Design

5 Fantastic Books for Those Starting Out in UX

Be inspired by these books, recommended by Ethan Parry, that are ideal for those who want to create digital experiences

For UK designer and investigator Ethan Parry (@ethanparry), inspiration is everywhere, and books are the best way to keep your mind active and ready to learn from the experiences of those who have faced the same problems as you, before you. This list of books is perfect for those starting out in UX design, with several also covering other fields of creativity: it compiles a great range of different ideas to reflect on.

'Don't Make Me Think, Revisited’, by Steve Krug

The premise of this book, as its title indicates, is to make us see good design as that which enables the user to obtain the expected results while encountering as few obstacles as possible. A user experience that doesn’t make the user think is an ideal user experience, according to Steve Krug. Krug cites Amazon as a usability reference model throughout the book.

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Krug, S., (2014), 'Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability', New Riders

'The Design of Everyday Things’, by Don Norman

While this book–originally published in 1988 under the title, “The Psychology of Everyday Things”–isn’t explicitly dedicated to UX, it explores the design of everyday objects and how we relate to them, in order to show examples of good and bad design. It shows how the former creates satisfactory experiences for those who use them, and the latter simply frustrates the user.

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Norman, D., (2013), 'The Design of Everyday Things', Basic Books

‘Lean UX,’ by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden

The main idea developed in this book, which is a favorite among many UX designers, is that a good user experience should be designed by a diverse mix of professionals. It is not enough to just have a multidisciplinary team, to optimize functionality, it’s essential that all work together in cycles focused on perfecting the product.

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Gothelf, J. (2016), 'Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams', O'Reilly Media

'Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products’, by Nir Eyal

Directed at designers, start-ups, product managers, marketing directors, and anyone who understands how the development of a product influences user behavior, “Hooked” is the practical guide that its own author, Nir Eyal, wishes they had had when they were starting out.

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Eyal, N., (2014), 'Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products', Portfolio

'Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All', by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

This book is authored by brothers David Kelley, the founder of IDEO and creator of Stanford d.school, and Tom Kelley, partner at IDEO and author of the bestseller, “The Art of Innovation”. Dedicated to helping us to develop our creative confidence, this book covers how to unleash our full potential and dispel fears that too often block fantastic ideas.

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Kelley, T. (2013), 'Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All', Currency

What’s your favorite book about UX?

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