UX was a recurring theme at the recent Remix Sydney conference with talks by Henry Cho and Seb Chan focusing on the role of UX in innovation. I was even asked for a UX reading list. So this post has a heaped serve of my favourite UX books with a veer into Service Design and Design Thinking.

This post first appeared as part of issue Nº 27 in our Finds newsletter.

– Adrian Wiggins

Our User Experience Bookshelf

UX bookshelf

From time to time the web pales, does it not, and you hanker for a book. Perhaps perversely digital design seems amongst the busiest reference categories on Amazon (and that’s where the following links mostly point).

The big picture

    • Start With Why – not a UX book per se, but if you can connect with the why, then everything else makes sense.
    • Change by Design – Tim Brown makes the case and charts the course for Design Thinking in leadership.
    • Business Model Generation –  has in it the most useful framework for understanding the business context in which UX needs to operate.

Processes, Spaces

    • Lean UX – trim some fat from that UX process.
    • Gamestorming – plan your UX workshops with this bulk-ace collection.
    • Make Space – the d.school guide to dedicating space for design. Got a Lab? Read this book!

The One and the Many

    • Designing Together – or you’re not alone… Designing together can be tricky, sometimes.

But what do the users think?

    • Mental Models – their models are sometimes different to yours. Mind the gap.
    • Why We Buy – Paco Underhill’s observational study on why you bought those shoes. Compelling, not creepy.

Content Strategy

Information Architecture (and interaction design and diverse synonyms thereof)Businesstown Information Architect

    • Card Sorting – Donna Spencer says get out your cards and sharpen your sharpies!
    • Web Form Design – Luke Wroblewski’s go-to for how to make forms more effective.

Service Design


    • Presentation Zen – stop decking people with bullet points and text. Just stop it. Become a visual storyteller.
    • Resonate – and here’s how – by Nancy Duarte, who created Steve Job’s slide decks.

» Bookshelf photo