Whether you are seeking to expand your knowledge in UI/UX design, or you want to start from scratch, there are plenty of different avenues and different resources that will help you out. With Amazon being one of the largest suppliers of Ebooks, you can expect a lot of UI/UX Ebooks. With that, there is also a large selection of books in print that you can get. With that, we are going to share and discuss the top five best eBooks an individual can buy today.
These books can help you enhance your design skills, design thinking, and problem-solving when it comes to UI/UX. You’ve probably read tons of articles that suggest books like The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, Don’t Make Me Think by Daniel Krug, or Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman etc. These are amazing books and all UI/UX designers should consider them if they want to take their skills to the next level! However, today we are going to focus on free digital books or ebooks that we believe to be excellent reads for the up and coming UI/UX designer. If you are starting as a designer or a pro, these books will enhance your knowledge and help with the beginning stages!
1. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction By Interaction Design Foundation
If you are a UI/UX designer, you know who Don Norman is. Designers around the world lovingly call him “The Don.” Fun fact about Don Norman, he actually coined the term, “User Experience.” The term User Experience (UX) was his invention! Why are we talking about him? Because he recommended The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction. In his words,
“I highly recommend the Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction … the breadth and the depth of the invited contributions are quite impressive … all with highly qualified authorities as authors.”
With that in mind, this book is for individuals that are ready to understand the art of human and computer interaction alongside how technology has changed we view the world. Most importantly, it covers from beginning to end the most important aspects of UI/UX design. This book is big! It happens to be about 4,000 pages filled with over one-hundred leading legends that include Ivy League professors. With that in mind, this book covers pretty much all types of design; like a website, household objects, smartphones, computer software, aircraft cockpits, etc.
It is an information powerhouse for a UI/UX designers seeking to expand their potential and vision when it comes to User Experience and User Interface. A few of the interesting topics that this book covers are Human Computer Interaction which is the bond between how humans interact with the technology around them including the habits and automatic responses of human nature. Other interesting topics include industrial design, contextual design, philosophy of interaction, data visualization for human perception, human-robot interaction, emotion, and of course, website design. This free resource is for individuals that are passionate about computers and technology and how it has affected society today!
2. The Basics Of User Experience Design By Interaction Design Foundation
The name of this free ebook alone says a lot about what you can expect. With this resource, any individual can learn all the basic concepts of UX design. One fun fact about this book is that it happens to be designed by Interaction Design Foundation. If the first book on this list was too complicated for the novice designer, this book is perfect for someone who has just started in this field. Reading the entire book is like going through a crash course.
It begins with fundamental topics of what User Experience (UX) is alongside why it is necessary and what individuals can learn about it. Then it covers topics like interaction design (the psychology of motion and feedback), design thinking (an iterative, empathy-based problem-solving process), usability (how easily a product can be used), and more.
3. Design Thinking Handbook By Eli Wooley
Probably one of our favorite reads. It does an amazing job if you want to learn about design thinking. Easy to read, amazing case studies make it interesting and simple to learn. It walks you through the popular design thinking framework by Stanford d.school. It discusses all of the stages in detail.
It also has interviews by top designers from Google, GE, Netflix etc. It will help you to understand how the design teams of these companies work.
4. Principle Of Product Design By Aaron Walter
Another great book that talks about how to design great products and solve problems. It includes the best practices, stories, and insights from the world’s top design leaders. It discusses how guesswork can be dangerous with examples; and how a story works as a powerful communication tool for a design team. A must read!
5. Pixel Perfect Precision By Matt Gyppsy
This book is amazing if you’ve just started to design. Though this book was published back in 2014, it has amazing and relevant content. You can read the entire book in only a couple of hours, but you’ll for sure learn a ton that will undoubtedly improve your design.
The book is filled with examples and is very precise. It doesn’t use paragraph after paragraph to teach you something, rather they use colorful examples and short descriptions to make a point.
It pretty much covers everything you need to keep in mind when you are designing a user interface. It covers topics like typography, design & development, organization, color profiles, and even button design. It will truly help you to create a pixel perfect design.
One downside is that it gives example from Photoshop which may not be the most popular UI design software these days. However, the concept is still pretty much the same which you can apply to UI design platforms like Sketch, XD, Figma etc.
Print or digital, books are always a great source of information. They will only serve to help you in your progress as a designer. There are many different types of books out there for UI/UX designers. Each and every book has its unique offerings. So never stop reading and never stop learning.