I'm regularly asked for recommendations and suggestions for books by people I teach, whether through mentoring or coaching with businesses.

It seemed smart to start compiling some reading lists and here's the first one. This time around we're going back to the oldies but goodies with a few new covers mixed in. 

The theme here is design in the truest sense.

Yes, there may be a few which are focussed on specific aspects, interaction or the web for example but these titles will fill your mind with inspiration and eagerness to apply the concepts to your own things.

Most links will take you to the UK Amazon store.

Let's dive in.

Don’t make me think - Steve Krug

This is the building blocks to all interaction design and the concepts of user experience. It was re-released with some updated examples in 2014, regardless the original pressing still holds up even though the examples have dated.

The design of every day things - Don Norman

Again, like with Don’t make me think this has been on curriculums for some time and represents great reference points of the importance for thinking about the context when designing.


Design for real life - Eric Meyer & Sara Wachter-Boettcher

A newer introduction to the cannon by the go-to publication house A Book Apart, it is well positioned for expressing the value of user centred design, and the practices that amount to it for both design and non-design focussed audiences.

Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction - Christopher Noessel, Nathan Shedroff

A look into popular interfaces found in science fiction from Star Wars to Star Trek, Minority Report to Iron Man. It is both an amusing read and considered observation into how these fantastical interfaces are flawed for actual use with examples of when they’ve caused problems for the actors and audiences alike.

The paradox of choice: why more is less - Barry Schwartz

Everything you need to know about cognitive load, price theory and decision making all wrapped into a lovely series of case studies from a great academic. Still a fantastic read for anyone wanting to learn more about design psychology.

Hippo: The human focused digital book - Pete Trainor

A newer release, although Pete confesses to regretting writing it. This is raising more interesting questions about the realities of artificial intelligence and its emergence into modern services. 

How Buildings learn and what happens after they’re built - Stewart Brand

My favourite book on design and an exceptional analogy for digital design both at the time of release and today. You can read more about my thoughts on this as part of the book list for Creative Bloq which I wrote about last year http://byandyparker.com/blog/how-buildings-learn-what-web-design-can-learn-from-it/.


Thoughts from Andy Parker published 6th April 2018