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10 Books Every Designer Should Read


This is the year I am going to read more (or at least try)!

I have created this reading list for anyone that works on a product, at a start-up, or is simply looking to get inspired. This list includes some classics and some of the newest books out in 2020. Happy reading!

Get Inspired:

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet - VICE reporter and YACHT lead singer Claire L. Evans finally gives these unsung female heroes their due with her insightful social history of the Broad Band, the women who made the internet what it is today.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness - Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones.

How Smart Machines Think - Gerrish outlines some of the key ideas that enable intelligent machines to perceive and interact with the world.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson - In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry - By following the teams that are inventing some of the world's best-loved toys, it spotlights the company's disciplined approach to harnessing creativity and recounts one of the most remarkable business transformations in recent memory.

Productivity:

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day - “A charming manifesto—as well as an intrepid do-it-yourself guide to building smart habits that stick”

Think Better: An Innovator's Guide to Productive Thinking - Building a great career and an enriching life isn’t rocket science. It’s about understanding more clearly, thinking more creatively, and planning more effectively. This guide to productive thinking will help you do exactly that.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. - “Sprint offers a transformative formula for testing ideas that works whether you’re at a startup or a large organization.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change - It has transformed the lives of presidents and CEOs, educators and parents—in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations across the world.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich - Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

Build Better Products:

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter) - “After reading it over a couple of hours and putting its ideas to work for the past five years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book.” –Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards

Thinking, Fast and Slow - In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.

The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager - Filled with practical advice, best practices, and expert tips, this book is here to help you succeed!

The Paradox of Choice - In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice—the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish—becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being.

Bottlenecks: Aligning UX Design with User Psychology 1st ed. Edition - Learn the psychological constrictions of attention, perception, memory, disposition, motivation, and social influence that determine whether customers will be receptive to your digital innovations.

Designer Essentials:

Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness - In Joyful, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the seemingly mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood.

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) - Holmes tells stories of pioneers of inclusive design, many of whom were drawn to work on inclusion because of their own experiences of exclusion.

Typographic Design: Form and Communication - Typographic design determines how you feel about a message, the associations you make, and ultimately, the overall success of the communication.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (Voices That Matter) - Designing without understanding what makes people act the way they do is like exploring a new city without a map: results will be haphazard, confusing, and inefficient.

Graphic Design Rules: 365 Essential Design Dos and Don'ts - 365 daily design mantras from four leading industry experts, providing you with valuable design dos and don'ts for every day of  year.

Grow Your Startup:

Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World - Everyone knows how a startup story is supposed to go: A young, brilliant entrepreneur has a cool idea, drops out of college, defies the doubters, overcomes all odds, makes billions, and becomes the envy of the technology world.

Agile for Everybody: Creating Fast, Flexible, and Customer-First Organizations - This practical book demonstrates how entire organizations—from product managers and engineers to marketers and executives—can put Agile to work.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future -  Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley.

Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business  - Conventional wisdom says most startups need to be in Silicon Valley, started by young engineers around a sexy new idea, and backed by VC funding.

Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student - Something happens in students when they define themselves as makers and inventors and creators.

Resources:

Stay Connected: Ryan’s Instagram

Kit: Additional Books to Read

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