For all of you budding UX designers, or for those of you simply interested in finding out exactly what UX is, we’ve put together our list of the 11 very best books on UX design.

Over the coming weeks we’ll have features from UX designers explaining what being a UX designer involves on a practical level, detailing the skills you’ll need to become a successful UX designer and the importance of research, user tests and feedback. We’ll be following that up with helpful hints and tips on how to get into the field. Take a look at the books below and for more information on UX, head over to the website and check out the UX Course Syllabus.

1.) Envisioning Information - Edward R. Tufte

Envisioning Information offers the reader practical advice on how to explain complex material visually, with fantastic examples to illustrate the fundamental principles of information displays. The book covers an array of topics, including escaping flatland, color and information, micro/macro designs, layering and separation, small multiples and narratives.

2.) Smashing UX Design - Jesmond Allen and James Chudley

Smashing UX Design is a great UX reference manual. It provides an overview of UX and User Centred Design and examines in detail sixteen of the most common UX design and research tools and techniques for web projects. A great extra for readers is the collection of case studies from real projects which explain the reasoning behind the use of specific techniques in specific circumstances.

3.) The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for ensuring a Quality User Experience - Rex Hartson and Pardha Pyla

The UX Book is a comprehensive textbook on designing interaction to ensure a quality user experience. The book takes a time-tested process-and-guidelines approach that gives readers the chance to understand actionable methods and techniques while retaining a firm grounding in human-computer interaction (HCI) concepts and theory.

 4.) Simple and Usable: Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design - Giles Colborne

Simple and Usable focuses on how to simplify user experiences when designing digital tools and applications. It begins by explaining why simplicity is attractive, explores the laws of simplicity and presents proven strategies for achieving simplicity.

5.) Designing Web Usability - Jakob Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen’s work is based on two principles: 1. That web users want to find what they’re after quickly; 2. If they don’t know what they’re after, they nevertheless want to browse quickly and access information they come across in a logical manner. This book guides the reader on how to connect with any web user.

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

In his book, Designing the Obvious, Robert Hoekman explores the character traits of a host of Web applications and uses them as guiding principles of application design so the end result of every project instills customer satisfaction and loyalty.

7.) Mobile Usability - Jakob Nielsen & Raluca Budiu

Another one from Jakob Nielson, this time focusing on Mobile UX design. The book includes topics on mobile strategy, designing for small screens, writing for mobile and usability comparisons.

8.) 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (Voices that Matter) - Susan M. Weinschenk Ph.D

Susan Weinschenk’s book looks at the way people behave and why they behave the way they do, combining real science, research and practical examples. By starting from this standpoint designers can then build applications which correspond with the beheaviour of the consumers they are hoping to interact with.

9.) Forms That Work by Caroline Jarrett and Gerry Gaffney

In this guide Jarrett and Gaffney advise readers on how to write great, aesthetically-pleasing forms for the web with questions that users will actually want to answer.

10.) Measuring the User Experience by Tom Tullis and Bill Albert

Measuring the User Experience provides the quantitative analysis training that every UX designer needs. Filled with up to date research and examples.

11.) Think First by Joe Natoli

Longtime UX designer Joe Natoli’s book Think First contains proven UX principles, step-by-step methods for you to follow as a fellow professional, or as simply a dabbler in the field, and straightforward, actionable advice that applies to anything you might want to design or build.

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