The 30 Best UX Books Every Creative Should Read in 2022
A selection of UX books for all levels and purposes
If you want to improve yourself as a UX designer, or you’re are just getting started in UX design, it’s important to know where to begin. Books are always a great choice. You can read them in your own time and place while enjoying your favorite drink. They are a great addition to your online courses. Also, they are relatively cheap, and less time-consuming than other routes of self-development. This is why, for today’s article, I selected the 30 best UX books to help you on your learning journey.
To make it easier, I also grouped them into 5 categories for each audience. You could fast-travel to a section of your interest through the overview below.
The Best UX Books You Can Read in 2022: Categories
- Books on Psychology of UX Design
- UX Design Books Suitable for Creative Agencies
- Beginner-Friendly UX Design Books
- UX Design Books for Everybody
- Advanced UX Design Books
Best Books on Psychology of UX Design
Understanding human psychology and what triggers sudden behaviors proves to be essential for designers. This is especially true when it comes to creating user-centered products with great UX. In this section, I gathered 7 of the best UX books on psychology and behavioral science for designers. They could help you understand the natural cognitive limitations and capabilities of the user and use the knowledge to deliver great UX.
Laws of UX: Using Psychology to Design Better Products & Services
By Jon Yablonski
This book is a pure classic for designers. It focuses on the psychology behind how users behave and interact with interfaces. One of the most valuable skills for any UX designer is to create intuitive human-centered experiences.
- A practical guide of how to apply key principles
- How to create positive responses through aesthetically pleasing design
- How psychology principles relate to UX heuristics
- Ethical implications of psychology in design
- Predictive models
- Framework for applying the principles
100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People
by Susan Weinschenk
One of the best UX books out there on intuitive and engaging design combines real science with practical examples. The book is suitable for all levels from beginners to experienced designers. It will help the reader create apps and websites, as well as products, that will match the way people behave, decide and think.
- How to apply psychology and behavioral science
- What grabs and holds the user’s attention?
- Predicting the types of errors users will make
- What makes a memory stick?
- The limit of a social circle
- What is the best line length for text?
- Are some fonts superior to others?
Designing with the Mind in Mind by Jeff Johnson
by Jeff Johnson
The complete and revised edition. A background in perceptual and cognitive psychology, human choice and decision making, hand-eye coordination, and attention. Includes examples, figures, and explanations throughout.
- An essential source for UI/UX design rules and how/when/why to apply them
- The science behind each design rule for informed decisions
- How to make educated tradeoffs between competing rules, project deadlines, and budget pressures
- Human choice and decision making, hand-eye coordination, and attention
- Mobile and touch-screen examples throughout
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
by Nir Eyal
This must-read focuses on the most important question. Why do some products get attention while others flop? It searches through the patterns of how technologies hook us by explaining the Hook Model. That’s a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to encourage customer behavior in a very subtle manner.
Ideal for product managers, designers, marketers, and start-up founders.
- Based on the author’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience
- Practical insights on creating user habits that stick
- How to build products and services that people will love
- The book includes examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App.
Designing Digital Products for Kids: Deliver User Experiences That Delight Kids, Parents, and Teachers
by Rubens Cantuni
To make a valuable UX for children is as complex as designing a typical app for an adult. if not more. This book includes insights from industry experts and careful advice for the ethics that go along with this unique market.
Suitable for UI/ UX designers, product owners, educators, and startups.
- How to design a platform that entertains and educates children?
- Working with a complex audience that consists of children, parents, and educators.
- Why/How do monetization strategies work in this unique market?
Bottlenecks: Aligning UX Design with User Psychology
by David C. Evans
Bottlenecks focuses on web pages and cognitive psychology for apps, social media, in-car infotainment, and multiplayer video games. The common topic is the crucial roles played by behaviorism, development, personality, and social psychology. Ideal for entrepreneurs, designers, and marketing professionals.
- What psychology processes determine user perception
- Before and After interfaces examples
- Marketing strategies in the age of social media and behavioral targeting
- How academics and enterprises can perform to better meet users’ needs
Designing for Behavior Change: Applying Psychology and Behavioral Economics
by Stephen Wendel
The fact that some products and services become essential for users is not accidental. Such deep integration is a process of careful design and iterative learning, especially for technology companies. This guide shows how this works.
