Recommended Books for UX Professionals and Designers

Like many people in my line of profession, I have overlapping duties: part UI developer, part visual designer, and part UX/usability consultant. Because front-end code, front-end design, and user experience are all tightly connected and must work in harmony. The designer in me directs me to make things cool and trendy, the UX expert in me tells me I have to make things that work, while a developer in me insists I need to make things efficient. They all keep each other in check because we don’t build things that are merely cool and pretty; we build things that must also work.

In the past, I have read books on business and marketing and it naturally led to books about social behavior and psychology. These are not UI, UX, or design books but the topic of social psychology and behavior is directly related to what people in our profession must care about in order to make things that are usable. How people behave online is not totally unique to that medium; it’s often related to and inter-connected with offline behavior as well. The way the human minds work and how we design things around it is universal across all medium. Therefore, the topic of social behavior is very much related to what we do as UX professionals and designers.

I have selected three books that I found most memorable and intriguing. Even with seemingly dry subject as social behavior/psychology, I find many of the research and findings quite interesting and even entertaining in many cases. And the knowledge gained proved to be indispensable during the course of my career.

→ Blink – by Malcolm Gladwell

→ Predictably Irrational – by Dan Ariely

→ Nudge – by Richard H. Thaler

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