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10 Essential Books Every Designer Must Read

  • Nikila Kothari
  • August 29, 2016
  • 4 minutes read
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Monthly Design Roundup: August 2016

There are a myriad design books out there, it can be tough for designers to figure out which one suits them best. So, we have done the hardwork for you. We have compiled 10 design books which will contribute the most to you. If you are trying to get inspiration, ideas, resources and advice on designing here is your go to list.

These books we believe will help you understand how to solve problems for people out there in the real world. We love them, and believe that every designer should read them. So, dive in and find your next favourite source for inspiration.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinchenk

Designing without understanding what makes people act the way they do is like exploring a new city without a map: results will be haphazard, confusing, and inefficient. This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs.

The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman

The book aims to educate people more on the inborn qualities of user-friendly design and how the process of construction from scratch actually takes place. It is considered to be one of those books that influence world thinking patterns.

The importance of the knowledge provided in this book varies with time as it contains concepts that have been used by mankind since ancient times. The book explains at length about disciplines including behavioral psychology, ergonomics and design practice.

Microinteractions: Designing with Details by Dan Saffer

It’s the little things that turn a good digital product into a great one. In this book, you’ll learn how to design effective microinteractions: the small details that exist inside and around features. How can users change a setting? How do they turn on mute, or know they have a new email message?

Through vivid, real-world examples from today’s devices and applications, author Dan Saffer walks you through a microinteraction’s essential parts, then shows you how to use them in a mobile app, a web widget, and an appliance.

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

In this 3rd edition, Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don’t Make Me Think a classic with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated and best of all–fun to read.

About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper

This completely updated volume presents the effective and practical tools you need to design great desktop applications, Web 2.0 sites, and mobile devices. You will learn the principles of product behavior and will also gain an understanding of Cooper’s Goal–Directed Design method, which involves everything from conducting user research to defining your product using personas and scenarios. Ultimately, you ll acquire the knowledge to design
the best possible digital products and services.

Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics by Tom Tullis and Bill Albert

As more UX and web professionals need to justify their design decisions with solid, reliable data, Measuring the User Experience provides the quantitative analysis training that these professionals need. The second edition presents new metrics such as emotional engagement, personas, keystroke analysis, and net promoter score.

It also examines how new technologies coming from neuro-marketing and online market research can refine user experience measurement, helping usability and user experience practitioners make business cases to stakeholders.

A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making by Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler

User experience design is the discipline of creating a useful and usable Web site or application that’s easily navigated and meets the needs of the site owner and its users. There’s a lot more to successful UX design than
knowing the latest Web technologies or design trends: It takes diplomacy, management skills, and business savvy. That’s where the updated edition of this important book comes in.

Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love by Jon Kolko

A new way to create and then disrupt. Industry disruption is no longer isolated to a unique product or service. Today’s consumer needs engagement in order to be swayed to interact, connect and buy your next offering. Achieve this and you’ll achieve success.

Sharp and refreshing, design insider and expert Jon Kolko offers a new view and usable process for conceiving and building powerful, emotionally resonant new products in this new book.

The Elements of User experience: User Centered Design for the Web and Beyond by Jesse James Garrett

In this updated, expanded, new edition, Jesse James Garrett has refined his thinking about the Web, going beyond the desktop to include information that also applies to the sudden proliferation of mobile devices and applications. Even the best content and the most sophisticated technology won’t help you balance those goals without a cohesive, consistent user experience to support it.

Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences by Jesmond Allen and James Chudley

Smashing Magazine is the world s most popular resource for web designers and developers and with this book the authors provide the ideal resource for mastering User Experience Design (UX). The authors provide an overview of UX and User Centred Design and examine in detail sixteen of the most common UX design and research tools and techniques for your web projects.

What are your favourite design books? Let us know in the comments.

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