100 books like Think Like a UX Researcher

By David Travis, Philip Hodgson,

Here are 100 books that Think Like a UX Researcher fans have personally recommended if you like Think Like a UX Researcher. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

Cory Lebson Author Of The UX Careers Handbook

From my list on starting in user experience (UX) design and research.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is a scene in the 1960 movie adaptation of The Time Traveler by HG Wells where the protagonist goes rapidly into the future as he watches a whole city spin into existence around him. That’s how I feel about my career. I started in 1994 and have watched UX grow into an incredible field! I’ve run my own business since 2008 focused exclusively on qualitative research consulting while also doing all sorts of exciting thought leadership activities – from writing to speaking to creating a number of courses on LinkedIn Learning – and I love to build my UX network too! I live in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Cory's book list on starting in user experience (UX) design and research

Cory Lebson Why did Cory love this book?

One thing that I’ve seen happen is that UX professionals and aspiring UX professionals focus intensively on learning the methods needed to practice UX to the detriment of focusing on learning necessary soft skills.

There is a whole category of books that, while not UX specific, talk about how to practice those soft skills. This book is one of my favorites – it explains the value of building your network and relationships towards professional success.

Those relationships are really one of the keys to career success as a UX professional.

By Keith Ferrazzi,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Never Eat Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling business classic on the power of relationships, updated with in-depth  advice for making connections in the digital world.
 
Do you want to get ahead in life? Climb the ladder to personal success?
 
The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered in early life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.

In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps—and inner mindset—he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates…


Book cover of The UX Book: Agile UX Design for a Quality User Experience

Cory Lebson Author Of The UX Careers Handbook

From my list on starting in user experience (UX) design and research.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is a scene in the 1960 movie adaptation of The Time Traveler by HG Wells where the protagonist goes rapidly into the future as he watches a whole city spin into existence around him. That’s how I feel about my career. I started in 1994 and have watched UX grow into an incredible field! I’ve run my own business since 2008 focused exclusively on qualitative research consulting while also doing all sorts of exciting thought leadership activities – from writing to speaking to creating a number of courses on LinkedIn Learning – and I love to build my UX network too! I live in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Cory's book list on starting in user experience (UX) design and research

Cory Lebson Why did Cory love this book?

This is an extremely comprehensive overview of most aspects of User Experience (UX).

It’s the kind of book that you may never read from cover to cover (it’s over 800 pages!) but it’s exactly what I’ve appreciated having on my bookshelf when I need a quick how-to overview of a specific design or research method.

By Rex Hartson, Pardha S. Pyla,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The UX Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The discipline of user experience (UX) design has matured into a confident practice and this edition reflects, and in some areas accelerates, that evolution. Technically this is the second edition of The UX Book, but so much of it is new, it is more like a sequel.

One of the major positive trends in UX is the continued emphasis on design-a kind of design that highlights the designer's creative skills and insights and embodies a synthesis of technology with usability, usefulness, aesthetics, and meaningfulness to the user. In this edition a new conceptual top-down design framework is introduced to help…


Book cover of Virtual Reality Usability Design

Cory Lebson Author Of The UX Careers Handbook

From my list on starting in user experience (UX) design and research.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is a scene in the 1960 movie adaptation of The Time Traveler by HG Wells where the protagonist goes rapidly into the future as he watches a whole city spin into existence around him. That’s how I feel about my career. I started in 1994 and have watched UX grow into an incredible field! I’ve run my own business since 2008 focused exclusively on qualitative research consulting while also doing all sorts of exciting thought leadership activities – from writing to speaking to creating a number of courses on LinkedIn Learning – and I love to build my UX network too! I live in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Cory's book list on starting in user experience (UX) design and research

Cory Lebson Why did Cory love this book?

There are a whole host of books about UX methods, but in our world of ever-advancing technology, there are few books that are really up to date with how to practice UX when the medium is no longer one-dimensional or even a physical product.

As AR and VR experiences are becoming more and more normal, I’ve appreciated being able to read a book that really captures the most recent evolution of UX methods towards a new virtual world of possibilities. 

By David Gerhard, Wil J. Norton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Virtual Reality Usability Design as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1. Provides a toolkit of templates for common VR interactions, as well as practical advice on when to use
them and how to tailor them for specific use cases;
2. Includes case studies detailing the practical application of interaction theory discussed in each chapter;
3. Presents tables of guidelines for practicing VR developers, for reference during software development;
4. Covers procedures for Interface Evaluation - formulas and testing methodologies to ensure that VR
interfaces are effective, efficient, engaging, error-tolerant, and easy to learn;
5. Non-linear organisation - chapters of the book on different concepts can be read to gain knowledge…


Book cover of Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set ...Test!