Ideal for product managers, UX and interaction designers, and data analysts.
- A step-by-step guide for incorporating behavioral science into product design.
- Three main strategies for changing behaviors
- How to measure your product’s impact and how to improve it
Best UX Books for Creative Agencies
For this section, I collected five highly recommended valuable books on UX design suitable for creative agencies. UI/UX designers, researchers, project managers, Scrum masters, developers, copywriters, marketing teams, and business analysts can find these books very valuable.
The Complete Website Planning Guide
by Darryl King
The Complete Website Planning Guide teaches you how to easily create blueprints (a scope) for you or your client’s website. It’s an instruction manual to create useful site plans. It takes on essential requirements without being overly technical.
- How to avoid delays, scope creeps, missing functionality, and extra costs.
- A step-by-step guide for establishing what the website really needs to do and how
- Includes free templates and resources
The Design of Everyday Things
by Don Norman
This book shows that good, usable design is possible with some simple rules. It focuses on how to make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couples function and control. In short, this book’s main goal is to help you guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.
- How/Why do some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them?
- A practical guide to human-centered design shows that usability is just as important as aesthetics.
Think Like a UX Researcher: How to Observe Users, Influence Design, and Shape Business Strategy
by David Travis
Think Like a Researcher aims to challenge your perceptions about UX and encourage you to think beyond what’s obvious. The book will help you discover how exactly to plan and conduct your research and how to analyze the data and persuade your team.
Ideal for UI/UX designers, researchers, project managers, Scrum masters, marketing teams, and business analysts.
- Practical advice and topical examples
- Triggers, exercises, and scenarios to test your knowledge of UX research
- War stories from seasoned researchers
Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience
by Tom Greever
Another valuable skill is to know how to communicate your work with stakeholders. Unfortunately, having good confidence and articulation doesn’t come naturally to everyone especially for more introverted types. The good news is, you don’t have to be a natural debater and a charismatic speaker to communicate your work and win. There are some principles and tactics that could help you go around and present your concepts.
- Principles, tactics, and actionable methods for presenting your designs
- Preparing for and presenting your designs
- Understand stakeholder perspectives to empathize with them
- How to develop implicit and explicit listening skills
- How to express the most effective response to feedback
- A special chapter on how to work with designers
Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams
by Jeff Gothelf
Lean UX is a highly implemented approach to interaction design, tailor-made for Agile teams. This book expands on the valuable Lean UX principles, tactics, and techniques. You can learn how product teams can incorporate design, iteration, and learning from real users into their Agile process.
- Solving and focus your team on the right outcomes
- Sharing your insights with your team
- Creating Minimum Viable Products
- Incorporating the voice of the customer into the project cycle
- Making your team more productive
- Understanding the organizational shifts
Best UX Design Books for Beginners
Here we have 6 valuable books for those who are starting on their UX design journey and want to learn the fundamentals. The selection includes books on beginner’s lessons, design systems, designing with the developers in mind, laying your first job, and learning the core design principles.
UX for Beginners: A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons
by Joel Marsh
This book has everything from apps and websites to rubber ducks and naked ninjas. It’s ideal for enthusiasts who are just getting started in UX design. Based on the wildly popular UX Crash Course from Joel Marsh’s blog The Hipper Element, UX for beginners features 100 self-contained lessons.
- The fundamentals of UX from scratch
- The weird and wonderful things users do
- How to make everything user-friendly
- How to use size, color, and layouts to influence users
- Planning and creating wireframes
- Making your designs engaging
- How to design for the real world
- What does a typical UX designer do all day?
Laying the Foundations: How to Design Websites and Products Systematically
by Andrew Couldwell
This book teaches you how to design websites and products systematically as well as how to create, document, and maintain design systems. Ideal for designers of all levels, including beginners.
- How to design websites more efficiently?
