15 Must-Read UX Books for Anyone Interested in UX Design
Below is a curated list of must-read UX design books for designers who just started their design career or are interested in the field of usability, interaction design, information architecture, and human-computer interaction. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, you can be sure to find one to be inspired by!
1. Seductive Interaction Design by Stephen P. Anderson
If you are just starting with user interaction design, this is the book for you! It's relatively small but is filled with lots of useful tips, basic concepts, and fundamental principles, including how little tweaks in design can lead to better results. The author also links universal psychological principles to UX design examples. For example, the psychology behind what’s known as gamification, which means how to make a good, functioning website or app that keeps “seducing” users to come back.
2. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan M. Weinschenk
This book is a very useful tool for beginners. It helps you quickly grasp the basic principles of UI/UX design. The author also talked about some information on the latest experiments and gives insights into customers' psychology, let you understand how people see, read, remember, think, and how to focus their attention. Simple and straight to the point!
3. Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden
This book teaches valuable Lean UX principles, tactics, and techniques and helps designers experiment with design ideas and validate them with real users. It's a must-read for UX designers, however, it's best suited for people who are already familiar with or have some experience with Lean methodologies.
This book helps you focus on the actual product experience rather than deliverables. If you want to broaden your understanding of how UX design and agile practices could go hand in hand, you should give it a try.
4. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
This is the most well-known and classic design book, the ultimate guide to human-centered design. Anyone who wants to pursue a career in design, product, or technology should read this.
It questions everything from doors to tea kettles to the most sophisticated computer programs. The author tended to change the way you experience and interact with your physical surroundings. You'll see everything in a new way and be curious about how things should be designed. Then your design career might be upgraded!
5. Emotional Design by Don Norman
Expanding on “The Design Of Everyday Things“ (the last book I mentioned), Don Norman explores the reasons behind why we love or hate everyday objects. With scientific backing, Norman draws on a wealth of examples to present a bold exploration of the objects in our everyday world. Whether designer or consumer, user or inventor, this book is the definitive guide to making Norman's insights work for you.
6. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
This book is recommended for UX designers and for developers also. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject, helps you understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design, with an entertaining writing style.
As it says on the homepage: A common-sense approach to web and mobile usability. Krug provides several examples, demonstrating how making usability tweaks can enhance the effectiveness of your website. Likewise, Krug provides examples of real-world web design scenarios and offers exercises for you to follow in order to examine a website’s usability.
7. Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug
Steve Krug’s Rocket Surgery Made Easy spells out an approach to usability testing that anyone can easily apply to their own website, application, or product. You'll learn to test any design, from a sketch on a napkin to a fully functioning website, and fix the problems you find.
8. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper
Fully revised and updated for the mobile age, this book by Alan Cooper provides designers an effective and practical guide that can help you in designing great websites and mobile applications. It teaches the principles of good product design and helps designers understand Cooper’s Goal-Directed Design method.
9. Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell
This is a multi-disciplinary reference book about design. Well illustrated and easy to navigate, providing a great resource for any kind of designer, especially of the UI/UX ones. It consists of 100 fundamental design concepts common to all matters of design, such as the 80/20 rule, Hick’s law, Ockham’s razor, mapping, etc. It will surely broaden your design knowledge, promote brainstorming, and help you check the quality of your work.
10. A Practical Guide to Information Architecture by Donna Spencer
This book talks about a valuable resource for someone without much Information Architecture experience. It guides through some easy steps to better IA and leaves designers feeling empowered. A must-read for UX beginners!
11. The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst, a renowned typographer, and poet, draws clarity to the art of typography with this powerful style guide. It combines practical, theoretical, and historical methods for UX designers, graphic artists, or anyone working with print or digital media.
12. The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett
With clear explanations and vivid illustrations that focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques, Garret cuts through the complexity of user-centered design for the web.
This book **has come to define the core principles of the practice and gave readers the big picture of web user experience development, including strategy, scope, structure, skeleton, the surface to Information Architecture, and visual design.
13. Interviewing Users by Steve Portigal
“Interviewing Users” by Steve Portigal provides invaluable interviewing techniques and tools to UX designers that allow them to conduct informative interviews with anyone. With the small stories and examples in this book, you'll learn to ask precise and smart questions and move from simply gathering data to uncovering powerful insights about people.
14. Thinking, Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman
This phenomenal international bestseller by Daniel Kahneman explains the two systems that drive the way people think. It reveals how our minds are tripped up by errors and prejudice, and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. Help you make better decisions at home, at work, and in everything you do.
15. The Best Interface Is No Interface by Golden Krishna
The screen has taken over our lives. Average smartphone users check their phones 150 times a day, responding to the addictive buzz of Facebook or emails or Twitter.
Based on the above statements, Krishna reveals three principles for fewer screens and more meaningful innovation. You’ll be enlightened and entertained while discovering that the best interface is no interface, and makes you think about where the future of UI/UX can go.
Take notes and keep track of your ideas with Eagle
Ready to learn and be inspired by these books? Before you go, take a look at the amazing organizing Eagle!
Eagle can help you annotate your design files and organize the notes from the above books, making your learning and designing process tidy and efficient. Highly recommended for all the designers! Check it out >>en.eagle.cool/