Soooo, I have a confession to make. I have never finished reading a single UX book 😱. I know, I know, I’m going to get excommunicated for UX heresy, but I mean honestly, who has the time?! The word “finished” is actually a little too generous. I’ve probably never made it past the first 15 pages of any UX book. Granted, some of them are used mainly as sources of reference, so they’re not mean to be riveting page-turners. However, I rarely have time to read any book let alone an informative one. Over the past couple years, I have over-zealously purchased far too many books with every intention to improve myself as a UX designer. It’s probably time to stop wasting money and start reading. Here is the list of books that I own, that I have yet to read.
The first book on my list is, Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers (Amazon). This book is a collection of brainstorming games that encourages innovative and creative thinking “while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace” (Amazon Product Description). Some topics tackled are: “Overcome conflict and increase engagement with team-oriented games, improve understanding by role-playing customer and user experiences, and simulate and explore complex systems, interactions, and dynamics. Wow! That sounds pretty cool! Too bad I never read it.
I think I bought this next book because of it’s title, Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions (Amazon). I mean, who doesn’t want to develop innovative ideas and design effective solutions? I design analytics dashboards, and working with displaying live data can create some hairy problems. I purchased this book in hopes that it would help me find better design solutions quicker.
This book was recommended to me by my boss. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Amazon) by Alan Cooper has been an amazing resource for designers and product managers for many years. Alan Cooper has been a leading thinker in interaction design for a long time, and this book has shaped the way digital products are created. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, but never got around to it.
Think First: My No-Nonsense Approach to Creating Successful Products, Memorable User Experiences + Very Happy Customers (Amazon) by Joe Natoli is a foundational book that maps out the key to creating successful products. Rather than going into the tactical points of the design process, Natoli explains his methods of building products that sells.
Another book in the same vein is Designing Products People Love: How Great Designers Create Successful Products (Amazon) by Scott Hurff. This book divulges the way extremely successful products like Facebook and LinkedIn approach the product design process. We get to learn how they run meetings to get the most out of their time, how they prototype to get better user feedback and how they’ve successfully created habit forming products.
Other books I own
Like I said, I own a bazillion UX books thanks to Amazon’s dangerously easy purchasing process. Have ya’ll read any of these? Should I place them higher on my reading list?
- Build Better Products by Laura Klein
- User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton
- The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
- Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal
- Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever
As you can see, I have my work cut out for me. Just collecting the list for this blog post has tired me out. Over the next few months, I will report back with my reading progress as well as my opinions on what I have read. Join me on my venture! Maybe I’ll call it “The Reluctant Book Club?” Will I succeed in reading all these books? Maybe not, but I’ll try anyway. Leave a comment below, and tell me which one I should start first.