- Working better together as a design team and with web developers
- No jargon, no glossing over the hard realities
- Advice, experience, and practical tips
- Covers what design systems are, why they are important
- How to get stakeholder buy-in to create one
- Includes a simple model, and two very different approaches to creating a design system
Refactoring UI – Complete Package
By Steve Schoger & Adam Wathan
RefactoringUI teaches you how to design beautiful user interfaces by yourself using specific tactics explained from a developer’s point of view.
- 218-pages PDF format
- Includes 3 in-depth video tutorials
- Inspiration gallery with 200+ layout and component ideas
- Comprehensive color schemes for apps UI
- Font recommendations by user case
- SVG icon library
The UX Jobs Handbook
By The Designer’s Toolbox
This book is great for UX designers who are just getting started on their job-hunting journey. It includes actionable tips, tricks, examples, and tutorials on how to nail your first job.
- Landing your first job as a UX designer
- Writing the cover letter
- Writing the resume
- Tips, tricks, and templates for your portfolio
- How to prepare for your job interview
Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences
by Jesmond J. Allen and James J. Chudley
A guide by the world′s most popular resource for web designers and developers. Smashing UX Design includes an overview of UX and user-centered Design and examines in detail sixteen of the most common UX design and research tools and techniques for your web projects.
Ideal for designers of all levels.
- The complete UX reference manual.
- Usability testing, prototyping, wireframing, sketching, information architecture, running workshops
- Planning your UX projects for different budgets and timeframes
- Real case studies
- User and business requirements to consider when designing business-critical pages
White Space Is Not Your Enemy
by Kim Golombisky and Rebecca Hagen
This is a beginner’s practical guide to communicating visually through graphic, web, and multimedia design. It features expanded sections on Gestalt theory, color theory, and WET layout.
- Practical graphic design and layout guide
- Mobile-first, UI/UX design, and web typography
- Sections on Gestalt theory, color theory, and WET layout
Best UX Books for All Designers
For this section, I selected 6 books for everybody who works with graphic and web design, from already professional designers to beginners, or marketers, developers, and those who are curious and wish to learn something new. The selection includes books on prototyping, developing the right mindset, principles in a UX lifecycle, practical UX design, and Agile UX. Very valuable for all designers.
Prototyping for Designers: Developing the Best Digital and Physical Products
by Kathryn Mcelroy
The book focuses on one of the most important steps of the design process: prototyping and testing. It explains the goals and methodologies behind prototyping for both physical and digital products. Ideal for beginning and intermediate designers.
- Similarities and differences between prototyping for physical and digital products
- Fidelity level for different prototypes
- Best practices for prototyping in a variety of mediums
- Electronics prototyping basics
- Resources for getting started
- Write basic pseudocode and translate it into usable code for Arduino
- Conduct user tests
A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making
by Russ Unger
The book takes the concept of diplomacy, management skills, and being business savvy for a truly successful UX design and focuses on design principles, mobile and gestural interactions, content strategy, and remote research tools.
Ideal for UX designers in the field or in the making.
- The various roles in UX design, identify stakeholders
- How to obtain consensus from your team on project objectives
- Waterfall, Agile, and Lean UX
- How to avoid mission creep
- Conducting user research in person or remotely
- Understanding user behavior
- Designing and prototyping
- Planning for development, product rollout, and ongoing quality assurance
The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience
by Rex Hartson
The book teaches you how to create and refine interaction designs that ensure a quality UX. It provides a hands-on, practical guide to best practices and established principles in a UX lifecycle.
- Usability, usefulness, and emotional impact with special attention to UX evaluation techniques and an agile UX development process
- Universal applicability of processes, principles, and guidelines
- Extensive design guidelines
- Real-world stories
- A practical guide to best practices
- A lifecycle template
Practical UX Design
by Scott Faranello
This book is all about real-world examples, a historical perspective, and a holistic approach to design. In order to help you make more informed design decisions in the future, it grounds you in the fundamental essentials of interactive design to improve your UX design awareness.
- Dispelling the myths of non-UX thinkers
- The six optimal conditions for your best ideas
- The 10 design principles found in all good UX design
- Understanding of Information Architecture (IA)
- Patterns and properties
- Raising the level of UX maturity with a strategy
- Tools of the UX trade that never go out of style
The UX Book: Agile UX Design for a Quality User Experience
by Rex Hartson and Pardha S. Pyla
This entire edition focuses on the agile UX lifecycle process explained in the funnel model of agile UX, as a better match to the standard agile approach to software engineering.
