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Top 5 UX Books

Updated: Sep 29, 2018

As a Book Club host, especially for UX, I am frequently asked what are my top books that I recommend. Well, today you'll get that answer. :)

1. Meeting Design by Kevin Hoffman - This book is not just a UX book, it is great for any single person in an organization of more than 1 person who ever has had to have a meeting. The book chapters are broken up well so that you can go to a particular one to focus on a specific topic. There are templates. My favorite chapter is Chapter 6 where the book talks about using meetings to change organizational culture. A must read for anyone.

2. Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach - This book is geared towards middle to senior UX Designers, but anyone can read it. It shows how diagramming processes can enable someone to share information across silos of an organization.

3. Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever - This book is great for new UX'ers just starting out, plus anyone who has to share their designs. Tom goes into great detail about how to present designs to stakeholders and get buy-in throughout the process.

4. Communicating Design by Dan M. Brown - This book came out in 2006. It is an oldie but goodie. This was my bible for a solid year. Dan does into great detail about each primary deliverable a UX Designer needs to produce. He lays out the information well and is very clear on the why of how and why you would do something. Strongly recommend to junior UX people.

5. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman - Originally publish in 1988, this is still a classic. It is what is called an evergreen book in that it is not subject to trends. this book still holds true today as it did back in the 90's. Recommended for anyone, not just UX Designers.


6. The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley - Highly recommended for any designer in a startup, anyone who is a team of one. There is also really good career advice in this book for anyone junior or mid-level in their career.

7. Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights by Steve Portigal - One of the great books on doing user research, specifically in-depth interviews.

8. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk - Learn to design by understanding how people think. This book is broken up with one idea per page. Easy to get through, but a lot to absorb.

9. Build Better Products: A Modern Approach to Building Successful User-Centered Products by Laura Klein - Developing a great product that people actually want to buy and use isn't as easy as it seems. Build Better Products is a hands-on, step-by-step guide that helps teams incorporate strategy, empathy, design, and analytics into their development process.

10. Pencil Me In: The Business Drawing Book for People Who Can't Draw by Christina R Wodtke - There’s no faster, cheaper prototype in the world than a sketch on a sheet of paper. Play around with ideas. Document your process. Think on paper. Visual thinking brings a whole new power to work. Think you can’t draw? Don’t worry! The simplest sketches are the most effective at communication and problem solving.


Looking for something else to read? I highly recommend browsing through the Monster List of UX Books by Chris Oliver.

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