As a UX book club organizer, I look for specific criteria in any book I recommend for the group to read. And as an individual who reads a lot of industry-related material, I may look for different criteria in a book I pick up and read myself.
Combining my criteria from these two scenarios, what are the top books I would recommend to any aspiring UX Designer? See my top 5 recommended books below!
Book #1: The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman
Not only is this a classic, and on every UX book list out there, it is the heart and core of how UX Design came to be and the understanding of what it is as a profession. Heard of “Norman doors”? You’ll get it after reading this book and be saying the same thing walking around.
Book #2: The UX Team of One by Leah Buley
Worked in a start-up yet? Wanting to? Usually as a UX Designer it is most beneficial to work as a team. Don’t have the “traditional team”? This book outlines and lays it on the line how to create a UX team of non-UX Designers. Getting everyone on the same page and working towards the same goals is a key point in this book.
Book #3: Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning by Dan M. Brown
So I’m a bit old fashioned, and a bit of a stickler, when it comes to UX deliverables. In this book, Dan lays it out in clear language and pictures, the top deliverables every UX Designer should know how to do. Yes, I know, in Lean and Agile we care less about documentation, however, it is still good to know how to do it, and adopt the deliverables for your needs. You can’t break the rules until you know them and have followed them. Learn this material.
Book #4: A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making by Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler
I must admit when this book first came out I was a little hesitant to check it out as a senior person in the field. However, this book’s title does not do it justice. There is a lot more to it then it would appear. There is the step-by-step how a project should run (which rarely happens in real life), but with details describing why a step and the people involved are needed, makes this book a great find.
Book #5: UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want by Jaime Levy
One of the key things in UX Design is making sure you are designing the right product. This relies on everyone being on the same page and solid user and market research. This book lays these concepts out clearly and everyone from startup founders to aspiring UX Designers should read this book.
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