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UX for Beginners

Nikki Chau
The list author says: "I'm often asked for recommendation on UX books to get started in this field. Here are a few that I've personally read and think they're great for dipping your toes in. There are many, many, many more great books that will help bring some major chops to your design and design career. There are endless topics to learn and explore, from Mobile Design, Social and Collaboration Design, Form Design, Content Management, etc. It goes on and on and on. But, I've restrained this list in the spirit of books for getting anyone started. If you disagree or think another one ought to be on this list, please let me know! Jared Spool predicts a shortage in Designers in the coming years. Let's help one another become awesome designers and spread the love."
Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research
Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research
"This is a required reading for one of my courses in college. It's a bit heavier, both in weight and tone, but it's an excellent excellent resource to User Research methods and techniques, pretty essential to doing UX."
A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making
A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making
"Great because it covers the whole gamut of the various roles that are sometimes considered UX. Short and to the point."
Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition
Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition
"Steve Krug's the man when it comes to introducing someone to Usability because in general, Usability doesn't scream out "teh sexiness!", but Steve makes it funny, entertaining, and by god, even seksi."
Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services
Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services
"I admit the size of this book is not beginners friendly. Its weight rivals that of a small child's, so while it may not take you as long to read as it would to raise a small child, it'll take some serious time investment. It'll tell you all the things that you'll need to learn and do as a professional designer: the pitching, the planning, the getting the band together, the presenting, etc."
Visual Thinking: for Design (Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies)
Visual Thinking: for Design (Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies)
"Okay, disclaimer first, this is not an easy breezy book. I chose this because at some point, you're going to think about the visual aspect. Sure, you'll think about workflow, interaction, behavior, form factor, navigation, etc., but if you're going to do UX, you've got to sketch, you've got to visualize the solution. You'll need Colin Ware's Visual Thinking."
Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
"I know the Usability Purists will wrinkle their nose and give me the stinkeye on this, but this is a good introduction to Usability Testing for someone who didn't go through a college semester of Usability Engineering and had to read the pain... er... I mean, informative-inducing books that go with it. It's also a good book to see if you want to specialize in Usability Testing as well."
Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (2nd Edition)
Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (2nd Edition)
"Here's one for IA to-be. Why didn't I choose *the* bear book? (O'Reilly). That one is essential reading as well, but I think Christina did a really awesome job writing about Information Architecture for the lay person here, and since this is a beginner's guide, I think it's highly suitable. I'd read this book recreationally, that's how good the writing is. (Or, how sick I am.)"
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
"This is not a UX-specific book, but rather a book with ideas on how to run great requirements/brainstorming workshops, for UX purposes or otherwise. Generally speaking, the requirements gathering process can be quite painful. This book will give you lots of options and ways to plan workshops to get people talking, writing, using whiteboards, post-its, drawings, etc., in a much more engaged way."
The Design of Everyday Things
The Design of Everyday Things
"Well, you didn't think I'd have a list without Norman's TDET book, did you? It's a classic, much like the Mythical Man Moth for Comp Sci students."
Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
Grid Systems in Graphic Design: A Visual Communication Manual for Graphic Designers, Typographers and Three Dimensional Designers (German and English Edition)
Grid Systems in Graphic Design: A Visual Communication Manual for Graphic Designers, Typographers and Three Dimensional Designers (German and English Edition)