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Top 6 UX Books Everyone Must Read

By: Martin Madeanu, UX Designer | Mar 29, 2024 | 2 Minute Read

There are many books out there that give a good introduction to User Experience Design, and you don’t need to read them in any particular order. In a time where everything you need is a press of a key and it’s easier than ever to find knowledge about anything, books are still the best medium for learning. Within those pages you can find structured, academic information which is enjoyable to read without the distraction of constantly being connected.

Here are a few books which we’d call the go-to-books of UX design and are essential enough to be included on anyone's reading list.

The Elements of UX Experience (Jesse James Garret)

The book which is top of any UXD course’s required reading list, and with good reason. It gives an excellent overview of the basic elements in User Experience design and dives deep into clear and well structured modules. After reading, you will have a great beginners knowledge of UX and a solid foundation to continue learning about what makes user’s happy when it comes to product design.

Don’t Make Me Think (Steve Krug)

The main staple in a UX designers book collection, thousands of developers and designers have taken the advice given out in Krug’s book. It is clear and concise, with photos, illustrations, and entertainingly witty examples which make it a great read. Not only that, it is clearly laid out with an easy to follow navigation which makes it a great guide for those wanting to know more about UX.

The Non-Designers Design Book (Robin Williams)

Another popular book for User Experience beginners. It goes over design principles which allow easy application to projects even if you have a basic design knowledge. The author explains the simple design principles, from contrast to alignment, allowing beginners to take their designs from novice to professional. The writing offers the information in a clear and to the point presentation, which makes this book all the better for those just starting out in design.

The Design of Everyday Things (Don Norman)

For a design book which is over three decades old, originally published in 1988, it is unsurprising fresh and extremely relevant in the world of design. For a designer, it is THE design book you must read, as it explores the essential universal principles of design. Although the book is focused primarily on product design, the underlying principles of usability make it relevant to those in UX design. The book highlights and gives examples of everyday products and items which have both good and bad user experiences, and how they could be solved simply by understanding the users needs and what the purpose of the product is.

100 Things a Designer Needs to Know About People (Susan M. Weinschenk Ph.D.)

This is a book which is more psychological, in that it delves into why and how people behave and react in the ways they do. It used research findings and verified data and scientific explanations to explain the human condition. There are many eye opening theories which any designer can apply to their designs to be beneficial to the user. You’ll be surprised at first read to come across not only common-sense theories, but also some others which initially you’d never have thought would apply to the world of design.

Universal Principles of Design

With over 100 principles, this is an essential book for all designers. Each page has a design principle which offers the designer advice on improving usability and creating better decisions when designing. It is a great page flipper, that you can just pick up and open for a quick nugget of useful information. Ranging from anecdotes to principles and tips and advice on how to interact with clients, this is an enjoyable book to read and have as an informational tool.


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