The Secret to Great Design — A Good Read

One month into 2018, I’m already craving a good design book. I personally don’t like reading a lot, which is why I often get an audio book. Over the years, I’ve read a decent stack of books which have actually helped me with my designs. However, there have been some books which have made a special place for themselves in my archive. I’ve learn a lot about UX(user experience), UI(user interface) and design in general as well. So if you are looking to sharpen your design skills and level up, start here.

The Way to Design — Steve Vassallo

It’s no surprise that an eBook has made it onto this list. I was a little skeptical at first about spending my time reading this, because lets just say I haven’t had a great time with eBooks in the past. But the good looking illustrations and the whole line of examples kept me interested. This is definitely a short read with a lot of white-space to make up for the small amount of content, but the writing is coming from a writer who is mature and knows his skill.

Also, your eyes will love this book. A great example of balance between design and content. Another cool thing I noticed was how the writer has related design practices with things in real life, like surfing.

Even though this is a great book, but it might not be the best book for you if you think you won’t benefit from en entrepreneur focused design book. Yeah, you read that right, this book is focusing on entrepreneurs who are designers or designers who want to start their business.

This book is for entrepreneurial designers who want to know what it takes to start a company, and for non-designer entrepreneurs and executives who want to understand how to make design a core value of their business.

Go give this book a quick read :

Rocket Surgery Made Easy — Steve Krug

Steve Krug is arguably the best when it comes to writing books on UX Design. Rocket Surgery Made Easy is a must read when it comes to usability research and a couple of other UX processes.

This book focuses on the best practices that a designer can follow to fix usability problems in an application, become more organized during development and launch the app without much hassle.

But this book here:

Don’t Make Me Think — Steve Krug

Another Steve Krug book, this man has proved he’s not a one hit wonder at all. This book is the only book I’ve read through thoroughly multiple times, and I’ve learnt something new every time. Yeah, I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true.

This is one book on the list that I would highly recommend to every web developer and designer out there. This book covers everything big and small, from how to get people to click on a button, to making them subscribe to a service. What I really appreciate about it is that Steve has really put emphasis on the little things as well. Most design books sideline the little factors that a designer should focus on and just give you the bigger picture.

Reading this book a multiple number of times, I’ve read between the lines as well and I’ve learnt a great many things. So, read ‘between the lines’ when reading this great book.

Get the book here:

Special Mentions

There a set of books by Smashing Magazine which are all worth your time. My personal favorite would have to be Smashing UX Design, which is an oldie but a goldie. Visit the smashing shop to look at a huge selection of design books →

Also, if you want books which are barebone and don’t want any fancy illustrations, then I’d suggest going for an O’Reilly book, they are trustworthy, simple and straightforward →

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