x

Save Time and Frustration

Say No to Poorly Designed Products!

Save Time and FrustrationRegister for free
Best UX and UX Design Books (According to Our Survey)
UX Tips

Published on January 11, 2024

Best UX and UX Design Books (According to Our Survey)

With so many UX books out there, it's tough to know which are essential. Our list, inspired by recommendations from UX experts, narrows down the choices.

In this guide, you’ll find the must-read UX books, directing your attention to the most influential works in the field.

Table of contents

Recommended UX Books

This selection of books has been impactful in the UX community, providing a mix of educational, engaging, and inspiring content. They are well-suited for UX specialists looking to deepen their knowledge and refine their skills.

  1. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design
  2. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests
  3. Interviewing Users: Uncover Compelling Insights
  4. Don’t Make Me Think
  5. Think Like a UX Researcher: How to Observe Users, Influence Design, and Shape Business Strategy
  6. Designing Interfaces
  7. The Design of Everyday Things
  8. The Elements of User Experience
  9. Just Enough Research
  10. The User Experience Team of One

🐝 Note: Each book in our list has been given a normalized score out of 10, simplifying the process of comparison and selection for you. This scoring system is based on our survey of the UX community. You can learn more about the survey and its methodology here.

Top rated and most widely known books

Here’s a concise summary featuring the top five books that received the most recommendations in our survey. Additionally, we’ve included a section highlighting widely recognized titles among UX specialists who participated in our survey.

Top rated and most widely known books

Books by Expertise

In this section, we’ve organized book recommendations by the years of experience of our surveyed UX specialists. We’ve selected three books for each experience level, supported by peers with similar expertise.

Books by Expertise

Recommended Book Selection

#1 About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design

About Face The Essentials of Interaction Design 

Source: Amazon

Score: 10.0/10

Authors: Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, Christopher Noessel

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 53.66%

What is this book about?

This book is the key interaction design guide for the mobile era. It addresses mobile apps, touch interfaces, and screen size considerations. Essential for designers and developers, it offers the latest methods and examples for designing user-friendly mobile and consumer electronics interfaces. The book highlights the growing importance of design in meeting user expectations and remains a crucial resource in the evolving tech industry.

#2 Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests

Handbook-of-Usability-Testing

Source: Amazon

Score: 9.1/10

Authors: Jeffrey Rubin, Dana Chisnell

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 50.0%

What is this book about?

This handbook offers detailed guidance on usability testing for any product, from software to cellphones and refrigerators. It’s fully updated with current best practices, helping ensure your product meets customer expectations for ease of use. Learn to identify usability limitations, determine testing locations, and establish a test plan to achieve your product’s usability goals. This resource is essential for gaining a marketplace advantage through user-friendly products.

#3 Interviewing Users

Interviewing Users (2nd Edition)

Source: Amazon

Score: 8.91/10

Author: Steve Portigal

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 72.22%

What is this book about?

“Interviewing Users” serves as an essential resource for UX practitioners and non-design contributors, providing effective techniques to gather valuable information from users. Recommended for open source projects and product managers, it empowers individuals to ask the right questions and gain a deeper understanding of user needs, bridging the gap in UX research efforts.

Did you know?👀

We recently had a chat with Steve Portigal on our UX Research Geeks podcast?

#4 Don’t Make Me Think 

Don’t Make Me Think

Source: Amazon

Score: 8.88/10

Author: Steve Krug

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 73.17%

What is this book about?

In the last edition of “Don’t Make Me Think,” usability expert Steve Krug continues to provide insights into intuitive navigation and information design for web designers and developers. Known for its witty and commonsense approach, this book remains a trusted resource, now updated with contemporary examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. Whether you’re revisiting it or discovering it for the first time, “Don’t Make Me Think” is considered essential reading for web professionals worldwide.

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

Think Like a UX Researcher

Source: Amazon

Score: 8.68/10

Authors: David Travis & Philip Hodgson

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 66.67%

What is this book about?

“Think Like a UX Researcher” prompts readers to rethink conventional UX research, encouraging a broader perspective. This practical book helps you plan and execute effective UX research, advocate for action, and advance your career in UX. It provides actionable tools for UX researchers, designers, project managers, scrum masters, business analysts, and marketing managers, inspiring improved user experiences.

