64 books like Virtual Reality Usability Design

By David Gerhard, Wil J. Norton,

Here are 64 books that Virtual Reality Usability Design fans have personally recommended if you like Virtual Reality Usability Design. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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 Think Like a UX Researcher: How to Observe Users, Influence Design, and Shape Business Strategy

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 myself, I love how this book explains UX research methods simply and clearly.

I appreciate how it presents everything within a rich background of context and history. For me, this is the book I go to when I need to figure out how to best explain some research approach to a client.

I also appreciate how it also includes sections on myths and incorrect ideas which helps me when I sometimes need to explain to a client why their approach may need to be adjusted to be more methodologically correct.

Finally, I think this is a great book for UX designers to understand when and how to involve research in their efforts.

By David Travis, Philip Hodgson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Think Like a UX Researcher as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Think Like a UX Researcher will challenge your preconceptions about user experience (UX) research and encourage you to think beyond the obvious. You'll discover how to plan and conduct UX research, analyze data, persuade teams to take action on the results and build a career in UX. The book will help you take a more strategic view of product design so you can focus on optimizing the user's experience. UX Researchers, Designers, Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Business Analysts and Marketing Managers will find tools, inspiration and ideas to rejuvenate their thinking, inspire their team and improve their craft.

Key Features…


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 A Maze of Death

Mike Dubisch Author Of The Earthlings

From my list on thought provoking science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong reader of science fiction and fantasy from all eras, coming from a family that was obsessed with both science and speculative fiction. I am the co-creator of Forbidden Futures magazine, the world’s only full color, fully illustrated genre fiction periodical, and I have been writing and publishing science fiction and horror comics, art, and stories for over four decades. I have contributed to the worlds of Star Wars, Aliens VS Predator, Dungeons and Dragons, DC and MARVEL comics, and The Wheel Of Time. I am an instructor teaching fantasy illustration, comics, and graphic novel writing at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Mike's book list on thought provoking science fiction

Mike Dubisch Why did Mike love this book?

This story imagines a human colony on an alien world that is both terrifying and surreal. 

One by one the colonists meet strange fates or murder each other, until they all wake up to discover the entire sequence of events was a virtual reality—a diversion designed to occupy them while awaiting an unlikely rescue from otherwise certain doom. However, elements from the virtual reality escape into the waking world, leading to salvation for at least one of the voyagers.

This book will keep you guessing right up to the end, and beyond, making the reader consider what is real, what is religion, and what do we want most out of life.

By Philip K Dick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Maze of Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Hugo Award–winning author Philip K. Dick, A Maze of Death is a sci-fi murder mystery set on a mysterious planet where colonists experience unexplained shifts in reality and perception.

Delmak-O is a dangerous planet. Though there are only fourteen citizens, no one can trust anyone else and death can strike at any moment. The planet is vast and largely unexplored, populated mostly by gelatinous cube-shaped beings that give cryptic advice in the form of anagrams. Deities can be spoken to directly via a series of prayer amplifiers and transmitters, but they may not be happy about it.

And the…


Book cover of Tea From An Empty Cup

Aaron Conners Author Of Tex Murphy and the Tesla Effect

From my list on combining science fiction and detective stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading the Hardy Boys, then Sherlock Holmes, then Hammett and Chandler. I’ve always been fascinated by mysteries and the process of solving them. This led me to create my own interactive murder mysteries, then a career designing and writing videogames. Two of the games, featuring a 1940’s-style P.I. living in the post-apocalyptic 2040s, won “Adventure Game of the Year” awards, and spawned a series of four (so far) novels. The stories, which combine light sci-fi with detective noir and a lot of humor, have been influenced by many different movies, tv shows, and books, including the five in this list. I hope you enjoy them!

Aaron's book list on combining science fiction and detective stories

Aaron Conners Why did Aaron love this book?

Cyberpunk Noir isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (sorry), and this story is dark and downbeat, with two female protagonists who aren’t especially sympathetic, so readers tend to love this book or hate it. For me, the kinetic writing style, crackling dialogue, and richly-detailed descriptions of cyberspace—as well as the fresh take on the “locked-room murder” (a virtual reality parlor in this case)—makes it a highly-recommended read.

By Pat Cadigan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tea From An Empty Cup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To find what they seek, Konstantin, a hardened cop investigating a series of grisly murders, and Yuki, a woman searching for her missing lover, must delve deep into the dark world of cyberspace, an artificial world where the lines between virtual and real have become blurred. Reprint. LJ.


Book cover of Forging

Shami Stovall Author Of Knightmare Arcanist

From my list on progression fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved fantasy novels, movies, and video games. When I got to high school, I finally met people who played Dungeons and Dragons, and it was all downhill from there! I started Dungeon Mastering at a young age, but everyone said I had a real talent for it. The stories I created always caught the imagination of the players, and more than once, people told me I should write books. Well, here I am. I love escapist fantasy, epic adventures, wonderful characters, and terrible villains. I can’t get enough of them, and every day I immerse myself in the fantastical, whether it be reading another book, writing another story, or booting up another Final Fantasy game.

Shami's book list on progression fantasy

Shami Stovall Why did Shami love this book?

The Land by Aleron Kong is the third litRPG on this list, and probably the most famous. Every litRPG uses a few ways to denote progression, but this book has an almost unending series of charts, numbers, rules, and powers for everything. And I do mean everything.

Character growth. Weapon quality. Town building. To career building. Even dungeon building.

Everything progresses. Everything has level-ups. The world is huge, and the events feel extremely epic. This is also the longest series on the list, with books so massive, you could knock a fool out with one.

Definitely worth the time, though. Don’t miss out.

