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July 13, 2022

19 Must-Read Books for UX Designers

When was the last time you cracked open a book on UX? If it's been a while, you might miss out on great reads that could help you brush up on your skills, understand new ideas, and unlock innovative research practices.

Ready to get reading? To help you find your next must-read industry book, we've compiled a list of 19 essential books for UX designers.


19 Essential Books for UX Designers

  1. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People

  2. 101 UX Principles: A Definitive Design Guide

  3. Articulating Design Decisions

  4. Bottlenecks

  5. Conversational UX Design

  6. Designing for Behavior Change

  7. Designing UX: Forms

  8. Don’t Make Me Think

  9. How to Get a UX Design Job

  10. Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction

  11. Laws of UX: Using Psychology to Design Better Products & Services

  12. Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior

  13. Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research

  14. Practical UX Design

  15. Prototyping for Designers

  16. Quantifying the User Experience

  17. The Design of Everyday Things

  18. The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web

  19. Think Like a UX Researcher

1. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk

Written by a behavioral psychologist with decades of experience, this book is a primer on what motivates people to take action. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People can help you design more intuitive and engaging products that respond to the way people think, work, and play.

Where to find it: Amazon

2. 101 UX Principles: A Definitive Design Guide by Will Grant

Practical and no-nonsense, this guide offers clear, applicable principles that UX professionals at every level can apply to their day-to-day work. With precise instruction and evergreen tips such as ‘Test with Real Users’ and 'Make Your Links Look Like Links,’ it’s a great reference book to keep on hand.

Where to find it: Amazon

3. Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever

It doesn't matter how great your design is — if you can't communicate its value to clients, your design won't see the light of day. This guide offers pragmatic advice on presenting designs, understanding stakeholder perspectives, cultivating listening skills, creating the proper documentation, and responding effectively to feedback. Following this advice will help you ensure that your designs make it to market.

Where to find it: Amazon

4. Bottlenecks by David C. Evans

Consider Bottlenecks your foundational resource on the psychology of UX design. Throughout the book, experimental psychology Ph.D. David Evans examines the psychological processes that determine users’ engagement with digital innovations and explores how behavioral theory can help overcome the “bottlenecks” of human nature.

Where to find it: Amazon

5. Conversational UX Design by Robert J. Moore

With the popularity of voice assistants and chatbots on the rise, it’s clear that users are ready to talk with their devices. But how can we ensure that the UX design effectively models a conversation? This book outlines the latest research on conversation science to help UX professionals rethink the user experience in the context of conversational interfaces.

Where to find it: Amazon


6. Designing for Behavior Change by Stephen Wendel

Behavioral science is a critical tool for keeping users engaged in a product. Designing for Behavior Change offers a strong primer on the topic and practical advice for identifying target users and behaviors, building the product, and gauging its effectiveness. Using practical examples from products like Nest, Fitbit, and Opower, the book offers three main strategies to help change user behavior and keep users coming back.

Where to find it: Amazon

7. Designing UX: Forms by Jessica Enders

When you design a better form, it leads to more conversions and fewer dissatisfied users. So why not learn how to design the best forms you can? This book offers a complete guide to form design, including guidance on question writing, field labels, touch and mobile screens, and even the look and feel of the product.

Where to find it: Amazon

8. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

This 2005 book on web design has become a classic in the world of UX. Although the internet has changed dramatically since Steve Krug wrote the original edition of Don’t Make Me Think, his lessons on usability and accessibility in design remain evergreen.

Where to find it: Amazon

9. How to Get a UX Design Job by Lisa Murnan

Whether you’re looking to land your first UX job or make the next giant leap in your career, this handbook from UX veteran Lisa Murnan can help. You’ll learn proven best practices for resume design, cover letters, portfolios, your online presence, interviews, and even in-person design exercises.

Where to find it: Amazon

10. Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction by Helen Sharp

This popular resource is an essential read for UX professionals learning the interdisciplinary skills needed for human-computer interaction, information design, web design, and ubiquitous computing. It's a practical, process-oriented manual that provides an ideal introduction to the field.

Where to find it: Amazon

11. Laws of UX: Using Psychology to Design Better Products & Services by Joh Yablonski

Any UX expert will tell you that beautiful design isn’t effective if it doesn’t also conform to how users behave and interact. Laws of UX relies on psychological principles to help readers understand how their design can create positive responses and experiences that are more intuitive and human-centered.

Where to find it: Amazon

12. Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior by Indi Young

This 2008 book from Adaptive Path co-founder Indi Young is completely focused on one concept: mental models. If you're looking to develop models that reflect the user's actual needs, this is the ideal resource.

Where to find it: Amazon

13. Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research by Elizabeth Goodman

This expansive read draws on techniques from the worlds of human-computer interaction, marketing, and social sciences to offer innovative ideas for UX researchers. Organized into three parts, this book provides concrete advice on developing successful products, understanding audience needs, and communicating and applying research results.

Where to find it: Amazon

14. Practical UX Design by Scott Faranello

This highly readable manual is designed to increase your understanding of UX so you can recognize and deliver great design. Leveraging historical perspectives and real-world examples, it’s a great primer in UX fundamentals that can help everyone deepen their holistic understanding of the field.

Where to find it: Amazon

15. Prototyping for Designers by Kathryn McElroy

How much do you know about prototyping? Prototyping for Designers is a helpful guide to prototyping methods and best practices, packed with valuable tips and ideas to help designers develop more successful products.

Where to find it: Amazon

16. Quantifying the User Experience by Jeff Sauro

If you're looking to improve your quantitative IQ as a UX researcher, Quantifying the User Experience is a great place to start. This book offers guidance on understanding and using statistics to solve the common quantitative issues in user research.

Where to find it: Amazon

17. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Through engaging prose, Don Norman explains why usability in design is just as important as aesthetics and explores the principles of good, usable design that has the power to guide the user effortlessly toward the right action.

Where to find it: Amazon

18. The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett

Over the past decade, The Elements of User Experience has become an essential reference in the world of UX. Although the tools and techniques have changed over the years, the ideas and core principles outlined in this resource continue to be valuable for UX professionals of all levels, year after year.

Where to find it: Amazon

19. Think Like a UX Researcher by David Travis

Another highly practical manual, Think Like a UX Researcher encourages readers to challenge their preconceptions and improve their craft. This book will help you take a more strategic view of how UX research can be conducted and applied in real life through topical examples, exercises, and scenarios.

Where to find it: Amazon

Hopefully, this list has helped you discover a great new title to add to your reading list. After all, even when you've gained confidence in your knowledge and abilities in the field, there's always more to learn. Continual development is the best way to ensure that you're consistently delivering the best possible work and staying at the forefront of the industry.


Did we miss any of your go-to UX books? Get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to tell us about your favorites.

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