12 books I read in 2020

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.

Design for the Mind: Seven Psychological Principles of Persuasive Design

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!

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership

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.

Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value Through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams

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.

The Workshopper Playbook

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.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

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!

About Face 4 The essence of interaction design

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.

Think Like a UX Researcher: How to Observe Users, Influence Design, and Shape Business Strategy

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.

Influence: Science and Practice

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.

Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design and Conduct Effective Tests

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.

Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It

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.

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

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.

100 More Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People

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.


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/

Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in UX Research, remember to follow me on Medium, Twitter (@research_loop) and Linkedin for more content.

Everything about User Research. A space where we share knowledge, resources, experiences and many more about research. https://researchloop.net