New to UX, UI, and Product Design? One of the best ways to start learning is with a book. Let’s go through some of the best books out there for beginners.
1. DESIGNING INTERFACES – Jenifer Tidwell, Charles Brewer, and Aynne Valencia
Designing excellent interfaces for websites, softwares, and applications isn’t easy now that companies and businesses need to create compelling, seamless experiences for the users. It becomes even harder when there’s an exploding number of channels, screens, and contexts.
This book covers how to navigate through the maze of different design options. By obtaining the best UI practices as design patterns, this book provides solutions to common design problems that many design engineers run into. You’ll also learn patterns for coding mobile apps, web applications, and desktop software.
2. THE DESIGN OF EVERYDAY THINGS – Donald A. Norman
According to this book, there are three types of people in the world: those who design things—anything from computer programs to conceptual tools—to be used by humans, those that use things designed by the first, and those who fit both categories. Reading this book could forever change how you experience and interact with your physical surroundings by constantly pointing out good and bad designs, and the book should raise your expectations about how things should be designed.
3. THE BEST INTERFACE IS NO INTERFACE – Golden Krishna
While screens have taken over our lives, most people spend over eight hours a day staring at a screen. The author of this book challenges this and shows how we can build a technologically-advanced world without digital interfaces. The author takes a humorous approach into interface design, criticizing the amount of time that most designers spend on their project, making everything cramped and hard-to-find. Elegant design embraces simplicity.
4. LEARNING WEB DESIGN – Jennifer Niederst Robbins
This book is your first and best step for learning how to make web pages. There are numerous exercises and short quizzes to make sure that you understand key concepts – and by the end of the book, you’ll have the skills to create a simple multi-column site that works on all platforms.
5. DON’T MAKE ME THINK – Steve Krug
Steve, the author of this book, spent ten years as a usability consultant, helping his clients make their products easier to use. He figured that if he could explain how he does it, more people could do it, and then, the products they built would be better. That’s when this book was made. This book is perfect for developers, designers, agile team leaders, writers, editors, CEOs, marketers, and anyone with UX in their job title.
6. THE PRINCIPLES OF BEAUTIFUL WEB DESIGN – Jason Beaird
If you’re tired of making websites that work flawlessly but don’t look nice, this book is for you. With simple illustrations to follow, this book leads you through the process of creating great web designs from the start to finish. Understanding what makes a good design is just the start—there’s things like grids, the rule of thirds, balance and symmetry, color theorem, and more that goes into it afterwards.
7. THE ELEMENTS OF USER EXPERIENCE – Jesse James Garrett
Web design is more than just creating clean codes and sharp graphics. A website that really works fulfills your strategic objectives while meeting the needs of your users. Even though creating the user experience can seem overwhelmingly complex, it can seem as if the only way to build a successful site is to spend a fortune on specialists who understand all the details.
This book cuts through that complexity of user-centered design for the web with clear explanations and vivid illustrations that focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. The author of this book brings “incisive clarity to the complex process” of providing a high-quality experience to the people who will use your website.
8. THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN – Dan Roam
In the book the author makes an argument that anyone can clarify problems or present a product/concept through visual thinking. You don’t have to have artistic talent in order to learn how to frame a vision to solve a problem. The book is framed into three different parts: how to discover an idea, how to imagine a concept, and how to present a product. Overall this book will help guide beginners on how to think like a designer.
9. A PROJECT GUIDE TO UX DESIGN – Carolyn Chandler
UX design is the discipline of creating a useful and usable website or application that’s easily navigated and meets the needs of the website’s owner and its users. There’s a lot more to successful UX design than knowing the latest web technologies or recent design trends — it takes diplomacy, management, skills, business savvy, and more.
Enjoyed these books? Check out Flatiron School’s Product Design curriculum or book a 10-minute chat with admissions today.