The Monster List of UX Books

So many UX books, so little time

When I first began learning about UX, I came across many lists of recommended UX design books. This was frustrating because I couldn’t figure out which books I should read first. While I noticed a few books showed up on most lists, each list seemed to contain many different recommendations. If these lists were so different, how could they all be comprehensive, essential, must-read lists?

Enter The Monster List of UX Books

To remedy this problem, I searched UX blogs, courses, and the books I had already read for every UX book list I could find. I compiled all the books into a master — nay, monster list spreadsheet. Then I tallied the number of recommendations for each book. This turned out to be an enormous undertaking because most lists had many unique recommendations.

The Most Recommended Books (updated 2/25/17)

  1. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug (30)
  2. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman (25)
  3. The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett (15)
  4. Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, & Jill Butler (14)
  5. Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf (14)
  6. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, & Christopher Noessel (13)
  7. Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design by Bill Buxton (13)
  8. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk (12)
  9. Designing for the Digital Age by Kim Goodwin by (10)
  10. Web Form Design by Luke Wroblewski (10)
  11. Information Architecture: For the Web and Beyond by Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld, & Jorge Arango (10)
  12. Simple and Usable: Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design by Giles Colborne (10)
  13. Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug (10)
  14. The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley (10)
View the full list of recommended books.

Exploring the List

The monster list currently contains 303 books from 36 lists, but it will grow and evolve as new lists emerge. I included links to all the source lists in the Lists tab of the spreadsheet. If you’re looking for a specific type of book, you can use the filter button to filter by category.

Click the filter button to filter by category.

A Few Things to Note

  • A book with more recommendations isn’t necessarily “better” than one with less. It’s just more popular or well established. Also, newer books aren’t well represented on most of the source lists.
  • I used the categories from UX Mastery’s Recommended UX Books List and did my best to apply them to books from other lists. Some lists categorized certain books differently, and some books seemed like they fit into more than one category. In those cases, I added a second or even third category when it seemed appropriate.
  • I included Amazon links and some publisher links for all books with at least two recommendations. I’m slowly adding links for the rest of the books. I’m also starting to add Goodreads links as well.

How You Can Help Improve the List

  • Did I miss a book list that I should add?
  • Do you think I should change the categories for any specific books? I haven’t read the vast majority of the books, so my categorizations are bound to be imperfect.
  • Do you have any other feedback? Let me know in the comments.

Was this list helpful to you? If so, please recommend this article so that others can find it, too.