By Aleron Kong,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover Dr. Aleron Kong, the Father of American LitRPG! #1 in Cyberpunk and Video Game Science Fiction! Over SEVENTEEN HUNDRED positive reviews on Goodreads!!! The second captivating installment of Aleron Kong's, Chaos Seeds series. "We are life takers and heart breakers," Richter shouted. "Let's go!" Richter and Sion are at it again! Even more of what you loved in the first book! Leveling, world building, awesome items, and what's that you say? Sure! Why not? What's a little necrophilia between friends!?! Join your favorite Chaos Seed as he answers the call of adventure and deals with the invaders, greedy dwarves,…


Book cover of Awaken Online: Catharsis

Eric Walsh Author Of The Mad Immortal

From my list on clever protagonists who bend their world’s rules.

Why am I passionate about this?

My GameLit stories like The Mad Immortal are inspired by the fun I've had playing RPGs such as World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons. It’s that same sense of adventure that I seek out in other stories and that I feel these five books I selected demonstrate. In their own way, each of them inspired my own series as I worked to develop the rules for its magic system and to come up with compelling ways the characters could interact within those established restrictions. I love reading about clever applications of magic to solve problems, especially when it’s not immediately obvious how a given spell would help!

Eric's book list on clever protagonists who bend their world’s rules

Eric Walsh Why did Eric love this book?

Awaken Online: Catharsis was actually the very first LitRPG/GameLit book I ever read, and from the opening chapters, I was hooked.

It follows the story of Jason, a player in the VRMMO Awaken Online who becomes a powerful necromancer and is positioned as the game’s villain. I think what drew me in the most was how Jason explored his various abilities, always seeking new ways he might be able to modify or use them to his advantage.

He’s also not afraid to push back against what seems to be the established order within the system, utilizing his powers in a variety of awesome and surprising ways. I definitely drew inspiration from how the magic is described here for my own story, even though my story features less overt game elements.

By Travis Bagwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jason logs into Awaken Online fed-up with reality. He’s in desperate need of an escape, and this game is his ticket to finally feeling the type of power and freedom that’s so sorely lacking in his real life. Awaken Online is a brand new virtual reality game that just hit the market, promising an unprecedented level of immersion. Yet Jason quickly finds himself pushed down a path he didn’t expect. In this game, he isn’t the hero. There are no damsels to save. There are no bad guys to vanquish. In fact, he might just be the villain. (This novel…


Book cover of The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality

Leslie Shannon Author Of Interconnected Realities: How the Metaverse Will Transform Our Relationship with Technology Forever

From my list on when hot new technology meets reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the Head of Trend and Innovation Scouting for Nokia, and I’ve been with the company since the glory days of Nokia mobile phone world dominance. I know first-hand what happens when a company focuses exclusively on the technology, not the humans that use it, and how quickly that can lead to disaster. One of the lessons that I see repeated continuously in the field of innovation is that a huge amount of attention gets paid to the new technology, and not nearly enough on how the technology will interact with our existing systems, beliefs, attitudes, and culture. Learning from the mistakes is the best way to make sure that the future doesn’t repeat them!

Leslie's book list on when hot new technology meets reality

Leslie Shannon Why did Leslie love this book?

If you’ve ever wondered how on Earth Mark Zuckerberg ended up betting his Facebook empire on the unproven technology of Virtual Reality (VR), this is the recent history book for you. 

Blake Harris starts with Palmer Luckey, a homeschooled teenager who shrugged off the received wisdom of all of his elders, and just went ahead and built the first commercially viable VR headset. (That’s an amazing story in itself.) And then he got Mark Zuckerberg so excited about this new experience that, yes, Zuckerberg ended up buying Luckey’s company – and eventually forcing him out.

The History of the Future is about technology, business, the consequences of acting on visionary thinking, and, above all, about how technology is ultimately created and developed by human beings. 

By Blake J. Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A USA Today bestseller

The dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus, its quest for virtual reality, and its founder's contentious battle for political freedom against Facebook, from the bestselling author of Console Wars (now a CBS All Access film).

In The History of the Future, Harris once again deep-dives into a tech drama for the ages to expertly tell the larger-than-life true story of Oculus, the virtual reality company founded in 2012 that-less than two years later-would catch the attention of Mark Zuckerberg and wind up being bought by Facebook for over $2 billion dollars.

This incredible…


Book cover of Ready Player One

Dave Buschi Author Of Reality Recoded

From my list on science fiction books with an everyman hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house of books. Bookcases in almost every room. At an early age, I discovered some great ones that were usually recommended by my dad. The Odyssey. Tarzan of the Apes. Princess of Mars. It is a long, long list, and I won’t give you all my faves—but one thing about it: I was drawn to books with heroes, particularly when those heroes were clearly good. There are no shades of gray for me. I like my heroes to have honor and humility and to always strive to do the right thing.

Dave's book list on science fiction books with an everyman hero

Dave Buschi Why did Dave love this book?

I love stories where the hero is a normal guy that we can all identify with in some way or another and where there is an arc to the story that transforms that normal guy into something extraordinary. 

With just wits and creativity, our hero, Wade Watts, finds a way to survive against all odds. And no matter how bad things get, he never quits. He embodies the best of the human spirit—and by the end of the book, you’re cheering for him. Because he is you (or who you want to be), the "everyman" who stands up to injustice, unfairness, and those powers that are wrecking humanity (which in this case happens to be a trillion-dollar Mega Corporation).

By Ernest Cline,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Ready Player One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in virtual reality, user experience, and presidential biography?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about virtual reality, user experience, and presidential biography.

Virtual Reality Explore 49 books about virtual reality
User Experience Explore 10 books about user experience
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography