The Top 40 UX Books of All Time – As recommended by UX Designers

31. Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions

Author: Bella Martin and Bruce Hanington

Best for:  Last minute help when you’re in a rut

Recommended by: UX agony aunt Ashlea McKay

Comments

Aslea says ‘my favourite book (affectionately known as ‘The Purple Book’) is Universal Methods of design. This one has been with me for years and is a collection of diverse research and design iteration techniques that has gotten me unstuck from many ruts’.

32. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

Author: Amy Cuddy

Best for: People who feel like UX imposters

Recommended by: Ashlea McKay

Comments

Ashlea recommends this book ‘for the Imposter Syndrome that I and many other UXers experience.’

33. Customer Genius

Author: Peter Fisk

Best for: Customer experience

Recommended by: UX consultant and coach, Nick Bowmast

Comments

Nick says ‘I bought this book at an airport. I’d never seen it before and haven’t since, despite lending it to many clients over the years. While some of the case studies might be a little dated it’s a great departure from UX into the world of CX, and the ‘voice of the customer’ throughout inspired this video on my home page’.

34. The UX Notebook

Author: Sarah Doody

Best for:  People who don’t like reading books

Recommended by: Me (the author)

Buy now

Comments

I find books overwhelming and tend to be a blog kind-of-girl.  When I found out Sarah was doing a notebook I  had to buy it as I love her weekly newsletter. The notebook is a nice, short read with inspirational quotes and space for notes

35. The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right (Voices That Matter)

Author: Meghan Casey

Best for: Content Management

Recommended by: Datacom’s Senior UX Analyst Carly Moore

Comments

Carly says ‘this one is a pretty awesome ‘how to’ guide to content strategy. It has lots of downloadable resources and tool tips so is pretty darn handy’.

36. Mapping Hypertext: The Analysis, Organization, and Display of Knowledge for the Next Generation of On-Line Text and Graphics

Author: Bob Horn

Best for:  Information mapping

Recommended by: UX consultant Chris Rosato

Comments

This book is an old but still very relevant way of looking at mapping formation and writing technical content.

Chris says ‘perspectives and technologies change; principles don’t. Bob Horn foresaw models for information presentation, interactivity and knowledge sharing well before the technology infrastructure was there to support them. Visionaries see opportunity and don’t need to filter knowledge through domain classifications. Mr. Horn saw further’.

37. A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences

Author: Sarah Horton

Best for:  Accessibility

Recommended by: Dr Makayla Lewis

38. How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody

Author: Abby Covert

Best for: People who feel overwhelmed with their current project

Recommended by: Cornelius Rachieru Jr.

39. Emotional UX (Voices that matter)

Author:  Kelly Goto

Best for:  Using research to discover unmet needs

Recommended by:  Chava Canolli

40. Back of the Napkin: Solving problems and selling ideas with pictures

Author: Dan Roam

Best for: Creating ad-hoc sketches to communicate ideas

Recommended by:  Dr Makayla Lewis

We hope you enjoyed the list. Books are very personal things and it might be that your favourite UX book isn’t on here. Let us know about any that we’ve missed out in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “The Top 40 UX Books of All Time – As recommended by UX Designers”

  1. Simon F says:

    Intriguing list. Almost enough to make me want to become a UX guru. Sadly, I’m not. But I do know that if Apple’s “Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines” was good enough to influence Neal Stephenson’s design of the Metaverse in his novel Snow Crash, then it’s good enough to make #41 in this list 🙂

    1. Caroline White says:

      Yes. a very worthy #41. Thanks Neal :-

  2. Pablo says:

    Which of these would you recommend developers to read to get an understanding of what their UX colleagues do and also improve their own work?

    1. Caroline White says:

      Hey Pablo. Great question. Seductive Interaction Design by Stephen Anderson is thought to be great for people coming from a technical background who want to know more about UX.

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