Cory Lebson Author Of The UX Careers Handbook

From my list on starting in user experience (UX) design and research.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is a scene in the 1960 movie adaptation of The Time Traveler by HG Wells where the protagonist goes rapidly into the future as he watches a whole city spin into existence around him. That’s how I feel about my career. I started in 1994 and have watched UX grow into an incredible field! I’ve run my own business since 2008 focused exclusively on qualitative research consulting while also doing all sorts of exciting thought leadership activities – from writing to speaking to creating a number of courses on LinkedIn Learning – and I love to build my UX network too! I live in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Cory's book list on starting in user experience (UX) design and research

Cory Lebson Why did Cory love this book?

As a UX researcher, although I offer a variety of qualitative research services, usability testing is definitely the top research approach that I’m hired for.

As such, this book is the best deep dive into usability testing methods out there. Pretty much every aspect of usability testing is covered – from planning, to conducting the research to reporting out on findings.

I appreciate how it also presents variations on usability testing and find that this book gives me good ideas when having to best explain some nuance of usability testing to my clients.

By Carol M. Barnum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Usability Testing Essentials as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Usability Testing Essentials presents a practical, step-by-step approach to learning the entire process of planning and conducting a usability test. It explains how to analyze and apply the results and what to do when confronted with budgetary and time restrictions. This is the ideal book for anyone involved in usability or user-centered design-from students to seasoned professionals.

Filled with new examples and case studies, Usability Testing Essentials, Second Edition is completely updated to reflect the latest approaches, tools and techniques needed to begin usability testing or to advance in this area.


Book cover of Strategic Writing for UX: Drive Engagement, Conversion, and Retention with Every Word

Rachel McConnell Author Of Why You Need a Content Team and How to Build One

From my list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved into content design from a career in brand and marketing, at a time when the discipline was emerging and not many people really knew what it was. Much of my time since has been spent educating people and organisations and sharing knowledge to help them make better content decisions. Throughout this time, I’ve learnt most of what I know through the experience of working with the design teams, but so many books have also helped me along the way and made my work so much better. I love content design – having the power to improve people's experiences with brands through words is so rewarding, and these books will inspire others to do the same.

Rachel's book list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design

Rachel McConnell Why did Rachel love this book?

For anyone just starting out in content design or UX writing, this book is a must-have. It focuses on the technicalities of creating user-centered microcopy for web journeys, and includes frameworks and guidance to help you get it right. It also features one of my favourite exercises to try with designers – a conversational design workshop to help everyone consider the content before jumping into visual design. Torrey’s extensive knowledge comes from designing content for companies like Google and Microsoft, so she knows her stuff!

By Torrey Podmajersky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strategic Writing for UX as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When you depend on users to perform specific actions-like buying tickets, playing a game, or riding public transit-well-placed words are most effective. But how do you choose the right words? And how do you know if they work? With this practical book, you'll learn how to write strategically for UX, using tools to build foundational pieces for UI text and UX voice strategy.

UX content strategist Torrey Podmajersky provides strategies for converting, engaging, supporting, and re-attracting users. You'll use frameworks and patterns for content, methods to measure the content's effectiveness, and processes to create the collaboration necessary for success. You'll…


Book cover of Writing Is Designing

Rachel McConnell Author Of Why You Need a Content Team and How to Build One

From my list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved into content design from a career in brand and marketing, at a time when the discipline was emerging and not many people really knew what it was. Much of my time since has been spent educating people and organisations and sharing knowledge to help them make better content decisions. Throughout this time, I’ve learnt most of what I know through the experience of working with the design teams, but so many books have also helped me along the way and made my work so much better. I love content design – having the power to improve people's experiences with brands through words is so rewarding, and these books will inspire others to do the same.

Rachel's book list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design

Rachel McConnell Why did Rachel love this book?

I first read this book as a technical reviewer and loved how the book almost felt like a double-act, with both Andy and Michael sharing their tips for great content design. The book takes you through the design process for good content, from creating the content itself to testing and measuring with your team. It’s simply written and laid out, so it doesn’t feel like a technical read, and you’ll feel well-equipped to approach even the trickiest content design challenges.

By Michael J. Metts, Andy Welfle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Writing Is Designing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Without words, apps would be an unusable jumble of shapes and icons, while voice interfaces and chatbots wouldn't even exist. Words make software human–centered, and require just as much thought as the branding and code. This book will show you how to give your users clarity, test your words, and collaborate with your team. You'll see that writing is designing.


Book cover of Designing Modern Japan

Naomi Pollock Author Of Japanese Design Since 1945: A Complete Sourcebook

From my list on the best of Japanese product design.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I came to architecture through classical archeology, writing about design was kind of like coming home. I made the switch to journalism after moving to Tokyo. At that time, Japan’s economy was going strong, boom cranes were everywhere, and the worldwide appetite for information about new construction was robust. An outgrowth of my success documenting architecture, my interest in design was sparked partly by the chairs and teapots created by Japanese architects but also by the superb array of daily-use goods available in Japan. The dearth of information about these items and their designers led me to cover design at various scales. 

