2020 is almost over… finally! Although this year was different in so many ways, it didn’t change my reading behavior. I could have invested more time in reading, but stuff happened (renovating my apartment), and I had to sacrifice reading time, but I still managed to finish 12 books this year. Without any other introductions, let’s dive into the subject!
Disclaimer: I will present the books in a random order.
Author: Victor S. Yocco
If you look for a book that explains how psychology influences your design, this is your to-go book! I love that it is structured in a way that is easy to understand, using plain language. It includes research done on all seven subjects, how to discuss with your clients, and case studies. It’s just incredible, and a must-read!
Author: John C. Maxwell
It’s my first book by John C. Maxwell, and I must admit that I was impressed. He has many books written, and I recommend you read them, this is what I will do. In this book, I found out (once again) that only good questions yield good answers, and a true leader always has great questions ready to ask. A non-UX book, but in fact, questions are our strongest weapon.
Author: James Kalbach
The funny thing is that I’ve finished this book a week before starting a new project that implied designing a Service Blueprint. That is a lovely coincidence. Reading this book, I’ve discovered how we can make an order from chaos. Raw information is just useless if we don’t put it in the right context for the right people. Doing so will create a lot of opportunities to create a better experience for your users by influencing your stakeholders to invest in design.
Author: Jonathan Courtney
If you are into facilitating workshops, this book from AJ&Smart is a good start. You will learn how to facilitate an LDJ (Lightning Decision Jam) workshop with your team, stakeholders, etc. It’s a straightforward activity that will align teams towards the same objectives.
Author: Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek doesn’t need any presentation. An incredible person that will explain things that are in your face, but you are too blind to see them. It’s mind-blowing how he manages to deliver value through simple words and concepts. If you are into leadership, please read this book!
Author: Alan Cooper, Robert Lyman
You are looking for a book that covers everything in UX design? Well, you just found the right book! First of all, it’s a heavy book, 1.6 kg (720 pages)!! One hell of a book! But it is worth investing your time in reading it and revisiting chapters that help you doing your day-to-day job as a UX Designer. It covers everything you need to know, from raw theory, to case studies, to literature.
Author: David Travis, Philip Hodgson
This book covers many research topics, from conducting a research study, to what personas are, to analyzing findings, etc. But keep in mind that it doesn’t go very deep into the subject, you must do that your research and read more literature about different topics. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a must-read if you are at the beginning, but it will not provide you with enough knowledge to be a full-time researcher.
Author: Robert B. Cialdini
A classic book about influence, it will never get old! Foot in the door, the door in the face, just two of the well-known methods to influence people Cialdini will explain in his book. No more spoilers, just read it and see it for yourself.
Author: Jeffrey Rubin, Dana Chisnell
If I have to describe this book in just two words, those would be PURE THEORY. I guarantee that after reading this book, you will be 10000% more confident when conducting a usability study. It’s just theory ready to be applied in your everyday life as a UX Designer.
Author: April Dunford
I love the description of this book: You know your product is awesome — but does anybody else? So accurate! If you are a great UX Designer, but on Linkedin, you sell yourself as a Graphic Designer, nobody will ever consider hiring you for UX Design, right? The same thing happens with products. Apple created the Homepod but framed it as a smart speaker instead of an outstanding audio quality speaker with Siri being integrated into if, and everybody considered it expensive compared to Google Home or Amazon Alexa as alternatives. Even Apple makes mistakes.
Author: Chris J. Anderson
Did you know that TED stands for technology, entertainment, design? I had no idea! 🙂 I read this book because in February 2020, together with my former colleague Stefan Condurachi, we held a presentation called “The Research Loop” (funny thing that this blog is called the same). It was my second time as a presenter, but this time stakes were high, significant, and knowledgable crown, so I had to prepare a lot. Reading this book gave me insights, helped me, but without experience is nothing. You have to expose and fail to learn.
Author: Susan M. Weinschenk
A fun book to read! This is the second edition, the first one is called 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People. Make sure to check out both of them.
This year was a rollercoaster, but regardless of that, I can’t stress out how important was reading to me. I had no idea how many things I didn’t know, and this is one of the biggest traps when it comes to evolving as a person. Read, read a lot, read how much you can; 30pages/day is enough to read two books per month. It will help you a lot.
Here is my Goodreads account where you can see what I’ve read until know: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/82725964?ref=nav_mybooks
Article originally published on: https://researchloop.net/2020/12/24/12-books-i-read-in-2020/