Recommended Reading: Our Favourite UX Books

Recommended Reading: Our Favourite UX Books


Looking for a book to learn something specific related to user experience design? You’ve come to the right place!

We present, for your viewing pleasure, our list of recommended UX books.

Here at UX Mastery, we love a good book.

Sure, ebooks are great—especially when they incorporate all that whiz-bang interactivity. But there will always be a place in my home for real, paper, pick-me-up-and-flip-through-me physical books. No matter how many blogs, Twitter feeds, discussion forums or online courses come out, nothing beats an old-fashioned bound paper book for structured learning at your own pace on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Or on any day, really.

And so we present for your learning pleasure, the UX Mastery collection of recommended reading:

Note this isn’t every book on the topic out there—just those books that have helped us become better UX Designers. We hope you’ll find them useful too. We plan on posting some summaries and reviews over the coming months, and will be updating this list with more books as we discover new gems or stumble upon old favourites at the back of the shelf.

RELATED:  A Day In The Life Of A UX Designer

In the meantime, you should know that every book on the list comes highly recommended. Read something from this collection and you won’t go far wrong in your journey to UX mastery.

What are your favourite UX books? What should we be adding to our bookshelf?

Note: Our book list contains some Amazon affiliate links; While it won’t affect the price for you, UX Mastery will receive a small commission from each sale if you follow the link. Your support is appreciated!

Written by
Matthew Magain
Join the discussion

  • Hi Matthew

    Thanks for yet another great article and great website. I would like to ask for advice about choosing the right book for my experience level and wonder if you could help me.

    I´m a selftaught UX designer and have been working (mostly) with UX design for the last 5 years and would like to take my experience to a new and more solid level.

    I have been working with digital media for the last 14 yeas and have tried lots of different roles, among them web design and 3D animation, reaching profesional skills in both fields. But it never felt quite right until I found UX design as a discipline and occupation.

    I really love UX design since it combines so many interesting fields, but I also feel that my selftaught experience have gaps and my goal is to fill in those gaps as much as possible. I particularly have little experience in user testing skills, since most of my freelance clients refuse to pay for this, no matter how much I have tried to explain the neccesity of this.

    I´m now going through your list of books, to find out which are more relevant than others, but wonder also if you have any recommendations for your favorite ones, or ones that would fit a medium skilled UX designer who is self taught.

    With best regards

    Vladimir Koller

  • Hi Vladimir. There are a few in-depth books dedicated to user testing out there, but honestly I’ve found that Steve Krug’s Rocket Surgery Made Easy combined with plenty of actual in-the-field practice at conducting user testing sessions has been plenty informative. Honestly, it’s not that hard.

    If you’re having a hard time convincing clients that user testing is important enough, there are a few strategies you might want to consider. One thing I’ve found effective in large organisations is to ask key stakeholders to be the participants in a short guerrilla user testing session. You can flatter them by insisting that you’ve chosen them because you respect their opinion. It may only be 30 minutes of your time, unpaid, but it can often be a good gateway to a discussion about who else from the organisation may be in a position to provide useful feedback.

    Failing that, my advice would be to think carefully about the clients you choose to work with. If you’re choosing to differentiate yourself from a “regular” web designer who gives no consideration to the holistic user experience, but can’t convince a client to invest the effort required to get it right, then let another take that design project instead—it will free you up to focus on working with clients who “get” that UX is important. There are plenty of them out there, and once you’ve built a reputation for that stuff, they’ll come looking for you rather than the other way round.

    Hope that helps. Best of luck!

  • Hi Matthew

    Thanks for your advice. I will order Steve´s Krug ASAP and will look up his other book (Don´t make me think) as well for good measure.

    I have also been recommended “Designing with the mind in mind by Jeff Johnson” for a more indepth look into our brain, which I find very interesting. Have you any opinions on this book?

    I also really thank you for your tip about getting stakeholders into user testing by making some tests on them. Good psychological trick.

    With best regards


  • Earlier this year, I did a little looking around to see what some of these sorts of posts were suggestion for good books to start reading if I wanted to get up to speed with UX. I noticed that each of these sorts of articles suggested different ones. I wanted to know what books were “Most Suggested”.

    Here’s my findings. Hope it is helpful. I will be conducting a 2014 list in January of next year.

    Getting Started in User Experience: Reading List 2013

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