Let's make a nice list for all of us to see and choose our next book.
I co-authored "Tragic Design: The true impact of bad design and how to fix it."
As designers, its important for us to consider deeply our ethical code. We have a big part to play in how our world is being shaped through technology and if we don't stop to consider these issues, we can overlook them, and cause harm to those who use our products. Through our products we cause harm to our users through exclusion, darkpatterns, anger, and even physical harm.
In our book we aim to first shed a light on the different ways our work can harm others and then challenge designers to define their code of ethics.
We hope the book will help designers navigate through these difficult issues and use their skills as a designer to improve the world we live in. We hope designer will produce awesome work that also leaves the world better than they found it.
I've read some of these books, and it goes without saying, you need to read these type of books (literal, design discipline) to build and maintain foundational design knowledge and skills.
Translation = we all read a lot of the same shit.
That's not a bad thing, it helps, these literal, practical design books can encapsulate complicated ideas and give us a contemporary baseline for communication and design agreement, but in general, I find most of these books to be insightful, but forgettable.
In my experience, the books that have shaped my thinking and practice as a designer the most are not that literal.
One such book, The Spider and the Starfish.
At its core, it's about centralized and decentralized networks.
How you interpret the read and information and apply it to your design practice is another ball game.
If you want to be in the design game and be relevant, of course, read the literal stuff.
If you want to elevate your design game, don't solely read the same talking points as everyone else, venture outside the literal and connect the dots.
And, that's the beauty of what we do and why.
About Face - Commonly referred to as the bible of interaction design (full of good stuff but not an easy read)
Designing for Interaction - If you can't get through About Face, this is a solid choice
Mastering Type - Understanding typography is key for the visual aspect of product design
Interviewing Users - Steve Portigal is the man, and his book is informative and practical for user research
Designing Interfaces - Describes many UI patterns with strengths/weaknesses, great to have in the back of your mind as you're ideating solutions to a problem.
Here are a few:
- Designing Products People Love — by Scott Hurff
- Build Better Products — by Laura Klein
- Product Leadership — by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, Nate Walkingshaw
- Practical Design Discovery — by Dan Brown
- Validating Product Ideas — by Tomer Sharon
I think that building products requires a wider perspective than just design.
Thanks for the mention! I interviewed ~30 product designers from Slack, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and asked them to de-mystify the process of uncovering ideas and turning them into tangible products.
Then, I went back in time to the 1930s and researched the origins of today's modern notion of a "product designer." Even then, our product design ancestors were asking "am I building the right thing?" and "what do I do next?"It's fascinating how much we can learn about our craft by looking at history.
Thank you for writing, Scott. Keep it up!
• The design of everyday things. • Living with Complexity. • Emotional Design
All by Don Norman
Some what of a basic/classic list but good books to get you thinking about the process and what one may want to consider. A basic intro to psychology but applied to products that we use.
The Best interface is no interface by Golden Krishna.
Not trying to plug a fellow classmates book but it is a good read, again some food for thought.
Lean UX - Jeff Gothelf