10 Non UX Books That Will Help You To Become A Better UX Designer

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Reading about user experience is a great way to improve your skills and learn more about the field. But as we all know, the user experience is a multidisciplinary field that intersects with a lot of other fields: psychology, cognitive science, business, ergonomics, industrial design, human-computer interaction and more.

So, reading about user experience is not enough. We need to learn more about these intersecting disciplines and in this article, I provide you with a list of great Non UX books that will help you to boost your skills and knowledge in the user experience field.


The Non UX books list


1- Thinking, Fast and Slow


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“Kahneman provides a detailed, yet accessible, description of the psychological mechanisms involved in making decisions.” ―Jacek Debiec, Nature

In this book, Daniel Kahneman, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, is explaining 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.

This book will help you in understanding the human mind, how we think and how we make decisions.


2- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products


Hooked cover


“A must read for everyone who cares about driving customer engagement.”
—Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup

This book will provide you with practical insights to create user habits that stick, actionable steps for building products people love and fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App, and many other habit-forming products.


3- Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works


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“Ash has laid out a clear compass for anyone to validate their ideas, solve real problems and create a successful business. I’d encourage this book to anyone trying to get a business off the ground.” – Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo of AppSumo.com

This book will help you to learn about running lean and how to save money, time and effort by quickly vetting product ideas and raising our odds of success.

This book is for business managers, CEOs, small business owners, developers and programmers, and anyone who’s interested in starting a business project. As a UX designer, it will help you a lot to think of the whole product to just the design.


4- How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design


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In How Games Move Us, Katherine Isbister gets to the heart of what makes games a powerful emotional medium. She writes clearly and persuasively about the actual techniques game developers use to reach players emotionally and explains why those techniques have impact. I particularly enjoyed the many examples of compelling emotional moments in games that illustrate and corroborate her analysis. – Noah Falstein, Chief Game Designer, Google

Gamification is one of the most interesting topics in design, learning about games and motivation will help you a lot to build gamified and enjoyable experiences.

Isbister’s analysis shows us a new way to think about games, helping us appreciate them as an innovative and powerful medium for doing what film, literature, and other creative media do: helping us to understand ourselves and what it means to be human.


5- Content Strategy for the Web


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“This book is the most important thing to happen to user experience design in years.” -Peter Morville, author, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web and Ambient Findability

Content is one of the big topics when we talk about user experience, this book will help you understand content strategy and its business value, discover the processes and people behind a successful content strategy, make smarter, achievable decisions about what content to create and find out how to build a business case for content strategy.


6- Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters


Good strategy bad strategy


“This is the first book on strategy I have read that I have found difficult to put down. –John Kay, London Business School

Strategy became a trending word in the world of UX and product design. This book will help you in learning more about business strategies with detailed examples range from Apple to General Motors, from the two Iraq wars to Afghanistan, from a small local market to Wal-Mart, from Nvidia to Silicon Graphics, from the Getty Trust to the Los Angeles Unified School District, from Cisco Systems to Paccar, and from Global Crossing to the 2007–08 financial crisis.


7- Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple


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Keep It Simple is filled with prototypes and drawings in the “Snow White” style, as well as many familiar finished designs… We need to give credit to Mr. Esslinger for being a true visionary. – John Maeda The Wall Street Journal

This book is about the true design story behind the evolution of Apple computers with 380 illustrations that takes a step by step view of the most famous brand that’s still a dominating force today.


8- Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions


Predictably irrational cover


“After reading this book, you will understand the decisions you make in an entirely new way.” – Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT’s Media Lab and founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association

This book will help you to learn about making decisions, from drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate.


9- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition




Influence should be required reading for all business majors. -Journal of Retailing

As a UX designer you need to be a good communicator and persuader and this books will help you to learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.


10- Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work


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Practical Empathy will convince designers and product managers how and why empathy is a key ingredient to both product innovation and organizational success. -Sam Ladner, author of Practical Ethnography

Conventional product development focuses on the solution. Empathy is a mindset that focuses on people, helping you to understand their thinking patterns and perspectives. Practical Empathy will show you how to gather and compare these patterns to make better decisions, improve your strategy, and collaborate successfully.



More To Read


Persuasive UX: Goal Gradient Effect & Users Retention

The One & Only Needed Skill For Designers

Never Ask About The UX Process




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