#6 Designing Interfaces

Designing-Interfaces

Source: Amazon

Score: 8.27/10

Author: Jenifer Tidwell

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 34.15%

What is this book about?

In “Designing Interfaces,” you’ll find design patterns that offer solutions for various platforms, including mobile apps, web applications, and desktop software. The book places importance on user understanding, logical software structure, user-friendly components, intuitive navigation, and improved visual design to enhance usability.

#7 The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things

Source: Amazon

Score: 8.27/10

Author: Don Norman

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 85.37%

What is this book about?

In this book by Don Norman, he shares fundamental principles of meaningful design that remain relevant today. It addresses common usability challenges caused by poor product design and highlights the importance of user-centric design and cognitive psychology principles. The book offers practical guidelines for creating user-friendly products, focusing on the art of designing products that satisfy and delight customers.

#8 The Elements of User Experience

The Elements of User Experience 

Source: Amazon

Score: 8.11/10

Author: Jesse James Garrett

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 48.78%

What is this book about?

“Elements of User Experience” by Jesse James Garrett serves as a reference for web and interaction designers worldwide. It underscores the significance of creating a cohesive user experience, addressing challenges posed by mobile devices and applications. Garrett provides clear explanations and illustrations covering user experience development, making it a valuable resource for interaction design.

#9 Just Enough Research

Just Enough Research

Source: Amazon

Score: 8.02/10

Author: Erika Hall

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 72.22%

What is this book about?

Erika Hall’s book focuses on practical research methods for immediate application, helping you discover competitive advantages, recognize biases, and understand research findings. Explore frameworks for research design, stakeholder and user interviews, quick testing methods, and quantitative data techniques.

#10 The User Experience Team of One 

The User Experience Team of One

Source: Amazon

Score: 7.49/10

Author: Leah Buley

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

How many people in the survey knew this book? 41.46%

What is this book about?

“The User Experience Team of One” presents pragmatic strategies for optimizing UX with efficiency, making it a valuable resource for individuals and teams. Whether you’re the sole UX designer in your organization or looking to streamline UX practices, this book provides practical tools and insights to achieve more with limited resources, ultimately enhancing your internal programs and boosting your confidence in UX.

Try UXtweak for free!

Test your assumptions quickly, access qualified audiences worldwide, and receive clear reports - all with competitive pricing.

Register for the free plan

5 Best UX design books

In the upcoming section, you’ll find the top 5 books that were highly favored by UX designers. However, we won’t provide detailed descriptions of these books since they have already been mentioned in our general recommendations.

UX design books

More worthwhile reads for UX specialists

Looking for more inspiration as a UX specialist? Dive into five recommended books from fellow UX specialists, offering valuable insights and specialized knowledge for your field.

#1 Mixed Methods: A short guide to applied mixed methods research

Mixed methods

Source: Amazon

AuthorSam Ladner PhD

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

What is this book about?

This book offers an introduction to mixed research methods for applied researchers in various fields. It explores how quantitative and qualitative research can complement each other to strengthen research outcomes, providing clear examples and valuable insights for researchers.

#2 The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

The Mom Test

Source: Amazon

Author: Rob Fitzpatrick

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

What is this book about?

“The Mom Test” is a guide that provides practical advice to help you save time, money, and potential disappointments. It underscores the importance of avoiding biased opinions, like those from loved ones, when evaluating your business idea. Instead, the book highlights your responsibility to seek honest feedback and offers insights into the often tricky world of customer conversations. It’s a quick and informative read, making it an essential resource for those looking to understand how to validate business ideas through customer interactions.

#3 The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

The Paradox of Choice

Source: Amazon

Author: Barry Schwartz

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

What is this book about?

In this book, the author examines our fascination with choices and how it can lead to stress, dissatisfaction, and regret. It talks about how everyday decisions, from buying things to life choices, have become more complicated due to too many options. We often think more choices are better, but too much choice can make us anxious, lead to unrealistic expectations, and even depression. The book explores when having too many choices can harm our well-being, making us question the decisions we make. It’s a simple read worth considering in our modern world.

