What We’re Reading on World Book Day

In celebration of World Book Day, I asked my colleagues what they’re reading. Here’s what they said.

Trinity College Library (credit: author)

Full disclosure: I’m a recovering librarian.

I used to work in a big academic library, and I loved checking out books and squirreling them away in my office without ever leaving the building.

Since my transition to a role as a UX researcher*, I’ve kept up my reading habit and relish my visits to my local public library. Whether I’m reading a sci-fi novel or a non-fiction book directly related to my work, I know that regular reading has helped me cultivate my storytelling skills, a core competency in UX.

Storytelling helps us keep users’ experiences at the forefront of our work. We tell stories to build empathy among our colleagues and stakeholders, and constantly remind ourselves of why we do what we do.

So today, on World Book Day, I asked my colleagues what they’re reading to keep their UX storytelling skills fresh. Here’s what they said.

I asked and they answered.

It turns out that several of my design colleagues are reading — you guessed it — books about design…and life in space.

And for a change of pace, my research colleagues are reading other stuff.

And what am I reading? Well, I just finished a few novels, including:

  • Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid (2017) — Apseudo-magical realism novel asking you to reassess your definitions of “migrant,” “native,” and “home.” Timely and beautifully written.
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K Le Guin (1969) —I found this one s l o w, but a sci-fi classic, so worth the read. Set on the fictional planet of Winter, a traveler/diplomat has to navigate a foreign and foreboding landscape among the gender-androgynous locals, who communicate, well, differently.
  • The Power, by Naomi Alderman (2017) — What would happen if women ruled the world? The question Beyoncé asked and Naomi Alderman answered. Read to find out.

No matter if we’re reading about design or outer space, psychology or butt-kicking girl scouts, members our team can always be found with our noses in a book.

What are you reading?

* I now work as a UX researcher at a UX design and research consultancy, EchoUser.

Deirdre Hirschtritt

Written by

User Researcher at Code for America. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, ethical research & design, and puppies. deirdrehirschtritt.com

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