Book Recommendation for UX Designers
A few days ago a reader of my book “Web Fatale” wrote me, enthusiastically telling me that he read the whole book – from cover to cover. That alone is pretty impressive, not even my mom did that.
But he soaked it up – every single bit of it, and he wanted more. So he asked me if I had any further reading recommendations, especially for people who aspire to create usable and seductive websites. Digital products that you couldn’t resist. I never thought about it before, but I had – lots actually! And I want to share them.
So, in the tradition of High Fidelity, here’s my Top 5 books every UX Designer should have read:
When I started my job as a designer at Wooga, our CEO Jens made everyone in the company read this book. It’s a quick one, filled with a lot of very simple truths. Steve Krug manages to break down the essence of digital usability into something that is easy to relate, entertaining and memorable. I still consult the book, which has been reissued and updated a few times, every now and then. The best part: This is not only for designers but for everyone. Get a copy for your project manager, your developers, and your clients, too – they will thank you!
- Great for: Designers, colleagues and clients
- Where to get: “Don’t make me think” on Amazon
Stephen P Anderson’s book is one of the greatest inspirations for me. Filled with loads and loads of examples, it’s like an encyclopedia of digital experience and UX best practices. I read the book from 2009 on the beach of a Spanish island – it’s so hard to deal with all the inspiration when there is no computer near to execute on it. The downside of this book: Most of the examples feel a bit old and dated now in 2017 – nostalgic even. Anyway, that doesn’t make them less valuable.
- Great for: Inspiration
- Where to get: Seductive Interaction Design on Amazon
Don Norman is a cognitive scientist and usability engineer who tries to see the big picture. The book is a lot about doors and door handles – and as interesting as full of wisdom. You should read this if you want to take a deep-dive into how the human brain works when interacting with any kind of object - not only digital products.
- Great for: A deep understanding of design
- Where to get: The Design of Everyday Things on Amazon
I remember how I picked up Raph Koster’s book for the first time: I was waiting for a colleague to finish his work before we headed out for dinner. This took only 10 minutes, and in the meantime, I made through half the book. Although targetted towards game designers, A Theory of Fun is a must-read for everyone. The great part: The book is split in half, the left side explains the content through cartoony illustrations, while the right part is long-copy. This makes it not only fast to read, but also – fun.
- Great for: Casual reading & learning
- Where to get: Enjoy A Theory of Fun on Amazon
Nobody understands the figures behind the modern internet better than Chris Anderson. The author of “The Long Tail” explains pricing models of the Freemium economy. Although the book seems a bit depressing at first sight, it is full of “Aha”-moments. If you ever wondered how companies like Dropbox can offer you free storage, read this!
- Great for: Business
- Where to get: FREE on Amazon
All the above links are Amazon Affiliate links – I hope you don’t mind! I’m trying this for the first time, also with the premise of keeping this publication ad-free. Let’s see how that works.
I cannot close this article without mentioning my own book: If you want a good summary of what makes seductive web design great and seductive, you might wanna take a peek into Web Fatale:
Any other books you would recommend? Drop me an email at email@example.com to let me know!