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

21. Presentation Zen

Author: Garr Reynolds

Best for: Improving presentation skills

Recommended by: Natalie Kershner


Natalie says ‘Presentation Zen isn’t a UX book but it’s one that’s globally useful for anyone who has ever been in, or given a boring presentation. Has awesome engagement strategies’.

22. Build Better Products

Author: Laura Klein

Best for: Getting hands on

Recommended by: Sophie Lepinoy


Sophie love this book because it is filled with actionable exercises to make great product design decisions.

23. Rocket Surgery Made Easy

Author: Steve Krug

Best for: Moderated Usability Testing

Recommended by: Jennifer Aldrich


Jennifer says ‘If you want to start doing moderated usability testing, Rocket Surgery Made Easy is fantastic!

24. A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making

Author: Ross Unger, Carolyn Chandler

Best for: Learning how to structure projects

Recommended by: Tom Corser


Tom says ‘this book helped me to structure my projects when I was starting out – it’s like an A to B guide to UX.’

25. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

Author: Don Norman

Best for:  Understanding human attraction (which isn’t always logical!)

Recommended by: Steven Entezari


Steven says ‘Norman opens our eyes to the implicit UX forces that drive attraction towards a product or service and the gestalt nature of its properties.’

26. Drawing Ideas: A Hand-Drawn Approach for Better Design

Author: Mark Baskinger

Best for: Learning to sketch

Recommended by: Dr Makayla Lewis

Price: £24.38
Was: £27.99

27. Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences

Author: Jesmond J. Allen , James J. Chudley

Best for:  Developing UX processes

Recommended by: Paul Olyshager, Marcus Robertson


Paul says ‘this book is great for UX processes and project management’.

28. Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights

Author:  Steve Portigal

Best for:  Tips on interviewing users

Recommended by: Dr Makayla Lewis

29. Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design

Author: Whitney QuesenberyF

Best for:  Becoming a better storyteller

Recommended by: Dr Makayla Lewis

Best for: Keeping things simple

30. The Rules of Simplicity

Author: Jon Meada

Recommended by: Oliver Flippence, UX designer at Datacom


Jon was a lecturer at MIT who came from a technologist rather than a designer background.

Oliver likes this book because it is holistic and helps you structure your life, not just your work. He uses it like a rulebook.

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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