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UX Design Books: What UXers Must Read in 2019?

Mockplus Team 40012 Views

A list of the top 23 must-read UX books. Handpicked by the Mockplus team, these books will hone your UX skills and help you build a successful career.

We’ve shared excellent UX books for designers in previous articles, but it’s time to update those resources as there have been new releases that every designer needs in his bookshelf. As we head on deep into the first quarter of 2019, the Mockplus team has put together a list of the top 23 must-read UX design books. These books cater to any skill level and will help you strengthen your UX skills in the coming year.

To provide you with more insights, we’ve included excerpts of real user reviews which should be useful in determining whether a book is your cup of tea or not.

Let's dive in.

For those entering UX design

1. Don’t Make Me Think

Don’t Make Me Think

Author: Steve Krug

This book is suitable for anyone engaged in web design and web development. It is not a purely technical book teaching people how to write code. Instead, it gives you clear guidance and provides vivid examples of how to make your site easy for users. Lots of illustrations, photos, clear navigations, and great examples make it really fun to read and easy to understand.

Review: If you design, write, program, own, or manage Web sites, you must read this book." -- Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards

Read it online

2. The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

The Design of Everyday Things

Author: Don Norman

One of the best UX design books out there. The content of this book is interesting, inspiring, and pretty useful. It changes the way you experience and interact with your physical surroundings by providing real-life examples. One thing is for sure: you will find yourself observing that design is everywhere - no matter how it is good or bad.

Review: "This book changed the field of design. As the pace of technological change accelerates, the principles in this book are increasingly important. The new examples and ideas about design and product development make it essential reading." - Patrick Whitney

Read it online

3. The Non-Designer’s Design Book (4th Edition)

The Non-Designer’s Design Book

Author: Robin Williams

This is one of the most popular UX design books for beginners. Through her straightforward and clear style, Robin has taught thousands of people how to make their designs look better and professional using four simple principles (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity). Even if you don’t have a design background, you can apply these principles to your work. Highly recommended, a great book for novice designers.

Read it online

4. Designing for Interaction

Designing for Interaction

Author: Dan Saffer

The book is primarily concerned with the introduction of interaction design. Dan provides readers with a deep understanding of interaction design in his book, which is of great practical value for telling the audience how to do well in interaction design.

This book will help you:

  • Learn to create a design strategy that makes your work stand out from the competition
  • Use design research to uncover people’s behaviors, motivations, and goals in order to design for them
  • Employ brainstorming best practices to create innovative new products and solutions
  • Understand the process and methods used to define product behavior

Read it online

5. A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making (2nd Edition)

A Project Guide to UX Design

Author: Russ Unger / Carolyn Chandler

This book is a vital reference for UX designers, covering various topics about UX design, including personas, user-centered design, user testing, wireframes, and prototyping. Whether you are an entrepreneur, project manager, or user experience designer, this book will probably become your go-to reference material.

Review: “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, User Experience Evangelist, Microsoft

Read it online

6. The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond (2nd Edition)

The Elements of User Experience

Author: Jesse James Garrett

This book provides an excellent overview of the user experience field. It gives clear instruction about the basic elements of UX design. If you want to learn more about user experience elements, this is a good choice.

Read it online

7. Undercover User Experience Design

Undercover User Experience Design

Author: Cennydd Bowles / James Box

An excellent UX design reference and hands-on guide for UX/UI designers, web designers, and product designers, this book provides practical and useful advice on solving the UX-related problems in real companies. Although it is not exactly the newest book in existence, there are still some excellent examples that UX beginners will find valuable.

Review: A wonderful, practical, yet subversive book. Cennydd and James teach you the subtle act of fighting for-and then designing for-users in a hostile world. --Joshua Porter, author of Designing for the Social Web

Read it online

8. Designed for Use: Create Usable Interfaces for Applications and the Web (2nd Edition)

Designed for Use

Author: Lukas Mathis

This book aims to teach designers to create easy-to-use applications and websites. In his book, Lukas provides us with a lot of valuable suggestions about usability design, and the most important thing that he pointed out is helping people get things done, easily and efficiently.

Read it online

9. The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Revised Edition

The Paradox of Choice

Author: Barry Schwartz

A great book explains why more is less. (Yes, take a moment to wrap your head around that.) This book teaches you to make choices in a different way, leading to change your design process for the better.

Read it online

10. UI is Communication: How to Design Intuitive, User Centered Interfaces by Focusing on Effective Communication

UI is Communication

Author: Everett McKay

UI is Communication is a well-written book providing an insightful view on UI design. The author posits that UI design is more than just theory and offers practical solutions for creating a better interface.

Read it online

For the middle-level:

11. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design (4th Edition)

About Face

Author: Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, Christopher Noessel

One of the most inspiring books for UX/UI designers, interaction designers, product/project managers, and digital designers. In this book, the authors explore valuable principles about thinking from the user’s perspective and tell us how to design user-centered products.

Read it online

12. Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams

Lean UX

Author: Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden

This book is suitable for anyone who wants to learn about lean UX. In this book, the author shows us how to collaborate closely with team members of an agile product team and gather feedback early and often.

Read it online

13. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People 

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People 

Author:  Susan Weinschenk

This book is highly recommended for those who want to gain insight into human behavior. It gives you information and scientific studies that will help you validate and reinforce your designs.

Download for free

14. Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning (2nd Edition)

Communicating Design

Author: Dan M. Brown

One of the best UX books every designer should keep on their bookshelf.. In this book, Dan shares various means of communicating to facilitate discussions and how to work with team members and clients, with the ultimate goal of improving performance.

Read it online

15. The Best Interface Is No Interface: The simple path to brilliant technology

The Best Interface is No Interface

Author: Golden Krishna

Review: "If Silicon Valley doesn't read this book, we're all ****ed."- Doug LeMoine, Managing Director, Cooper

Read it online

For UX pros:

16. This Is Service Design Doing: Applying Service Design Thinking in the Real World

This Is Service Design Doing

Author: Mark Stickdorn

17. How to Win Friends and Influence People 

How to Win Friends and Influence People 

Author: Dale Carnegie

Read it online

18. Universal Principles of Design 

Universal Principles of Design 

Author: William Lidwell

Read it online

19. The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems

The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems

Author:  Jef Raskin

Read it online

20. Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Author: Daniel Kahneman

Read it online

21. Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work

Practical Empathy

Author:  Indi Young

Read it online

22. Tools of Titans 

Tools of Titans

Author: Timothy Ferriss

Read it online

23. The War of Art 

The War of Art 

Author: Steven Pressfield

Read it online

Best UX blogs and communities for Uxers

UX Mastery Community

ux mastery community

A professional UX community and a good place to share your ideas with others. It’s open to anyone interested in UX. Pose any UX-related question or issue, and experienced designers will come to your aid.

UX Design Community

UX Design Community is a popular Slack community for UX designers to chat online and anyone who has joined this community is allowed to share their knowledge and ideas with other designers.

User Experience Stack Exchange

This platform is the largest, most trusted online community for UX designers and researchers to learn and share their knowledge. Anyone may ask or answer questions here.

Mockplus Blog

mockplus blog

A popular prototyping tool for UX designers, Mockplus also has a knowledge base via its blog. It aims to provide inspirational and practical articles for UX/UI designers. The blog has extensive archives covering UX/UI design, web design, and web development.

You can find all the UX design books in this list on Amazon. But if you prefer reading online, don't hesitate to save this article and read them anytime on your device.

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