Aspiring UX designers often find themselves overwhelmed with the abundance of resources available. Books, however, remain an invaluable source of knowledge and guidance. In this article, we have curated a list of the best books for UX design beginners. Whether you're a budding designer or someone looking to transition into the field of UX, these books are sure to provide you with the expertise, inspiration, and confidence you need to excel.
Best Books for UX Design Beginners
Even though the internet is brimming with resources, the charm of leafing through a book or an e-reader is unparalleled. The following books are a combination of ageless user experience literature as well as recent publications that can aid in establishing a solid base in the field of user experience.
Disclaimer: Please be informed that none of the book links provided in this article are affiliate links. I am recommending these resources purely based on their potential value to your learning journey in UX design.
1. Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug
"Don't Make Me Think" is a classic in the UX design realm, and for a good reason. Steve Krug presents a user-friendly and accessible guide to web usability. The book focuses on simplifying design, enhancing navigation, and creating a seamless user experience. Novices will appreciate Krug's straightforward writing style, making complex concepts easy to grasp.
2. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
Don Norman's masterpiece, "The Design of Everyday Things," delves into the psychology behind design decisions. Exploring the relationship between users and objects, Norman sheds light on how to create intuitive and user-centric products. As a beginner, this book will open your eyes to the significance of design in our daily lives.
3. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz
In "Sprint," the authors introduce a practical guide to solving complex problems in a structured manner. For UX designers, this book provides valuable insights into conducting design sprints, collaborating effectively with teams, and validating ideas with users. It's a must-read for those looking to enhance their problem-solving skills.
4. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk
Understanding user psychology is crucial in UX design, and "100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People" is a treasure trove of such knowledge. Susan Weinschenk offers practical tips backed by scientific research, making it an indispensable resource for beginners aiming to create impactful user experiences.
Venturing into the world of interface animation, Val Head's book is among the best books for UX design beginners seeking to craft engaging and meaningful motion designs. Thoughtful inclusion of animations can greatly enhance user experiences and boost user interaction. This instructional guide equips you to proficiently navigate the realm of animation in UX design.
6. The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams
For beginners without a design background, "The Non-Designer's Design Book" is a fantastic starting point. Robin Williams provides a comprehensive guide to design principles, typography, layout, and color theory. This book is a valuable resource to build a solid foundation in design fundamentals.
7. Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
"Lean UX" offers a fresh perspective on incorporating lean principles into the UX design process. By focusing on collaboration, feedback, and iteration, this book shows beginners how to build successful and user-centric products efficiently.
8. The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett
Jesse James Garrett's book "The Elements of User Experience" provides a holistic approach to user-centered design. From strategy to information architecture and visual design, this book covers all aspects of UX, offering beginners a comprehensive understanding of the design process.
9. Hooked by Nir Eyal
Nir Eyal's insights can shed light on these captivating queries and more, making his book one of the best books for UX design beginners. He introduces the potent "Hook Model," a four-step process tactically incorporated in products by a multitude of successful companies. This model subtly sways consumer behavior, fostering a habit-forming cycle that perpetually retains user engagement.
10. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, and Dave Cronin
"About Face" is a must-read for UX beginners seeking a comprehensive guide to interaction design. The book covers the essentials of user-centered design and provides valuable insights into creating seamless interactions that keep users engaged.
11. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Steal Like an Artist is a captivating handbook that celebrates creativity in the modern digital era. Within its pages, readers will find ten revolutionary principles that unlock their artistic potential and lead them towards a more enriched and imaginative life.
The book challenges the notion of absolute originality and encourages embracing influences from various sources. By immersing oneself in the work of others, learning from their expertise, and embracing the power of remixing and reimagining, individuals can pave their own unique creative path.
12. The User Experience Team of One by Leah Buley
In "The User Experience Team of One," you'll discover a diverse array of approaches that yield significant results while demanding less time and fewer resources compared to traditional UX deliverables. Whether you're aspiring to enter the realm of user experience or an experienced practitioner striving to propel your organization forward, this book equips you with the tools and insights to achieve more with less.
13. Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
In "INSPIRED," a profound exploration of technology product management, acclaimed thought leader Marty Cagan reveals the unique approaches of today's most successful tech giants—Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla. These industry titans have earned the adoration of billions worldwide through their exceptional product design, development, and deployment methods, which differ significantly from conventional tech companies.
14. Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want by Alexander Osterwalder & 4 more
"Value Proposition Design" is a powerful resource that addresses the fundamental challenge faced by every business—creating irresistible products and services that customers are eager to purchase. This immensely practical book, complemented by its online companion, provides you with the essential processes and tools to craft products that have a strong market appeal and are destined to succeed. Through the guidance of "Value Proposition Design," you'll acquire the expertise needed to unlock the secrets of product creation that resonate with customers, ensuring sales and sustainable growth for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Can I teach myself UX design?
Self-teaching UX design is entirely possible and often achieved successfully, given that one has access to quality resources and maintains a dedicated focus.
Q: What are some essential books for UX design beginners?
A: Some essential books for UX design beginners include "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug, "The Design of Everyday Things" by Don Norman, and "The Elements of User Experience" by Jesse James Garrett.
Q: Can I become a UX designer in 6 months?
Embarking on a journey as a beginner UX designer is possible with rigorous training and quality resources. Nevertheless, akin to any profession, UX design also necessitates continuous learning and constant self-enhancement.
Q: How do I improve my problem-solving skills in UX design?
A: To improve problem-solving skills in UX design, consider reading "Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days" by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz. You can also check our article on this topic.
The nature of printed books is indeed intriguing, isn't it?
Its relevance can be high one day and then diminish the next. However, we hope this list remains timeless because as long as user-centered design continues to be relevant, the demand for UX books will persist.
Rest assured, I'll be here to guide you towards the creème de la creème, whether you're seeking a classic starter book or a cutting-edge publication on the latest UX trends designed for advanced practitioners.
What you should now?
As you traverse the path of becoming a UX designer, you'll come across numerous resources that will equip you with the required knowledge base. Just as reading books on the subject is vital, exploring digital resources, such as blogs, is equally important. I highly recommend you to read our blog on how to build a UI/UX portfolio. It comprehensively guides you in curating a strong portfolio, a fundamental tool in showcasing your skills and expertise in UI/UX design. This will give you a practical edge, demonstrating your ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios effectively.