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Summer Tech Must-Reads for UX/UI Designers

By Charles PoladianAugust 02, 2019
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Did you know UX/UI design and the summer are perfect companions? It’s true. Learning about design and getting inspired by the world around you helps you forget about the heat. 

Our Product Design Team was eager to share their recommendations for the best UX/UI design books to read. Whether your interest in the User Experience or the User Interface, we have a book for you.

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The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman

While not a book about UX/UI design, “The Design of Everyday Things” is a must-read for any designer. The book dives deep into the design of things we usually take for granted. With that perspective, your own design process will be more thoughtful as you consider how people use your creation.

The Lean Series

This is a bit of a cheat, as it’s not one book but eight. Each “Lean” book covers a specific topic and, if you had to choose just one, there is “Lean UX: Designing Great Products With Agile Teams.” 

The “Lean” series comes highly recommended by Aaron Fazulak, our Director of Design Education. “Whether you’re an entrepreneur or designer, they’re just great at teaching us how to quickly iterate, conduct research, test, and fail forward,” Aaron says.

Sprint by Jake Knapp

Knapp guides readers through a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with final users and customers; basically, a way to solve design problems quickly. Designers can use this to get cross functional teams working together to tackle big problems.

The Service Innovation Handbook by Lucy Kimbell 

This book discusses design-thinking methods and how they can apply beyond just UI and digital products to actual services and the ecosystems of experiences. Flatiron School’s Product Design team say it’s full of in-depth examples and exercises to use with a team for any step of the innovation process.

Atomic Design by Brad Frost

Atomic Design dives into how we think about design systems and is a huge help for rolling out more consistent, thoughtful user interfaces. Frost also has a blog with further insights and inspiration. 

Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Our Product Design team describes the book as a “bible, of sorts, for usability and user experience.” This is must-read for anyone who designs user experiences and interfaces across all digital mediums.

Microinteractions by Dan Saffer

A practical book where Dan Saffer teaches you how to design effective microinteractions: the small details that exist inside and around features. For example, what happens a user clicks on an edit button?

Bonus!

Our Product Design team had some great recommendations for blogs and additional if you were inspired to continue learning about UX/UI design beyond the summer. Check out their recommendations for blogs, vlogs, newsletters, and resources below.

Blogs

UX Collective is a Medium blog with really great curated stories on user experience, usability, and product design.

Smashing Mag is an online magazine for professional web designers and developers. Check out their dedicated UX Design category for practical tips, useful guidelines, best practices, and case studies.

Vlogs/Tutorials

Learn to use Sketch

Thinking about using Sketch on a project or switching over from another tool? Invision has put together this 8-part video series for you to get your familiar in using Sketch and how to effectively use it.

Sketch Together with Pablo Stanley

The Product Team loves Pablo and his comical approach. His Youtube channel is full of tutorials and tips around using Sketch. He also covers other design tools such as Framer, Flinto, and other prototyping tools.

Newsletters and resources

UIGoodies

It’s like one-stop shop for all things design. Need help with Accessibility on your project? UIGoodies has great resources for that. The Product Design team recommends bookmarking this site.

Noun Project

This is a great resource for finding the right icon for your UI work. It’s also helpful in gaining inspiration as you’re working through creating icons or icon sets! 

WhatFont

A Chrome extension so you can inspect what font/type is being used on a website.

Sidebar.io 

Sign up for an account with Sidebar and get 5 design links delivered to your inbox every day. 

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Charles Poladian

Copywriter

Charles Poladian is a copywriter for Flatiron School. He previously worked as a journalist and his work has appeared in the International Business Times and Mashable. Charles currently lives in Brooklyn.

All Articles by Charles Poladian