Sometime earlier, we’d mentioned some of our favourite UX Reads in a tweet:
And we thought, why not expand upon it? There are so many books available on UX, but we’ve picked a few more of our favourites on user experience and design. Some are classics, some are new, but we’ve kept the list quite broad to encompass a wide range of subjects that should be of interest to UX novices and veterans alike.
The Elements of User Experience: User-Centred Design for the Web by Jesse James Garrett: Elements of User Experience has been widely accepted as reference reading material for UX-ers all over the world. It explains practices and processes of creating a cohesive user experience (combining various disciplines such as usability, interaction design, information architecture) and is a good guide for newcomers and experts.
Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy by Dev Patnaik: As a user researcher, I have a special affinity for Dev Patnaik’s book on empathy. Using a wide range of examples from various fields, Wired to Care makes learning about empathy very engaging. The book also talks about how listening to your customers and understanding their needs will help you develop a successful product. A must-read for anyone involved in building products and services.
Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf : Lean UX encapsulates Hureo’s way of thinking – validate your ideas or product with real users, collaboration, design thinking, getting feedback continuously during your development cycle. Jeff Gothelf explains how Lean UX can be a part of a product development process through methods and guidelines and real life examples.
Don’t Make Me Think and Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug: A list of books on usability will not be complete without adding Steve Krug. Two of his books mentioned here are considered classic texts for anyone interested in usability. Don’t Make Me Think is a fun, short read on usability principles. Rocket Surgery Made Easy is also a short read that functions as a guide to conduct usability tests. Both books are practical, very handy and great to refer to over and over again.
Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work by Indi Young: Too often, empathy is considered a soft aspect of product development. This book gives a deep dive into the value of listening to not just your users, but also your colleagues, friends, and family. Indi Young’s second book addresses the value of empathy and gives practical ways in which to apply it to every facet of your life. Her first book on understanding users to map solutions to challenges is also a great read.
100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People( Voices That Matter) by Susan Weinschenk: Though the book seems designer- led, it is also necessary for a UX researcher to know the behaviour of the people. This book explores the psychology of design. You’ll learn about how people think, how do they decide, what motivates them to click or purchase or whatever it is you want them to do? What grabs their attention, what errors they will make and why, as well as other things that will help you as a researcher know them better.
Emotional Design: Why we love (or Hate) Everyday Things by Don Norman: This book mainly covers how emotions have a crucial role in the human ability to understand the world, influence decision making and how they learn new things. The book focuses on the design of an object and how it is perceived on various levels, and how any product should evoke an emotion when the user is interacting with the product. Emotional Design focuses on how a product should be designed but is also a great read to understand User Experience.
Just Enough Research by Erika Hall:This is a great easy to read book that underlines the importance of research. The author outlines what makes research effective and provides different methods on how to conduct user research. A short book with just 154 pages, it is a great starting point for learning how to incorporate UX research into your process.
Jahnavi has a Masters degree from the University of Washington where she also worked as an independent researcher on ecommerce products like Amazon as well as smaller non-profits. Previously, she has had a long stint in advertising and digital media. Currently, she also teaches at the Symbiosis Centre for Liberal Arts and experiments with creating pottery.