4 Book Recommendations for UX/UI Design Beginners

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Here is a list of some of the most recommended books for beginner UX/UI Designers!

The Design of Everyday Things
by Don Norman

If you haven't heard about this book yet, it’s a classic, so it’s time to get to know it!
This particular book was recommended by multiple instructors including the Chief of Vibes himself, Zaire. 

Synopsis:

Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door.

The fault, argues this ingenious -- even liberating -- book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology.

The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorisation.

The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.

The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how -- and why -- some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.

Laws of UX
by Jon Yablonski

This book was recommended by Rya, one of our UX/UI Design Instructors.
It's another classic and also comes in webpage form, making it much easier to access the information you need. Find it here!

Synopsis:

An understanding of psychology—specifically the psychology behind how users behave and interact with digital interfaces—is perhaps the single most valuable non-design skill a designer can have.

The most elegant design can fail if it forces users to conform to the design rather than working within the "blueprint" of how humans perceive and process the world around them.

This practical guide explains how you can apply key principles in psychology to build products and experiences that are more intuitive and human-centered. Author Jon Yablonski deconstructs familiar apps and experiences to provide clear examples of how UX designers can build experiences that adapt to how users perceive and process digital interfaces.

You’ll learn:

  • How aesthetically pleasing design creates positive responses
  • The principles from psychology most useful for designers
  • How these psychology principles relate to UX heuristics
  • Predictive models including Fitts’s law, Jakob’s law, and Hick’s law
  • Ethical implications of using psychology in design
  • A framework for applying these principles

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within us all
by David Kelley

Recommended by Fusibi, one of our UX/UI Design Instructors, this book is full of stories and real-life examples of how you can uncover your creativity!

Synopsis:

A powerful and inspiring book from the founders of IDEO, the award-winning design firm, on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the ‘creative types’. But two of the foremost experts in innovation, design and creativity on the planet show us that each and every one of us is creative.

In an entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO, and with many of the world's top companies and design firms, David and Tom Kelley identify the principles and strategies that will allow us to tap into our creative potential in our work lives, and in our personal lives, allow us to think outside the box in terms of how we approach and solve problems.

‘Creative Confidence’ is a book that will help each of us be more productive and successful in our lives and in our careers.

Just Enough Research

by Erika Hall

This book was recommended by Paloma, our UX/UI Design Instructor with a background in UX Research. It focuses on streamlining your research and saving you time and money!

Synopsis:

Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. Done well, it will save your team time and money by reducing unknowns and creating a solid foundation to build the right thing, in the most effective way.

Erika Hall distills her experience into a guidebook of trusted research methods you can implement right away, no matter what size team you're on or budget you're working with. Learn how to discover your competitive advantages, spot your own blind spots and biases, understand and harness your findings, and why you should never, ever hold a focus group. You’ll start doing good research faster than you can plan your next pitch.