6 Books on User Research for Product Managers

How to go about gathering feedback from your users and understanding what it’s telling you

Robert Drury
Mar 12 · 4 min read

As Product Managers, one of our main goals is to ultimately give users what they want. How do we do that without actually knowing what they want?

The answer is of course, user research.

We use a variety of data collection methods to find out who our target users are, what they expect from the product, and what is going to deliver for them the most value.

Easy when you say it like that, but there’s an art to user research.

User Research: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Products and Services

Stephanie Marsh

Many businesses are based on creating desirable experiences, products and services for users. However in spite of this, companies often fail to consider the end user — the customer — in their planning and development processes.

User Research is a practical guide that shows readers how to use the vast array of user research methods available. Covering all the key research methods including face-to-face user testing, card sorting, surveys, A/B testing and many more

How to buy:

Getting Started in Product (supporting independent bookstores)

Amazon

Think Like a UX Researcher: How to Observe Users, Influence Design, and Shape Business Strategy

David Travis & Philip Hodgson

This isn’t a cheap book, so definitely one you should put on work expenses, but when you do you will be encouraged to think beyond the obvious. You’ll discover how to plan and conduct UX research, analyze data, persuade teams to take action on the results.

This book allows you to open it at any point and offers you practical advice and topical examples, thought triggers, exercises and scenarios to test your knowledge of user research.

How to buy:

Getting Started in Product (supporting independent bookstores)

Amazon

Qualitative Consumer and Marketing Research

Russell W. Belk, Eileen Fischer & Robert Kozinets

Written for students, scholars, and research practitioners, this book takes readers through the basics to an advanced understanding of the latest developments in qualitative marketing and consumer research. The book offers readers a practical guide to planning, conducting, analyzing, and presenting research using both time-tested and new methods, skills and technologies.

How to buy:

Getting Started in Product (supporting independent bookstores)

Amazon

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters

Kate Murphy

At work, we’re taught to lead the conversation. On social media, we shape our personal narratives. At parties, we talk over one another. So do our politicians. We’re not listening. And no one is listening to us.

Listening has the potential to transform how we approach product management, as well as improve our self-knowledge, and increase our creativity and happiness. While it may take some effort, it’s a skill that can be learnt and perfected.

How to buy:

Getting Started in Product (supporting independent bookstores)

Amazon

The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect

Judea Pearl & Dana Mackenzie

Judea Pearl and science journalist Dana Mackenzie explain causal thinking to general readers for the first time, showing how it allows us to explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It is the essence of human and artificial intelligence. And just as Pearl’s discoveries have enabled machines to think better, The Book of Why explains how we too can think better.

How to buy:

Getting Started in Product (supporting independent bookstores)

Amazon

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know

Malcolm Gladwell

The acclaimed Malcolm Gladwell brings us a fascinating and, at times, alarming analysis of how we read the behaviours and motives of those people we don’t know.

Through a series of encounters and misunderstandings — from history, psychology and infamous legal cases — Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual adventure into the darker side of human nature, where strangers are never simple and misreading them can have disastrous consequences.

How to buy:

Getting Started in Product (supporting independent bookstores)

Amazon

Our books

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Getting Started in Product operates its bookstore through Bookshop.org, and 10% of every sale is donated to independent bookstores within the country of operation.

As some of the links in this post are affiliate links, if you go through them to make a purchase we may earn a commission, in addition to the donation being made. The decision is yours, as to whether or not you decide to buy something. It is completely up to you.

Getting Started in Product

All you need to know to get you started with a career in product

Robert Drury

Written by

Helping people kick start their product management career at gettingstartedinproduct.com * Product person at Watchfinder

Getting Started in Product

Product related roles have grown considerably over the past five years, which means an influx of people who are starting out in a new skills area. Getting Started in Product aims to support these people make the transition.

Robert Drury

Written by

Helping people kick start their product management career at gettingstartedinproduct.com * Product person at Watchfinder

Getting Started in Product

Product related roles have grown considerably over the past five years, which means an influx of people who are starting out in a new skills area. Getting Started in Product aims to support these people make the transition.

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