As part of mentoring the wonderful young hopefuls of our industry, I am often asked “what books do you recommend about <insert UX-related subject>”.
I’m always happy to help, though I’m also amazed that people still read books, as I thought the average attention span these days was oh look Tiktok.
I’ve ended up collating a very long list, all of which I own and recommend to people constantly. It sits in an email that I have to keep digging out. So this post is entirely selfish and its purpose is to make my digital mentoring life easier.
Here’s everything I recommend and why
These are the best books for learning the craft that I’ve encountered over the last 15 years. I’ll be adding to them over time as I discover new and noteworthy publications.
The usability bibles
These are the basic texts which are either well known, have been around for a long time or are historically significant in the formation of our craft.
These first ones are just ones you should have read out of self-respect, because people will mention them at you and you will want to nod sagely rather than have a panic attack.
- Prioritizing Web Usability — by the one and only Jakob Nielsen
- The Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman, obvs.
- Don’t Make Me Think, A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
- About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper
Next, two books that go nicely together — one from the view of design psychology and one from the view of methods for testing and researching design. Both quite high level overviews, but a brilliant way to scan a complex field and decide where you want to navigate to next.