tech industry is evolving rapidly, and you need to continue to learn to keep up! If you’ve recently taken a course, reading more books will undoubtedly be helpful for you too; there’s only so much you can learn in a course with a time limit.
It can be challenging to decide which books to read because there are so many out there. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve read tons of books related to UX, and we know what’s worth reading. With that being said, here’s our list of books that will help you learn not only about UX design, but also about innovation, inspiration, challenges, and success.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
By Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz
No matter what size your business is, this book will provide you with the UX design principles to help you solve whatever problems come your way. The authors in this book refer to various examples of hospitals, coffee shops, and more to explain these principles clearly. They demonstrate how their methods can apply to various industries so that you can tailor them to your specific needs.
This book is your chance to acquire problem-solving skills to benefit all aspects of your life and business. The more tools you have to solve big problems, the better prepared you’ll be in your career (and honestly, even in life). And the truth is, you can never be too prepared to solve complex issues.
Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
By Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
Many people dismiss the term “Lean UX” by calling it unimportant. The authors in this book disagree, and by the end of this book, you probably will too. The authors discuss the benefits of an outcome-based approach in design. They introduce the book by saying, “we are still investing in analysis, arguing over specifications, and efficiently producing deliverables in a world that demands continuous experimentation in order to achieve continuous innovation.”
Overall, it’s a book that teaches you about an effective UX process. It also provides a good framework for designing products. This book is a great pick if you really want to shift your mindset around design.
Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques
By Darrell Sano and Kevin Mullet
Wouldn’t it be great if you could study examples of successful UX designs and flawed designs side by side? That’s exactly what you will get to do in this book. Here, you will learn all of the basic techniques and the fundamental rules of designing. You will also find solutions to common graphic user interface issues in commercial software.
The book has been divided into 6 major sections:
- Elegance and simplicity
- Scale, contrast, and proportion
- Organization and visual structure
- Module and program
- Image and representation
Along with the principles and basic rules of design, the examples in this book will teach you crucial skills and knowledge that you can implement in your everyday work.
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
By Nir Eyal
This is one of those rare UX design books that’s as interesting as its title. The title hints at some engaging details about psychological marketing that will be discussed in the book. Instead of generic suggestions, the author provides actionable advice on how to create products that will result in new customer habits. The author also discusses how companies or designers should focus on the customer experience first and foremost.
The author discusses that products should create a strong habit for the user. If you succeed in creating habit-forming customer experiences, then your company will benefit in many ways. This whole process of product creation has been described as the “hook model” in the book, which has four parts:
- Variable Reward
This is, therefore, the perfect book to understand how to market a product and create strong customer loyalty.
100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People
By Susan Weinschenk
The title of this book is pretty self-explanatory. This UX design book gives you a wide range of information about user psychology and behavior. With short chapters, the author of this book ensures that you get all of the relevant information you need, without the fluff. Moreover, she gives a comprehensive summary at the end of each chapter to help you memorize all of the key points.
Also, there are some interesting statements at the beginning of each chapter like “dopamine makes people addicted to seeking information.” These interesting snippets will entice your curiosity while you learn how they relate to design.
This author provides you with insight into how people think which will ultimately make you a better UX designer.
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
By Steven Pressfield
There’s an artist inside each of us. At least that’s what Steven Pressfield likes to believe. Interestingly enough, if you don’t agree with that statement before reading the book, your mind will likely change once you’ve finished it. The author seems quite honest and straightforward in his writing, and he successfully identifies with the reader - regardless of your level of UX experience.
With three distinct sections that talk about resistance, turning pro, and the higher realms respectively, the book will have a long-lasting impact on your mind. Unlike many other books related to design and art, a good portion of the narrative is devoted to God, angels, and consciousness. Therefore, it’s an interesting book with a unique approach.
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
By Tim Ferriss
Are you in need of some words of wisdom and encouragement as you strike out on your UX career? Grab this book and learn about the success stories of guests on The Tim Ferriss Show. You’ll get inspired by reading the stories of renowned figures like Jocko Willink, Shaun White, and more. By reading this book, you’ll see that many successful people share some common habits to deal with everyday issues in their lives.
These interviewees will also encourage you to get inspired through other books like Sapiens, The Checklist Manifesto, and Tao Te Ching. All in all, what’s more inspiring than learning from high achievers? It’s good to have UX design skills, but you need to stay motivated and inspired to make the most out of your career. That’s what this book is all about.
Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience
By Tom Greever
Do you wish that you could be better at communicating with stakeholders? If so, this book has the answers you’ve been waiting for. We all know that communication is a significant part of product and UX design; no matter how good of a product you have, lack of communication can result in your product going unrecognized.
This book discusses that along with investing your hard work, time, and creativity into building your product or service, you need to maintain good communication with your clients as well. Derailed communication is your worst enemy when it comes to meeting with stakeholders.
The book recommends that you get rid of all distractions and barriers between you and your clients’ needs. The author goes on to explain that you need to have a mind clear of distractions so that you can make a good impression to your stakeholders. Confidence paired with good communication will make your stakeholders believe in you and your designs.
Starting Your Career in UX Design
Life can be busy, and you might not be able to read all of these books. Nonetheless, it’s important to make time to stay educated and inspired. Choose to read the UX books that intrigue you the most! You will never be disappointed that you spent time improving your mind and your skills.
If you find it hard to make the time to read, set some goals for yourself. Challenge yourself to read one book a month, or one book every two weeks if you’re feeling extra motivated.quick! Put time aside in your schedule every day to get your reading in. Or commit to reading for an hour or two every weekend (find some time between yoga and Netflix)! Whatever works for you. Soon after you’ve made a habit of reading regularly, you’ll reap the rewards of your new knowledge.
If you’re convinced that UX design is for you, then we’ve pulled together some of the best career tips for breaking into tech. And when you’re ready, let’s chat about how we can help you reach your UX career goals.
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