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Blog > UX design > The Best UI/UX Design Books & Resources for Designers (Updated)

The Best UI/UX Design Books & Resources for Designers (Updated)


Want to be an excellent designer? Looking for the best UI/UX books and resources? Nowhere to go or to gain the right and effective channel for becoming an outstanding UI/UX designer? Just follow me, I have compiled a list of high-profile UI/UX books, which are recommended by the major professional websites, and blogs.The topic is mainly covering UI design, UX design, and web design.

UX design Books for Beginners

1. The Design of Everyday Things - By Donald A. Norman

It shows a teapot on the cover of the book, the teapot spout and the handle at the same side, if you tea, you are likely to burn yourself. What Norman want to tell you, the life is hard, often the "bad design" should be blamed. To learn interaction well, you must understand what’s the design requirements from people at first. As Steve Jobs said, “Design is not just what is looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” The ultimate purpose of the designer is to make useful products, not just good-looking.

Customer review:

“I am learning UX Design and heard this book was a must have. After reading the first 4 chapters I see why it is a must have. Mr. Norman spent a life time figuring this stuff out and does a great job sharing it; thus improved the field of UX Design. Everyone who is going into UX Design has to have this book.”

The Design of Everyday Things

2. Don’t Make Me Think - By Steve Krug

"Characters of this book, the first one is short and pithy, 200-page length, not wordy at all. You may put it devoured on a noon, perhaps before going to sleep, even on the plane, or on your way to work. (It’s more likely to read through it on the love when you get the book) " Therein, which stresses the three laws of Web Usability, the first one is - do not let me think.

Customer review:

“If you've ever tried searching for something only to get results for something totally different, you know how frustrating it can be. This book helps business owners and marketers think like consumers. It helps you keep focus on the customer--a fundamental rule when you write. The easier you make it for a consumer, the more likely s/he will find you. The book suggests using consumer words rather than technically accurate words. It's all about keeping common sense in the forefront of your mind when you're creating or updating your website.
It's a refreshing reminder of staying focused on the reader.”

Don’t Make Me Think

3. The Non-Designer's Design Book - By Robin William

Interaction designers must learn the basic knowledge of typography, no aesthetic, you can not be a good designer. In this ubiquitous creativity era, you have to make yourself be a designer.

In the eyes of Robin Williams, the design is quite simple. The book covers the four graphic design principles of C.R.A.P(Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity), with concise, humor, and vivid language recounts the how much the changes and visible benefits brought by using these principles flexibly. In addition, it also introduces some basic knowledge about color and font, making the content more completely.

Customer review:

“This book is easy to follow. The lessons make sense, with great examples of what not to do, and what to do. The author is engaging, interesting, and has a sense of humor. She backs up all of her lessons with examples and logic. There is a lot of information packed into this book! Even some grammar! If you are not a designer, and want to learn, this is a wonderful "course" in a book format, broken into four principles of design. If you are a designer, this is a great refresher, and may even help you out of a design rut!”

 The Non-Designer's Design Book

UX Books for Advanced Designers

1. The Elements of User Experience - By Jesse James Garret

If all you need is a book to teach you “how to design”, there are many, many books discuss how to build a website, but this one is not you wanted. If all you need is a book to tell you about technology, you can not find a line of code here. If you want to find an answer in this book, on the contrary, this book teaches you “how to ask the right questions.”

This book will tell you what you need to know in advance before you read other books. This book is for you, if you need a great concept, and if you need to understand the environment that user experience designers make decisions.

Customer review:

“JJG's elements of User Experience is an awesome book for the beginning UX designer. I never went to school for UX but after reading Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think and JJG's Elements, I felt as though a lot of the design decisions I was already making were justified. JJG's visuals are well known within the industry and I have copies of them downloaded from his site and posted to the wall of my cube as reminders when I jump into any new project.”

The Elements of User Experience

2. A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making (2nd Edition) - By Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler

"If you are a young designer entering or contemplating entering the UX field this is a canonical book. If you are an organization that really needs to start grokking UX this book is also for you.”-- Chris Bernard.)