Naomi's book list on the best of Japanese product design

Naomi Pollock Why did Naomi love this book?

This is an extremely well-researched book which provides an in-depth look at how the design fields developed and have evolved in Japan.

Though airing on the academic, I find it very readable, and I consult it when I wish to know more about a particular period of Japanese design history. Having scoured the landscape myself, I have great admiration for the author’s ability to ferret out information – there is no central design museum or archive in Japan – and present it cogently.

By Sarah Teasley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Designing Modern Japan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Muji to Sony televisions, our lives are surrounded by Japanese design. We think we know it, whether it reflects calming minimalism, avant-garde catwalk fashion or the Kawaii aesthetic populating Tokyo streets. But these stereotypes do not portray the creativity, generosity and sheer hard work that has gone into creating design industries in Japan.
In Designing Modern Japan, Sarah Teasley traces the stories of the people who shaped and shape design in modern Japan. Key to the account is how design was seen as a strategy to help the nation thrive during turbulent times, and for making life better along…


Book cover of Game Feel: A Game Designer's Guide to Virtual Sensation

Jesse Schell Author Of The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses

From my list on for game designers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved game design – I love doing it, reading about it, thinking about it, and helping others do it. As you can see in the list, I’ve learned that sometimes what helps game designers most is getting inspiration from other fields. I hope these books help you as much as they helped me.

Jesse's book list on for game designers

Jesse Schell Why did Jesse love this book?

A tremendous amount of what makes a great videogame happens at the millisecond level. In this realm that is invisible to most, tiny changes make for enormous differences in the way a game feels. If you would master the secret rules that make for a game that people can’t put down because it just feels so good to play, you are wise to read this book. 

By Steve Swink,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Game Feel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Game Feel" exposes "feel" as a hidden language in game design that no one has fully articulated yet. The language could be compared to the building blocks of music (time signatures, chord progressions, verse) - no matter the instruments, style or time period - these building blocks come into play. Feel and sensation are similar building blocks where game design is concerned. They create the meta-sensation of involvement with a game.

The understanding of how game designers create feel, and affect feel are only partially understood by most in the field and tends to be overlooked as a method or…


Book cover of The Art of Looking Sideways

David Airey Author Of Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding

From my list on visual branding.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a graphic designer, writer, and brand consultant. I work with clients of all sizes, from multinationals to companies of one. Since opening my business in 2005 I’ve created logos and visual identities for brands in more than 30 countries. I run two design blogs Logo Design Love and Identity Designed. They resulted in publishing deals to write their accompanying books, and their pages now get millions of views each year.

David's book list on visual branding

David Airey Why did David love this book?

A seminal classic for any graphic designer. “A primer in visual intelligence, an exploration of the workings of the eye, the hand, the brain, and the imagination.”

By Alan Fletcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Looking Sideways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Art of Looking Sideways is a primer in visual intelligence, an exploration of the workings of the eye, the hand, the brain and the imagination. It is an inexhaustible mine of anecdotes, quotations, images, curious facts and useless information, oddities, serious science, jokes and memories, all concerned with the interplay between the verbal and the visual, and the limitless resources of the human mind. Loosely arranged in 72 chapters, all this material is presented in a wonderfully inventive series of pages that are themselves masterly demonstrations of the expressive use of type, space, colour and imagery.

This book does…


Book cover of A Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Good

Sam Ita Author Of Fun with Origami Animals Kit: 40 Different Animals! Includes Colorfully Patterned Folding Sheets!

From my list on creative dads.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my kids were toddlers, there was a Burger King in the neighborhood with an indoor playground. It was glorious. A random guy walked up to me while we were there. “How do you do it, you know, the whole Dad thing” he asked. "Well… you don’t necessarily need to do a whole lot. Mostly just show up. Stick around." Never mentioned that by this time, I’d written and/or illustrated at least a couple dozen children’s books. I asked my nine-year-old daughter how she’d describe me as a Dad. “Most people think you’re creative, but I think you’re pretty average.” That’s good enough for me.

Sam's book list on creative dads

Sam Ita Why did Sam love this book?

This book does an amazing job of introducing kids to visual thinking and communication. Crucial skills in this day and age.

Bold lines and primary colors clearly demonstrate the basic principles of design and composition without pretense or jargon. After countless rereadings, my copy endured tape repairs and ultimately complete destruction at the hands of my daughter. You always hurt the ones you love. Highly recommended.

By Mark Gonyea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Book about Design as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Design is all about the perception of size, shape, and color.

A fabulous and fun introduction to the concepts of design

A Book About Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Good takes a most creative approach to introducing young (and not-so-young) readers to the fundamental elements of design. Using simple shapes, lines, and a sense of humor, this book explains why complicated doesn't make it good-and why that matters. Mark Gonyea opens up the world of design and makes it accessible to young artists and non-artists alike.

A Children's Book-of-the-Month Club Selection
A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION


5 book lists we think you will like!

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