Our recommendations for essential UX/UI design books for professionals

Mar 13, 2024
Start reading

Being UX/UI designers, for us it is essential to be always updated and learn from the best professionals in the industry. One way we try to do this is through different UX/UI design books. In this article, we share some recommendations of books that we consider essential for any digital designer who wants to keep learning and improving in their career.

Branded Interactions: Marketing Through Design in the Digital Age - Marco Spies & Katja Wenger

The first book we recommend is a bit unexpected, we recently acquired this book in the studio and it has surprised us a lot. We think Branded Interactions sums up very well the way we see digital design at Contra Studio. Working with brands and their digital expressions, we are part of all the touch points between companies, brands and users, so our role becomes that of being intermediaries between all these actors. At Contra, we not only understand digital design as our area of work, but as a process that encompasses many other points of contact, such as applications, interactive screens, virtual reality and augmented reality. All these interfaces are part of a brand, so we always try to be involved from conception, design, technology and implementation of these in the digital world. This book is an incredible guide to the design process of all digital touchpoints, including the phases of research, planning, interface design, development of quality products and distribution of these products in the market. We believe it is a practical guide

About Face: The essentials of interaction design - Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, Christopher Noessel

This is an essential guide for anyone interested in interaction design and the creation of engaging, user-friendly digital interfaces. The book offers a complete overview of the interaction design process, from researching and understanding the problem, to implementing best design practices and considering different platforms and users. It is divided into three parts: the first part focuses on the research process and understanding the problem, the users and the team; the second part focuses on design best practices and creating problem-solving products; and the last part includes details of interaction for mobile, web design, and text applications, among others. About Face is an extensive and comprehensive guide that can be used as a reference for finding specific solutions in the interaction design process.

Universal Principles of Design - William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler

Universal Principles of Design is a very valuable book and we have seen it recommended in many blogs and design courses. Unlike other books, we don't think it is a text to read from cover to cover. Rather, it is a glossary and a guide with many resources that we can use at different stages of the design process. Each of these principles addresses specific needs that may arise during the design process, such as making better design decisions, influencing the perception of the design, and improving the usability of a product. It is a comprehensive encyclopedia covering topics such as guidelines, human bias and important considerations in any design. We believe these principles are universal and can be applied to any type of project, not just digital. We also found the Universal Methods of Design book very valuable, which focuses more on showing user-centered research methods and techniques.

Refactoring UI - Adam Wathan, Steve Schoger

This book has become an essential resource in our careers as digital interface designers. Unlike other books that cover a wide range of design topics, this book focuses specifically on techniques and processes that are relevant to digital interface design. The book begins by addressing the most important functional aspects and then delves into topics such as typography, color, and other essential details of digital interfaces. We also appreciate that this book includes examples of modern, well-designed interfaces that have served as inspiration and guidance for our own work. While we don't take the lessons in the book as absolute rules, we feel that Refactoring UI is an excellent guide to understanding what makes a digital product look more attractive and quality, and often that difference lies in attention to detail.

Thinking with type - Ellen Lupton

Although not directly related to digital design or user interface design, we have always considered this book as an essential guide for our professional development. We first read it during our undergraduate studies and have revisited it several times over the years. Sometimes, we get so focused on the specifics of UX/UI interface design that we forget the fundamental elements of design that apply to all projects. That's why we believe it's always important to read a book like this one in depth to understand the basics of what we do. Typography is one of the most important elements in any design project, and learning the basic rules and how to use it properly will help us make better decisions in any project we tackle. Thinking with Type covers the essentials of typography, from type families to kerning and line spacing, as well as how to use typography on a grid correctly. It is clearly written and we believe that anyone who takes the time to read and analyze it will significantly improve their design output.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Other posts