UX Design Resources
I’m often asked what things a person should be reading if they are just starting out in UX. The answer is going to be different no matter whom you talk to, but what follows are a few resources that informed a lot of my design upbringing.
- Elements of Typographical Style. Jason Santa Maria once made me read this book in three days. I think I’m a better person for it.
- Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud. Makes you consciously consider things you may have known all your life on only a subconscious level. One of those books that expands your mind.
- The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Edward Tufte. Tufte is nearly a genre unto himself, and I think this volume is his best, especially for outsiders.
- Interaction of Color, Josef Albers. Albers' deep understanding of how color’s relativity manifests itself is valuable for designers of all kinds.
Interaction Design & User Experience
- Designing for Interaction, Dan Saffer. A great survey of principled interactions for a variety of inerfaces and context. Maybe start here.
- About Face, Alan Cooper. When you’re done with Saffer, dive into this.
- Designing Interfaces, Jenifer Tidwell. The edition I have is full of interfaces whose visual design is now outdated, but whose principles remain relevant.
- Designing Interactions, Bill Moggridge. Really interesting oral histories from pioneers from many industries.
- The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman. Posted here for fear of losing all professional credibility.
- Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace. I mean, have you read it?
News & Blogs
- Designer News. A Hacker News clone that, while hit or miss, can help one pick up on emerging trends and products.
- A List Apart. A consistent source of best practices and thought-provoking process. The best pieces here usually regard meta-design and user experience strategy.
- Little Big Details. Proof that small things can have an impact. This site its kind of like Doritos for your mind.
- The Interaction Design Association. In their own words: “a member-supported organization dedicated to the discipline of interaction design.” This is the group responsible for the annual Interaction confrerence.
- Graduate programs. While not necessary and not for everyone, a number of graduate programs exist for those looking for a structured UX education. Not all are focused on the same aspects of user expereince and each have relative strengths and weaknessess.