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Best Books of 2016 Recommended by Mockplus for UX Designers

Mockplus Team 19931 Views

Here comes a list of the 8 best and most influential books compiled by Mockplus on UX design to help both new-comers and experienced designers strengthen their skills. If you can carefully read and digest these must-read books, I believe you will get advanced in user experience design without any doubt. To identity and select a good book, just look how many revised editions that book has. From personal benchmark, the more revised editions a book has, the better its content is. Now, let’s scroll down and get inspired together!


#1. Don’t Make Me Think

Authored by Steve Krug



This book is an introductory book for UI design beginners. In addition, it is the most recommended book on the usability. The core idea of book is "Do not let me think!"


Author Steve Krug summed up the intuitive navigation and design principles around usability laws and cited many negative examples. This book is very interesting and easy-to-understand with numerous illustrations, even if the most boring design principles.


#2. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction

Authored by Interaction-Design.org



This book is the centerpiece of Interaction Design Foundation, a non-profit educational organization that endows open content and open access educational materials. It features 40+ textbooks composed by 100+ design experts and authorities as well as HD video interviews shot across the globe.


This masterpiece is in its second edition and has been included with the design of interactive services and products. From this book, you’ll be given a brief intro to Interaction Design firstly and then walked through Social Computing, Industrial Design, Contextual Design to Personas. This is my favorite one and worth reading for designers of any level.


#3. The Design of Everyday Things

Authored by Don Norman



This is a must-read book which is regarded as a classic for experienced designers and a primer for beginners even if they don’t have any design education background. This book will open the door to a new world of design and teach people how to observe it in a completely new perspective. After reading this book, people will find out that design is present everywhere, no matter good or bad. A classic book can stand the test of time. It has over 20 years since this book was published, but the core design idea mentioned in the book is never out of date.


#4. The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Authored by Alan Cooper



As an old book published 12 years ago, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum remains to be a masterpiece and is a perfect fit for product designers and UX designers with programming background.


Alan Cooper, the book author,is titled as the father of VB and Interaction Design, with awards of Microsoft Windows Pioneer and Software Visionary. He established the Cooper Interactive Design company, dedicating to creating user-centric application software. He has a programming background but is more than a engineer.


Combined with hands-on experience and smooth writing, this book includes sharp perspective to point directly to the pain, making you feel hooked and keep this book accompanied always. Of course, some people may think it unbaised.


#5. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

Authored by Tim Brown



The author is Tim Brown - the CEO of IDEO which is one of the world's greatest design consulting firm. This book introduces us about “Design Thinking”, the original design is not only about aesthetic style, but also a process of thinking, a way of working. Design Thing is a kind of practical philosophy which is user-centric and gives consideration to technical feasibility and commercial viability.


Design is thinking, observation, insight and empathy. It is not only relying on the designers’ individual creativity, but also the creation of innovative products or the people from different disciplines (product managers, engineers and designers). There is no standard answer for what is design thinking, but the most valuable things are the creative process and what it produces.


#6. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Authored by Nir Eyal



How to get users became addicted to your product is a question that every product manager needs to ask himself. This book proposes to create a "add-on" model to increase user loyalty in four steps (including Triggers, Actions, Variable Returns, and Investments) by creating links through "internal triggering" to lead users develop the habit of reusing the product. If you are engaged in consumer products, be sure to read this book.


#7. Letting go of the words: writing web content that works

Authored by Janice (Ginny) Redish



This is a book on web content and layout design and layout. It offers excellent strategies and solutions on what can be the best content form and how to present the information in the best way.


#8. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

Authored by Jake Knapp



SPRINT is Google's original product design process, taking only 5 days to test a product idea and user feedback. It’s the most practical and efficient work method, using prototyping and user testing to solve the crucial problems. If an adventurous product idea could succeed in the design sprint, then the rewards will be greater in real practice. Even in the design of the sprint stage, the defeat is also pretty valuable—because only 5 days to test out the key shortages of the product is rather efficient enough.


If you have other classic books worth recommending please come to the Mockplus Community and share with us.


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