Top Books About Product Design that Will Push Your Skills Forward

Top Books About Product Design

As UX designers, our prime job is to enhance user experience via creative, technologically-sound designs. The market out there is constantly evolving, and as dynamic professionals in the UX design field, it’s essential for us to explore new arenas to boost the quality of our work. UX books are a great way to gain insight into new areas of UX design and open our minds to collaborations we never knew existed. 

UX books help you gain a fresh perspective, helping you refine your craft, and come up with unique, impressive ideas. This makes working as a team with developers a complete cakewalk, as you’re in the position to contribute value-enhancing solutions to the team. 

So if you’re looking for the best books about product design to hone your craft, your search has ended right here! We’ve curated a list of the best product design books. Read on!

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“The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman

Don Norman is synonymous with modern UX design. His book ‘The Design of Everyday Things’, published back in 1988, offers deep insight into the relationship between any product and its user.

It helps you understand how you can bridge the gap between what a product is intended to do, and how the user understands it. The best part about this book (which was published three decades ago) is that its content is still relevant – just as it was back then.

Best for: 

  • UX designers looking for a fresh perspective towards designing.
  • Product managers who want to discover fundamentals of interaction design.

Topics covered:

What you’ll find:

  • Five principles to optimize the relationship between a product and a user via design.
  • Simple rules (with examples) to help you create Human-centered Design (HDC).

“Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug

Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think” is a simple, straight-to-the-point book on UX design. The book’s title itself is intriguing, indicating that every time a UX designer creates something, it should be with the approach of “not making the user think.”

Steve emphasizes on ‘simplicity’ of UX design, rather than the superficial aspects such as impressive user interface or lengthy content. He has elaborately explained the concept in this book.

Best for: 

  • Anyone involved in creating digital products.

Topics covered:

  • Common-sense approach towards app and web design.

What you’ll find:

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

Nir Eyal wrote this product design book to help designers and business people understand what it takes to win over and retain users. He sheds light on the Hook Model, i.e., a four-step process he’s seen in many successful products.

In this book, you’ll learn what makes people want to return to your website, app, or product. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t have to come down to paid ads like retargeting campaigns!

Best for: 

Topics covered:

  • User behavior and psychology.

What you’ll find:

“Lean Startup” by Eric Ries

This book is the perfect guide for budding (and established) entrepreneurs, and it redefines the way startups are established. ‘’Visualize, Steer, Accelerate’ are the three aspects Eric Ries points to as the secret behind successful businesses.

The book also helps us understand the importance of creating value-based products for customers rather than focusing on innovation of products. 

Best for: 

  • Entrepreneurs or anyone planning to start their own venture.
  • Designers who want to adjust their product design process to a lean environment.

Topics covered:

  • How to exercise the freedom to experiment with product development.
  • How to measure success and failure optimally.

What you’ll find:

  • Five main principles for creating a lean startup.
  • How to mitigate against innovation risk in a budding or growing startup.

“Change by Design” by Tim Brown

In his book, Tim Brown elaborately describes how the role of design has changed dramatically over the years.

Today, design is more disruptive and plays a critical role in the success of any new product in the market. Designers need to work toward incremental innovations to reinvent products, services, and business models – and this book precisely tells you how to do it.

It talks about how designers need to employ their sensibilities and methods to match the needs of people with strategies compatible with the viability of the business. 

Best for: 

  • Enterprise-level managers who want to introduce innovations.
  • UX designers looking to hone their design decision making skills.

Topics covered:

  • Evolution from design to design thinking.
  • How to offer impeccable user experience to users.

What you’ll find:

  • Techniques and strategies of design for businesses at all levels.
  • Approach toward design thinking.

“Laws of UX: Using Psychology to Design Better Products & Services” by Jon Yablonski

Human psychology plays an important role in UX design, and that’s precisely what Jon Yablonski has emphasized in this book. Understanding how users interact with different interfaces is one of the most important non-technical skills that every UX designer should have.

The book is a practical guide on how to apply psychological principles to build products and experiences, backed by examples of popular apps.

Best for: 

  • Senior UX designers.
  • Product managers.
  • Startup owners.

Topics covered:

  • User behavior and psychology that is most useful for UX and UI design.
  • Framework for applying psychological principles in design and product development.

What you’ll find:

  • Predictive models, inclusive of Fitts Law, Jacob’s Law, and Hick’s Law.
  • Tips for effortless application of psychological principles in the design process.

“Solving Product Design Exercises: Questions & Answers” by Artiom Dashinsky

Artiom Dashinsky’s book is indeed a perfect guide for beginner UX designers who are figuring their way out of the world of UX design. It helps decode the approach to solving design exercises, practice product design, and prepare designers for Ux or UI design–focused interviews.

The book also gives insight into the skill set requirements for modern designers, and how they can adjust to the changing market. 

Best for: 

  • Beginner UX designers or designers looking to switch jobs.

Topics covered:

  • Preparing for design interviews.
  • Building an impressive portfolio for landing an attractive design job.
  • Stepping up your design career with additional skills, such as graphic design.

What you’ll find:

  • A 7-step framework for solving product design exercises.
  • 30+ examples of exercises similar to those used by reputed companies.
  • Five full solutions for product design exercises.

“Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products That Create Customer Value and Business” by Teresa Torres

A designer’s role is dynamic – it keeps changing with time and the requirements of users. This is precisely why, as a designer, your job doesn’t end in creating an enjoyable user interface.

You also have to work on it continuously to ensure the products and services remain relevant and add value to users. This is the topic Teresa Torres focuses in her book, “Continuous Discovery Habits”.

Best for: 

Topics covered:

  • Ways to constantly evolve the UX of products and services to maintain their relevance among users.

What you’ll find:

“Just Enough Research” by Erika Hall

This guidebook by Erika Hall talks about how good user research (which is the backbone of UX design) is more about asking the right questions and finding the answers to them.

From the UX design perspective, this book is super helpful, as it lists out trusted and effective research methods that you can implement right away, irrespective of the size of your team or budget you’re currently working with.

Best for: 

  • UX designers at all levels of experience.
  • Product managers who want to build a user-centric product.

Topics covered:

  • Research methodology to be followed to gain the right insights into designing UX for any product.

What you’ll find:

  • Framework for designing a thorough research process for products.
  • How to align the goals of the product with the expectations of stakeholders.
  • Methods to gather and assess data.

Bonus reading: Free eBooks from UXPin

We’ve listed out the top 9 UX designing books, and we hope you’ve found just the right pick for your next product design read. We also recommend that you take a look at UXPin’s free ebook library. Dive in and explore the diverse collection of books we’ve written on mobile & web prototyping, wireframing, usability testing, mastering the design process, and more.

If you’re looking for a tool that supports some of the world’s top product design teams, take a look at UXPin Merge. Among others, it allows you to create consistent prototypes with React, Storybook, and npm components. Ready to take it for a spin? Request access to UXPin Merge.

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by UXPin on 18th April, 2023

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