- How-to-do-it handbook and field guide for UX professionals
- A comprehensive textbook for UX/HCI/Interaction Design students
- HCI theory, process, practice
- Real-life stories
- Agile methodology, design approaches
Dieter Rams: Ten Principles for Good Design
The book presents highlights from a forty-year career of Dieter Rams to reflect the designer’s aesthetic philosophy. Dieter Rams, the guiding force behind the Braun look, breaks down his design principles and processes. The images and texts offer the most comprehensive overview of his work to date and serve as a reference and an inspiration for anyone interested in how and why good design matters.Link To Amazon Link To Book Depository
Advanced UX Design Books
And last, but not least, a selection of 6 great books for UX designers with experience. here you will find essential classics, books on designing with data, microinteractions, UX for XD, conversational analysis, and the 5-second rules guide.
Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
by Steve Krug
Published way back in 2000, helping hundreds of thousands of web designers and developers to understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. This 3rd edition of the all-time classic reexamines the principles with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability.
Link To Amazon Link To Book Depository
After reading it over a couple of hours and putting its ideas to work for the past five years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book.
–Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards.
Designing with Data: Improving the User Experience with A/B Testing
by Rochelle King, Elizabeth F Churchill, and Caitlin Tan
In this book design practices and data science work toward the same goal, helping designers and product managers understand users so they can craft elegant digital experiences.
- Understanding the relationship between data, business, and design
- Data, data types, and components of A/B testing
- Using an experimentation framework to define opportunities
- Creating hypotheses that connect to key metrics
- Designing proposed solutions for hypotheses
- Interpreting the results of an A/B test to determine your next moves
Microinteractions: Full-Color Edition: Designing with Details
by Dan Saffer
A full-color practical book that teaches you how microinteractions can turn a good digital product into a great one. The devil’s in the details.
- Triggers, rules, feedback, modes, and loops of the microinteractions
- Types of triggers that initiate a microinteraction
- Creating simple rules for your microinteractions
- Helping users understand the rules with feedback, using graphics, sounds, and vibrations
- Extending a microinteraction’s life with loops
UX for XR: User Experience Design and Strategies for Immersive Technologies (Design Thinking)
by Cornel Hillmann
Extending traditional digital platforms to extended reality (XR) with best practices, new concepts, and conventions. This book defines, identifies, and analyzes UX practices for XR environments and reviews the techniques and tools for prototyping and designing XR user interactions.
- Challenges and opportunities of designing for XR
- Sensory input and interaction beyond the screen
- Work with 3D Interaction Design and build a strong 3D UX
- Understanding VR
- Applying UX research techniques for the XR space
Unintended Affinities: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Natural Conversation Framework
by Robert J Moore
This book adapts formal knowledge from the field of Conversation Analysis (CA) to the design of natural language interfaces. It outlines the Natural Conversation Framework (NCF), developed at IBM Research, a systematic framework for designing interfaces that work like natural conversation.
- Interaction model of “expandable sequences”
- Corresponding content format
- Pattern language with 100 generic UX patterns
- Navigation method of six basic user actions
The UX Five-Second Rules: Guidelines for User Experience Design’s Simplest Testing Technique
by Paul Doncaster
One of the most convenient testing methods for UX available is the 5-second rule. This book uses detailed examples from a collection of more than 300 tests to describe the strengths and weaknesses of this rapid testing method.
- “5-second rules” for getting useful data
- Understanding what stands out most about a design or product
- Understanding the impact on the viewer’s perception of the product
These were the 30 best UX books. From all-time classics to the newest editions for all levels of experience and for everyone who works in the field. I hope you’ve found a book that will help you develop the exact skills you want or inspire you to create amazing designs. Did I miss an essential book that deserves to be included? Please let me know in the comments. I’ll make sure to check it out and include it in its respective section.
In the meantime, why not check for more related insights on web development and web design?