4 basic UX design books

We, at dsgnrs, care to find new books that inspire us. That help us on our daily lives. This is ever more true when those books were written by top designers. We just love to know how they work, which tools they use and their personal tricks!

We can’t stop learning about design: from the basics to the latest trend or methodology. Be it on sketching, Service Design, Design Research… You name it!

This is a list of our favorites, but don’t hesitate to tell us yours.

1. Change by Design.

So, this is THE BOOK. If you could only read one book, this is it. This book will become the stepping stone on your path to think like a designer. We make sure we read it once every year. And we recommend it to everyone who wants to start a career in design. By the way, the author, Tim Brown, is a leading figure in the field. You should just follow him.

This book introduces the idea of design thinking‚ the collaborative process by which the designer′s sensibilities and methods are employed to match people′s needs not only with what is technically feasible and a viable business strategy. In short‚ design thinking converts need into demand. It′s a human−centered approach to problem solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and more creative.


2. This is Service Design Thinking.

Do you want to broad your thinking? Do you want to shed some light on what Service Design is? Do you want to discover the tools that Service Design will give you and how to use them? You got it covered with this book. Bonus point: it was written by the best service designers from different companies all over the world teaming together to create this great piece.

  • Basics: outlines service design thinking along five basic principles
  • Tools: describing a variety of tools and methods used in Service Design Thinking
  • Cases: vivid examples for the introduced fundamentals with real-life case studies from 5 companies that did inspiring projects within the field of Service Design.

3. Usability Testing Essentials: ready, set… test!

This book will equip you with the main tools and techniques that are required to kickoff your usability tests. Later on it will give you more in-depth knowledge on the subject too.

Provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to usability testing, a crucial part of every product’s development.

  • The fully updated four-color edition now features important usability issues such as international testing, persona creation, remote testing, and accessibility.
  • Follow-up to Usability Testing and Research.

Designing for the digital age.

This is a massive book. Both physically and in terms of quality. Content-wise is great, it covers every area you can imagine. Is your go-to book whenever you have any doubt or question. It will give you back inspiration and answers to: What can I expect after running an ethnography study? How can I…? How should I run this workshop?…. This book will become your best design-buddy.

Topics include assembling a design team, planning and conducting user research, analyzing your data and turning it into personas, using scenarios to drive requirements definition and design, collaborating in design meetings, evaluating and iterating your design, and documenting finished design in a way that works for engineers and stakeholders alike.


The back of the napkin.

Ever felt like you’re not making yourself clear? Do you feel like your words don’t express what you’re thinking? You know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words.

This book comprehends explanations, exercises and visual concepts that will show you how to convey your messages in a visual way. Get ready to grab your sharpie and start drawing!

“There is no more powerful way to prove that we know something well than to draw a simple picture of it. And there is no more powerful way to see hidden solutions than to pick up a pen and draw out the pieces of our problem.”


What books do you consider a must? What books have inspired you the most? Do you have any books you would recommend to a newbie in design? How about for a more senior designer?


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