Customer review:

“If you have been a consistent UX practitioner for 3 or more years there will be little new material here. If you are a recent inductee to UX this book will give you a solid footing.”

 A Project Guide to UX Design

3. Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning (2nd Edition) - By Dan M. Brown

Successful web design team relies on good communication between developers and customers, but also inseparable from communication within the development team members. Dan Brown will teach you through this book, wireframes, site maps, flow charts and other design established a common language. Through it, the designers and project teams can capture ideas, track progress and always allow stakeholders to know the latest situation of the project.

Customer review:

“This book was a great resource in giving best practices of how to display complicated UX ideas and design. The cherry on top was that each design section also comes with suggestions on how to run a client through a meeting using the tools referenced.”

Communicating Design

4. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design- By Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, Christopher Noessel

As one of the must-read classic books, About Face series are worth the time to read, and each version is very valuable. As one of the instrumental books, AF brings interaction into the daily language of product design and development. Which is a comprehensive guide on interface design and interaction design of web and mobile devices. This book covers the best practices of project progress, goal-oriented design, persona development. For beginners who have no project experience, it may be very difficult, but still worth reading. We recommend cursory read at the first time and then study the rest part carefully when needed, because it involves too many details.

Customer review:

"The book is informative for product and interaction design. It provides good frameworks for user engagements and understanding the strategic position of experience designers in the development process. It goes into great detail about the user mental models and how that should inform the design of systems. Overall the content is spot on as a comprehensive look at the subject and is highly usable as a step by step guide for user engagement.”

"If Norman is an old man telling stories, Krug is a crash expert let you simply entry design, while Cooper is a scholar, researcher, designer."

About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design

Most recommended UI design books on Quora:

1. UI is Communication- by Everett N McKay

2. Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design-by Jenifer Tidwell

3. The Best Interface Is No Interface - by Golden Krishna

4. The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems - by Jef Raskin

5. Beautiful Visualization- by Julie Steele

6. Universal Principles of Design -by William Lidwell

7. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information -by Edward R. Tufte

8. Mobile Design Pattern Gallery: UI Patterns for Smartphone Apps 2nd Edition -by Theresa Neil

ui design books

UI/UX design books recommended by readers:

Mental Models (by Indi Young)

Practical Empathy (by Indi Young)

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum ( by Alan Cooper)

Rocket Surgery Made Easy ( by Steve Krug)

Designing for the Digital Age (by Kim Goodwin)

Start with Why (by Simon Sinek)

The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience (by Rex Hartson, Pardha Pyla)

Interaction Design: Beyond Human - Computer Interaction (by Preece, Sharp, and Rogers)

Measuring the user experience (by Tullis and Albert) (If you want to know more about the quantitative side)

Research Methods in Human-computer Interaction (by Jonathan Lazar and Jinjuan Heidi Feng)

Handbook of Usability Testing 2nd Edition (by Rubin and Chisnell) (If you want to dig deeper into how to conduct usability tests, but may also be a bit for interviews).

UX Websites & Blogs

1. Lukew

Lukew, a senior UX expert on digital product leader who has designed and built software used by more than one billion people worldwide also the founder of several companies.

2. Smashing Magazine

A comprehensive website provides high-quality articles with the UX employee on Design, Coding, Mobile, and Word Press etc.

3. UXbooth

A professional UX website. The difference between it and Smashing Magazine is that UXbooth focuses more on the aspect of user experience design.

4. Mockplus Blog

It’s a new blog with very simple and clean interface, no more distraction from advertisements or others. Articles are all surrounding the topics of design tools, UI/UX design, web design, and mobile app design. A good design topic resource to follow.


I hope these UX/UI design books and resources are helpful and useful to you. Any resource you think it’s worth to be included, please feel free to give a message below the comment area or simply drop me a line on LinkedIn.

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Grace Jia

In- house writer, loves UI/UX design and cooking food. She is a hard worker and full of energetic.

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