The 10 best selling UX books of 2016

From our UX best sellers, here are the 10 best selling UX books. These books are must-haves if you want to be updated on user experience design.

#1: The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition by Don Norman style=

In this updated edition of the 1988 classic, you will find scores of gems for any UX designer. The book teaches the basic, underlying psychological mechanisms that drive human interaction with everyday objects. This makes the book timeless. You will most surely be able to use this book daily in your UX designs. This is also one of those books that will help you grow. Besides, we love it for being extremely unpretentious, something that newer books miss a lot.

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#2: Hooked

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

How can the UX designer make the user attach emotionally to a product? Why does a user prefer one product over the other? The answer is: habits. In this book, you will learn the steps to forming a user habit, which is an important key to an easy, pleasurable experience. It is for a good reason that this book has become an instant best seller, beating many of the UX classics. It also has a broad audience, and addresses both product designers and product managers as well. It is not a very design specific book, though it has some good examples. And it looks good on your desk.

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#3: Don’t Make Me Think

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) by Steve Krug style=

“Dont Make Me Think” is a classic, and different from all the others. Brushing about lofty design heuristics, this book is down-to-earth – and the best selling UX book of all time. It’s all about making the user flow through the web pages – removing mental friction on the way. A must-have for any designer, even though it’s a 90s classic.

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#4: 101 Things That I Learned in Architecture School

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick style=

This is not really a UX book at all, but it still made the list. Because this small booklet is extremely popular, and very useful for UX designers. You will find it possible to apply many of the principles. It comes in a small but sturdy, accesible booklet format. It is also a joy to read, and the architecture principles are useful and very applicable to the work of the UX designer, who only works with a different material – the digital domain.

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#5: Mapping Experiences

Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams by James Kalbach style=

Recently in UX, it has become increasingly popular to design diagrams of the User Experience, mapping it out. So naturally this book has become a best seller amongst UX designers, as it teaches how to draw the system ecology and how to map out the experience itself. Through this book, you will be able to draw diagrams like Experience Maps, Customer Journey Maps and Mental Model Diagrams. These diagrams can again be used for both communicating the experience ecology to outside stakeholders, but also to identify “holes” in the experience, where further UX design attention is needed.

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#6: Lean UX

Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Gothelf

Agile UX rocks these days. It’s becoming increasingly required that the UX designer is able to perform in a agile landscape of changing requirements, constant user feedback, new learnings and quick development iterations. The book “Lean UX” addresses this reality, and is inspired by Lean and Agile development theories. You will learn to collaborate closely with other members of the product team, and how to gather feedback often. The focus is on designing in short, iterative cycles for the final benefit of the user.

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#7: 100 Things every designer needs to know about people

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan M Weinschenk style=

If you want to understand what makes people act the way they do, in order to make better design decisions, this book is here to help. Written in a very accesible, pleasureable format, it lists 100 important “principles” of human understanding and decisionmaking. Each “principle” is addressed with 2-3 pages, making the book work as a look-up encyclopedia for understanding users. If you are interested in user research, or just want to make better design decisions, get this one.

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#8: Articulating design decisions

Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience by Tom Greever style=

If there’s one thing all UX designers do, it’s explaining. We will all have to explain, communicate and articulate the design decisions we make on a daily basis. Why? Because UX designers will always challenge the current agenda. Improving things and changing things involves explaining why. This book is about that. Stakeholder management is a key part of the UX designer’s work.

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#9: Universal Principles of Design

Universal Principles of Design: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design by William Lidwell style=

In this design dictionary, you will find principles and heuristics written from a general design perspective. This makes it an excellent companion for the UX designer, as it “lifts up” the discussion about pixels. It is also a very compelling book to read. As it takes you through the many design principles, you begin to discover how many areas of design UX shares with other disciplines like architecture, music and visual design. There’s a good reason this is on the best seller list. It’s also a personal favorite and one of the few UX books to bring on a deserted island.

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#10: UX Strategy

UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want by Jaime Levy style=

UX is not only about moving pixels, it’s about thinking the way forward. Strategic design is an intrinsic part of the UX designer’s daily work, whether we know it or not. This book is a recent addition to the topic of UX strategy and was written in in 2015. It gives you some very lightweight strategy tools and techniques that can to help design better products that people want to use, through having a UX strategy and following it in the design iterations of everyday life.

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Bonus #11: About Face

About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper style=

This 700 page whopper is an Interaction Design must-have resource. It comes highly recommended by most interaction designers. It’s also both a “soft” and a “hard” book. On one side, it explores the on values and principles for the UX designer doing user centered design and research, but it is also a practical encyclopedio for design heuristics of UI elements such as windows, prompts, menus, control and much more. Get it in the latest revised edition.

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Bonus #12: The User Experience Team of One

The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide by Leah Buley style=

It is no wonder that this book made the best seller list; as it applies to a very typical scenario: The UX designer working alone in a large organisation of “everyone else”: Management, development, product managers, sales, finance, and much more. This is also known as the “lone wolf UX designer”. In this book, you will learn how to act and design user experiences in such an organisational landscape. It is lightweight, practical and suggest a wide range of collaborative, agile UX methods to get things done, even when you are acting alone.

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Bonus #13: Rocket Surgery Made Easy

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems by Steve Krug style=

There’s a reason Steve Krug has two books on the best seller lists. He does what very few are able to do in the world of UX – make UX books as simple as the solutions we are supposed to design. Like his previous book, this one is short, sharp and pragmatic, and it gets things done. No UX designer can do proper work without usability testing his or her stuff. This book gives a simple recipee as to how, and it’s written in a way that make it presentable to non-UX people as well.

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Bonus: #14: Designing Interactions

Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge style=

If you want to be updated in the area of interaction design, this book might be the right one for you. In it, you will read about the history of interaction design, and how it has developed in all areas of multimedia. Besides being strong on the history of user experience design, it’s also great for learning about the many languages, principles, design methods, paradigms and prototypes of interaction design. It can serve as a look-up or encyclopedia of interactive design, and was written collaboratively with many of the biggest names in interactive design.

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Look to out our UX book best sellers for more inspiration.

Didn’t find your pick? Explore more UX books1 at Amazon.