Recently, I’ve had a bunch of people ask me for book recommendations – usually what UX books I rate highly and re-read or return to for information. So here’s a list of a few that not everyone might have come across, and why I find them particularly useful. They are not all UX books, but all are relevant to people working in UX.
It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be Paul Arden
This is possibly my favourite book. Anytime I need inspiration or to re-energise, I read this.
A technique for producing ideas James Young
I hate the myth that ideas suddenly appear in a moment of inspiration. Great ideas take time and hard work. This book outlines a process that is close to my own experience of where great ideas come from.
Made to stick Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Most of us have heard of or read this, but their framework is as useful as any I’ve come across for structuring good storytelling.
The myths of innovations Scott Berkun
Related to James Young’s book, I’ve found this a great book to recommend to people who lack a strong understanding of the creative process.
Groundswell Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
There are many books on the social web, many of which I don’t find particularly useful. Any time anyone asks me for a primer on the social web or social media, and how it is changing business, I point them to Groundswell.
On intelligence Jeff Hawkins
I often read books and articles that help me understand how the human brain works. Working on the assumption that the theories in the book are well founded (some argue that they’re not), this book provides a cognitive model that is simple to understand, and practical to apply to they way you design things.
The top four books are related to coming up with great ideas that have substance, and selling those ideas to others in a way that gives them sustainable momentum. Many of the best ideas die because we didn’t have the persistence to see them through, which makes getting deep stakeholder buy-in from the outset a critical part of our jobs.
What other books would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!