The Books That Shape How I Think About UX, Brand, and Business
I was asked to share some reading recommendations by someone interested in getting into UX. Here’s my personal book list that shapes how I think about UX, brand, and business.
June 25, 2019 • 4 min read
I was recently asked to share some reading recommendations by someone interested in getting into UX.
I’ve built up a pretty deep library of books that shaped the perspective and mindsets I bring to my work, which touches on UX, research, brand strategy and identity, business strategy, and workplaces and culture.
Most of these books I’ve read at least twice, but some of them are constant references for ideas and direction. I’ve marked those books that I return to again and again with an asterisk *.
I’m going to treat this as a living book list—as I come across new books to add to this list, I’ll update this article with the title and date that it was added.
I don’t use affiliate links, and don’t make any money if you purchase one of these books. I’ve tried to link directly to the author's personal website where possible.
- The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman *
- Mismatch by Kat Holmes
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley
- Superthinking: Upgrade Your Reasoning and Make Better Decisions with Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg
- Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
- The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience by Pardha S. Pyla and Rex Hartson
- How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody by Abby Covert
- Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams by James Kalbach
- User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product by Jeff Patton
- Designing for How People Think: Using Brain Science to Build Better Products by John Whalen *
- IDEO Field Guide to Human-Centered Design by IDEO.org *
- Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp
- Lean UX by Jeff Gothell
- Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising and Marketing by Mark Shaw
- Persuasive Patterns card deck by UI-Patterns.com
- Atomic Design by Brad Frost
- Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture by Andrew Hinton
- Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson
- Just Enough Research by Erika Hall
- Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research by Elizabeth Goodman *
- Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research by James Lewis and Jeff Sauro
- The Art of Statistics by David Spiegelhalter
Brand & Identity
- Wally Olins: The Brand Handbook by Wally Olins
- Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come by Wally Olins
- Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler *
- The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
- Zag by Marty Neumeier
- Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters by Richard Rumelt
- UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products That People Want by Jaime Levy
- First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Don Clifton * †
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
- It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
- REWORK by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
† This book is surprisingly “politically-incorrect” in this day and age. The content is still valuable, but be prepared.
- Product Strategy