User Experience books for beginners on UXBooth

Back in April the nice people at UXBooth asked me if I’d like to write a blog post for them.

At the time having noticed a lot of great looking books on the horizon from the likes of Donna Spencer and the boys from ClearLeft, Cennydd Bowles and James Box, I thought I’d put together a post about New UX Books to Look Out for in 2010.

It seemed to get quite a good reception so this week I wrote a follow up post aimed at people new to UX. You can read the post User Experience Books for Beginners on UX Booth.

The ultimate User Experience book league table

Since setting up my little pet project @UXBooks I’ve been meaning to write a related blog post but haven’t managed to put aside the time until now. At a similar time to me setting it up UXBookClubs started to pop up around the World. If you haven’t heard about the idea before basically:

A UX (User Experience) Book Club is a get-together in which people interested in the area of user experience come to discuss a book relevant to the discipline.

So far there’s about 50 UXbookClubs stretching from Cologne to Canberra and from what I’ve seen more springing up every week. I’ve really wanted to get along to the book club in London but unfortunately haven’t been able to make it as of yet but fingers crossed I’ll be able to make the next one.

It’s interesting to see the diverse range of books discussed across all the various clubs. A nice feature of the UXBookClub wiki is a league table of all the publications that have been or are going to be read at one of the many meetups (thanks to @Rosenfeldmedia for the heads-up). I thought I’d recreate the list here with links to each of the books for reference. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve only read a handful of the books on the list so I’ll be doing my best to work through them some of them over the coming months.

User Experience Book league table

Sketching User Experiences
Sketching User Experiences

“Getting the Design Right and the Right Design.”

by Bill Buxton

Picked by: Washington DC, Sydney, Melbourne, New York, London, Israel, Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia, Toronto, Twin Cities

dont make me thinkDon’t Make Me Think!

“A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.”
by Steve Krug

Picked by: Canberra, Memphis, LA, Boston

mental modelsMental Models

“Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior.”
by Indi Young
Picked by: Boston, Brisbane, New York, Portland

Subject to Change

“Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World.” by Peter Merholz
Picked by: New York, Richmond VA, Boston, Sydney

Designing for the Social Web

by Joshua Porte
Picked by: Sydney, Chicago, Glasgow

The Back of the Napkin

“Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures.” by Dan Roam
Picked by: Silicon Valley, Portland

The Creative Habit

“Learn It and Use It for Life.” by Twyla Tharp
Picked by: Chicago, Dallas

Emotional Design

“Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things.” by Don Norman
Picked by: Brisbane, Toronto

Web Form Design

“Filling in the Blanks.” by Luke Wroblewski
Picked by: Ithaca, Warsaw

The Humane Interface

New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems.” by Jef Raskin
Picked by: Cologne

Designing for Interaction

“Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices.” by Dan Saffer
Picked by: Austin

The Myths of Innovation

by Scott Berkun
Picked by: San Francisco

Designing the Obvious

“A Commonsense Approach to Web Application Design.” by Robert Hoekman Jr.
Picked by: Twin Cities

About Face

“The Essentials of Interaction Design.” by Alan Cooper et al
Picked by: Los Angeles

Designing Interactions

by Bill Moggridge
Picked by: Atlanta

Neuro Web Design

“What Makes Them Click?” by Susan Weinschenk
Picked by: Dallas

Web Design for ROI

“Turning Browsers into Buyers and Prospects into Leads.” by Lance Loveday
Picked by: Warsaw

Understanding Comics

“The Invisible Art.” by Scott McCloud
Picked by: London


Like I say I’ve only read a handful of the books on the list. If you’ve read any of them it would be great to hear your thoughts and opinions on them. Which is your favourite? Are there any obvious omissions that you think should have been discussed?

Also if you’ve been to one of the many UXBookClub meetups it would be interesting to hear what you think about them. If you have any thoughts on this feel free to add your comment or reply via Twitter @paulseys

UX Books an experiment in one way Twittering


The thinking behind starting up @uxbooks – Book recommendations and occasionally reviews for anyone interested in user experience design.

Recently there’s been some discussion about Twitterers using automated updates through services such as Twitterfeed.

I’m an active Twitterfeed user and personally see no problem in it. As you may have noticed I try to blog at least once a week but rarely manage more than that. I don’t consider this to be excessive by any stretch of the imagination so if an automated Tweet is posted once a week I can’t see it offending anyone.

I like the idea of being able to Twitter about things I’ve seen or read as well as things I’ve written. I found that most of the services I use regularly all have the ability to some how add elements to an RSS feed, be it by ‘favouriting’ a video on YouTube or Vimeo or ‘sharing’ a blog post through Google Reader. With such functions available to me I realised I could use Twitterfeed to instantly add content of interest to Twitter with the minimal amount of fuss.

Personally I have no problem with other people doing this either. If the amount of automated tweets gets too much its not a problem to simply ‘unfollow’ them anyway.

A week ago Paul Stanton (@stanton) created @Boaglinks; a purely automated Twitter account tied in to an RSS feed from Delicious. I liked the idea of using Twitter as a purely one way communication channel and started thinking about how successful it might be. In my opinion such a channel would have to have a purpose, a legitimate reason for people to start following.

I’ve based it around the subject of User Experience as this is something I’m obviously passionate about. I wanted it to be more specific than just general UX as there’s plenty of people on Twitter covering this to a very high standard already. I thought about focusing on UX events but in the end opted for books. I like the idea of a feed that relates to offline and hopefully leads followers to an experience that’s more involved than simply reading a blog post or watching something on YouTube. As well as giving people a shared offline experience focusing on UX books will to a certain extent limit the regularity with which I tweet as apposed to referring people to online material such as blog posts which changes on a far more frequent basis. Hopefully the experience people will get from @uxbooks will be a rich one and will prove to be a worth while experiment.

If you have any thoughts on this please feel free to leave a comment. If you’re interested by the concept of @uxbooks feel free to follow. If you’re not down with Twitter you can also subscribe to the UXBooks RSS feed.