The Top 40 UX Books of All Time – As recommended by UX Designers

11. Human-Centered Design Toolkit: An Open-Source Toolkit To Inspire New Solutions in the Developing World

Author: IDEO

Best for: NGOs and social enterprises

Recommended by: Phil Balagtas, Design Director GEAviation Digital Solutions


Funded as part of a grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this book shows how to find innovative solutions in the nonprofit world. Phil says ‘This book is used as a design research textbook in some universities. It’s a collection of IDEO case studies and approaches for how to design for people. Learn frameworks for sense-making and ways to probe or empower users to provide the details you need to understand their problems and environment. Many great real-world examples for gathering data and prototyping ideas in the wild’.

12. Just Enough Research

Author: Erika Hall

Best for:  Finding out more about research

Recommended by: Sophie Lephinoy, Digital Strategist Kate Towsey


Sophie says ‘Erika Hall is a really good speaker – she demystifies research and tells you just what you need to conduct it successfully.’

13. Exposing the Magic of Design

Author:  Jon Kolko

Best for: Turning data and insight into new products

Recommended by: Phil Balagtas


Phil says ‘synthesis is a critical role in the design process. It’s the moment where ideas come to life and breakthroughs occur. Some think it’s magic and talent that designers naturally have to make sense of problems and the world around them, but there are techniques that can allow you to make those leaps in creativity and imagination. Kolko exposes some of these methods for how to synthesize data into more novel product ideas.

14. Information is beautiful

Author:  David McCandless

Best for: Having fun with workflows and infographics

Recommended by: Bryan Nimo, UI, Digital and Brand Designer at Datacom


Bryan says ‘this book was given to me on a temporary loan and I liked it so much that I kept it. It isn’t always the most practical but it is very inspiring, the detail is fantastic and it is interesting to see how others present information.’

15. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

Author: Susan Weinschenk

Best for:  Answering your burning design questions

Recommended by: Content Strategist for Wells Fargo,  Stacey Seronick


Stacey says ‘my copy of this book is heavily underlined and dog-eared. Each of the hundred ‘things’ is packaged in a bite-size bits of info for easy understanding and digestion. But the real beauty is all of the psychology behind everything in it; each tip is accompanied by the studies which back up what she’s talking about along with ‘look here for deeper info’ sidebars. It’s an invaluable book for anyone working in UX, not just designers’.

16. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Author: Nir Eyal, Ryan Hoover

Best for:  People interested in the science behind design

Recommended by: UX entrepreneur Michael Wong


Michael says ‘I’m a sucker for psychology. I love it. It always intrigues me how the human brain works. This book merges the concept of design with a bit of science which makes it such a valuable read.  It’s also backed with many modern, real life examples as well.’

17. Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services

Author: Kim Goodwin, Alan Cooper

Best for: An overview on product design

Recommended by: Datacom Digital Designer Peter Koenders,  Mark Delaney


Mark says ‘Designing for the Digital Age provides a solid foundation for anyone starting their career in the digital realm.

18. Org Design for Design Orgs: Building and Managing In-House Design Teams

Author: Peter Merholz, Kristin Skinner

Best for: Building and managing teams

Recommended by: Head of Design at Pushpay, Phil Howie


Phil says ‘I like the book because it maps out what it takes to create a successful design organisation – something pretty relevant to me right now!’

19. Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design (Voices That Matter)

Author:  Giles Colborne

Best for:  Help with planning, building and testing new features

Recommended by: Phil Balagtas


Phil says ‘this book walks the walk. In and of itself, it is a simple book to read and is organized nicely into chapters deconstructing some of the simplest and most ubiquitous products we use today. From cell phones to remote controls, the book will walk you through approaches for organizing features, eliminating them, and testing to obtain the most simple yet elegant user experiences to date.’

20. Understanding Comics

Author: Scott McCLod

Best for: People interested in comic books, game design, animation, web development and interface design

Recommended by: Jason Cranford-Teague


Jason says ‘it is not directly about user experience design, but the principles of narrative he teaches in it are extremely relevant to our permission. And, with the growth of experience design for AR/VR, the ability to storyboard convincing experiences that he explains will become critical for all designers to understand.’

Pages: 1 2 3 4