A Must Have Book Collection on UX

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I present to you the cornerstone of my book collection on UX: 18 highly recommended books on User Experience by UX professionals. If you are looking for books about user research, interface design, information architecture or UX strategy, you will find a book to your liking.

You can also have a look at Amazon’s Best Sellers. They often have great reductions on the best books out there.

For who is this book collection on UX?

I’ve been reading loads of books on UX but not every book made it to this list. I think this book collection on UX is suitable for both the aspiring UXers as the UX professionals. However, if you’re a seasoned UX professional, chances are you’ve read most of these books but I hope I’ve included some of which you haven’t heard of.


The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience - By Pardha S. Pyla
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The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience – By Pardha S. Pyla

Few books in the field of human-computer interaction offer such a comprehensive, logical overview of contemporary methods and processes like this one. Pardha S. Pyla did an excellent job of distilling HCI techniques into a form that is digestible for newcomers to the field; showing where, when, why, and how requirements gathering, design, prototyping and evaluation should be done.
In my opinion it’s a bit pricy but you get a lot in return!

Undercover User Experience Design

Undercover User Experience Design – by Cennydd Bowles and James Box

A must-read which is an accessible, up-to-date and concise guide of UXD techniques and principles from a professional’s perspective, full with practical advice. UX professionals however will already know most of its contents. You can also read the full review.

Don't make me think

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) – By Steve Krug

Usability guru Krug, with years of on-the-job experience, explains the usability principles and the do’s and don’ts that will determine your Web sites’ succes.

A Project Guide to UX Design
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A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making – by Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler

If you’re looking for a fantastic practical guide to help you design user experiences for your next project, it would be “A Project Guide to UX Design”. If you’re interested, read the entire book review.

Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design

Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design – by Giles Colborne

I just ordered this book because I heard so much positive feedback about it. I will let you all know my two cents once I finished it.

Seductive Interaction Design

Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences – by Stephen P. Anderson

Seductive Interaction Design will give you a great insight into the psychological aspect of design and user experience. It focuses on finding out what would engage your customers and every point is backed up by psychological principles and well chosen examples. An absolute must read

Measuring the User Experience

Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics – by Thomas Tullis and William Albert

Effectively measuring the usability of any product requires the right metric, applying it, and effectively using the information it reveals. Thomas and William explore each metric and shows you how to collect, analyse and present the data.

Designing Web Usability

Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity – by Jakob Nielsen and Hoa Loranger

Designing Web Usability, written by the world’s leading expert on Web usability, is considered being the Bible of every UX-designer. Although published back in 1999, it still covers most of the ux issues of the present day.

Sketching User Experiences

Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design – by Bill Buxton

This book is frequently recommended for UX practitioners through the UX Book Club movement. The content is full of interesting stories and rich examples of user experience design in real life.

The Elements of User Experience

The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond – by Jesse James Garrett

Garrett’s book is a perfect introduction for someone who is just getting into the field of user experience design and want to understand its core ideas.

Handbook of Usability Testing

Handbook of Usability Testing: Howto Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests – by Jeffrey Rubin, Dana Chisnell and Jared Spool

A complete overview of usability testing from someone steeped in both the academic and business worlds.

Designed For Use
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Designed for Use: Create Usable Interfaces for Applications and the Web – by Lukas Mathis

A great and practical book written by Lukas Mathis where he’s not only explaining the why but also the how. Nice read!

Designing Web Interfaces

Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions – by Bill Scott and Theresa Neil

A great book that explores all kind of interface patterns into detail. Really usable material for interaction designers. I even wrote a little review of Designing Web Interfaces a while ago because I think it’s really worth reading!

Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences

Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences – by Jesmond Allen

The title is a bit misleading because 2/3 of this book consists of details on UX Project Management. All in all a very good introductory book!

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-it-yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-it-yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems – by Steve Krug

Yet another best-seller by Steve Krug! A handbook for putting usability principles into practice, focusing in particular on user testing.

Designing the Obvious

Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web & Mobile Application Design – by Robert Hoekman

User Experience Designer Robert Hoekman has written many wonderful books but Designing the Obvious is definitely the one you should read. Don’t buy it if you’re only interested in mobile applications because that chapter is pretty thin.

The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition – by Donald A Norman

Although published in 2002, The Design of Everyday Things is still an excellent guidebook (and a classic) for the understanding of basic user-centric design in products, fixtures, software, and the everyday things that make up our world. I’ve written a more extensive review of this book.

When Search Meets Web Usability

When Search Meets Web Usability – by Shari Thurow and Nick Musica

In short: Creating a satisfying user experience is the key to maximizing search effectiveness and getting conversions. Nice read!

Couldn’t find what you were looking for? Have a look at Amazon’s Best Sellers as well.

If you have read books other than the ones in this book collection on UX, let us know!

Editorial note: If you are more into ebooks, you must have a look at my collection of 15 free ebooks about User Experience and Interface Design.

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I'm the creator and editor of paulolyslager.com, a blog about on Web Design, User Experience and Usability. Currently I'm working as UX Lead for Home24, a leading online shop for furniture and home accessories, based in Berlin, Germany. Follow me @paulolyslager or google+.

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