#4 Continuous Discovery Habits

Continuous Discovery Habits

Source: Amazon

Author: Teresa Torres

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

What is this book about?

This book offers practical guidance for those without access to strong coaching, addressing key questions about understanding customer needs, improving products, and creating value. It introduces a sustainable approach to continuous discovery, emphasizing the balance between action and doubt. If you aim to create customer-loved products that also benefit your business, this book is a valuable resource by author Teresa Torres, an experienced coach in the field. Recommended by industry leaders, it helps build customer-centric product teams and habits.

Did you catch our latest podcast episode? 🎙️

We had a conversation with Teresa Torres, a well-known Product Management Coach, in the UXR Geeks podcast. Teresa discussed the Continuous Discovery Framework and its importance for product teams. She shared insights on customer-centric methods, the role of researchers in product development, and how to balance various customer insights.

#5 Badass: Making Users Awesome

Badass-Making-Users-Awesome

Source: Amazon

Author: Kathy Sierra

Where can I buy this book? Amazon

What is this book about?

This book is centered on the creation of successful users through cost-effective strategies often ignored by well-funded teams. It emphasizes the importance of every team member’s role in reducing dependence on luck and enhancing user experiences, both during and beyond product usage.

Try UXtweak for free!

Test your assumptions quickly, access qualified audiences worldwide, and receive clear reports - all with competitive pricing.

Register for the free plan

About our “Best UX research books” survey

What was the process behind our survey? We started by selecting books from various articles that recommended reading for UX specialists. This formed a shortlist that our respondents could assess. They had options to mark each book as ‘Not familiar’, ‘Would recommend’, ‘Indifferent’, or ‘Would not recommend’. Once the survey concluded, we analyzed these responses to draw our conclusions.

How our rating methodology works?

  1. In our approach to rating the books, we started by calculating the percentages of respondents who had either recommended it, expressed indifference to it, or not recommended it, disregarding the respondents who selected the “not familiar with” option.
  2. We then determined a net recommendation score for each book by subtracting the percentage of non-recommendations from the percentage of recommendations.
  3. This score effectively captures the overall sentiment toward each book, taking into account both positive and negative opinions.
  4. To make an easier comparison across the books, we normalized these net recommendation scores to a scale ranging from 0 to 10. The highest-ranked book was assigned a score of 10, and the scores for the other books were adjusted proportionally.
  5. This normalization process helps us present a clear, quantifiable, and easy-to-understand rating for each book, reflecting its relative standing among the survey respondents.

We believe this method provides a balanced view of the respondents’ preferences.

Where do our survey respondents come from?

We’re thrilled to report that 327 individuals from more than 40 countries chose to participate in our survey! A detailed look shows 48.8% were from the North America, followed by 36% from Europe, then 9.3% from Asia, 3.5% from South America, 1.4% from Africa and 0.8% from Australia and Oceania. The participants were from countries such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, Argentina, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, among others. It’s fantastic to see such wide and diverse involvement! 😊

Where-do-our-respondents-come-from

How much experience in UX field do our respondents have?

Lastly, we will examine the distribution of our respondents based on their levels of experience in the User Experience (UX) field. We’ll categorize them into four groups: less experienced UX specialists (those with under 2 years of experience), experienced UX specialists (with 2 to 5 years of experience), senior professionals in the UX field (having 5 to 10 years of experience), and seasoned UX experts (with over 10 years of experience).

How-much-experience-do-our-respondents-have

🐝 Tip: Do you want to get in touch with people from the UX community but don’t know where to look? See our article Best 30 UX Communities and Groups to Join!

Jana Filusova
January 11, 2024
All author's articles

Jana Filusova, our Marketing Executive at UXtweak, brings a scientific approach, analytical skills, and a business background to her role. She is responsible for running our podcast "UX Researcher Geeks" and content creation. Jana's academic background is in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and she spent three years as a researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences. After completing her Master's studies, she shifted from the world of science to the field of Business Management and began working for UXtweak.

Learn why these premium brands trust UXtweak

UXtweak is buzzing with expert UX research, making thousands of products
more user friendly every day

michelin-logo logo-hp logo-bmc

You might be interested in