What did you read in 2019?

over 3 years ago from , User Experience Designer

By constantly reading you discover what you don't know you don't know. So I challenged myself to read and discover as much as I can, so this is my 2019 list:

  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
  • UX Research: Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products
  • InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing
  • Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
  • The Pocket Universal Methods of Design
  • How to Make Sense of Any Mess
  • Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us Into Temptation
  • Design for Dasein: Understanding the Design of Experiences
  • Articulating Design Decisions
  • Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Talking to Humans
  • Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
  • Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
  • Designing for Behavior Change: Applying Psycho
  • Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories
  • Tragic Design: The True Impact of Bad Design and How to Fix It
  • UX Optimization: Combining Behavioral UX and Usability Testing Data

What did you read in 2019?


  • Isabelle Foster, over 3 years ago

    I read a lot, and I also find that unless I’ve read a book 2-3 times, I can only retain a summary or certain glimpses of moments. After about a year passes, the books I’ve read have mostly faded in my mind. Occasionally important lessons or the emotions inspired by certain plot points will linger, and I feel like that’s quite valuable. But lately, I prefer to read various research papers at the PapersOwl. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I am no longer a student and I am growing up, and I am becoming much more interested in science than fiction.

    3 points
  • Taylor PalmerTaylor Palmer, over 3 years ago

    I tend to shy away from design books outside of work to avoid burnout, but more power to you! My list this year:


    • The Underground Railroad
    • Annihilation
    • Recursion
    • A Darker Shade of Magic
    • Mistborn: Bands of Mourning


    • John Adams
    • The Four Tendencies
    • The Psychology of Flow
    • The Making of a Manager (in progress)
    2 points
  • Nelson TarucNelson Taruc, over 3 years ago

    Shape Up by Ryan Singer of Basecamp made me rethink everything I knew about the agile process and how to approach product development with a focus on demand vs. supply. If you’ve ever been frustrated with “Agile” sprints as a designer or product owner, this is a must-read.

    1 point
  • Braden HammBraden Hamm, over 3 years ago

    Impressive list! I read ZERO design books.

    I read:

    • "Braving The Wilderness" by Brene Brown

    • "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" by Mark Manson

    • "Artemis" by Andy Weir

    • "Mating in Captivity" by Esther Perel

    I wish I could read more, but kids/ work.

    1 point
  • Dan W, over 3 years ago

    Great post. Andrei, it looks like you read a ton of books that are super relevant to designers. Would you mind telling us which, if any, you highly recommend and why?

    1 point
    • , over 3 years ago

      Thanks, Dan! Is hard for me to make a Top 3, but I'll give it a try (random order):

      • Designing for Behavior Change: Applying Psychology and Behavioral Economics
      • Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
      • Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture
      1 point
  • Bryan LewisBryan Lewis, over 3 years ago
    • Essentialism by Greg McKeown
    • Intuitive Design by Everett McKay
    • UX Lifecycle by Jeremy Baines
    • The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda
    1 point
  • Richard BruskowskiRichard Bruskowski, over 3 years ago
    • Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby
    • Just Enough Research, Erika Hall
    • Ruined by Design, Mike Monteiro
    • The Design of Everyday Things, Don Norman
    • Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design, Kat Holmes
    1 point
  • Wouter RamakerWouter Ramaker, over 3 years ago

    Value Sensitive Design: Shaping Technology with Moral Imagination — Batya Friedman and David G. Hendry

    A bit meh. Actually, the content is really interesting, but the way it was written is very academic, citing multiple studies in every paragraph.

    Ruined by Design — Mike Monteiro

    Interesting perspective on the responsibilities of a designer. Highly recommended, and if you don't want to read; he covers a lot of the same topics in his podcast: Voice of Design.

    Just Enough Research — Erika Hall

    A good read on how user research shouldn't be hard but is oh so essential.

    1 point
  • iterati designiterati design, over 3 years ago

    Haven't read as much as in 2018, but among all Thinking, Fast and Slow was definitely the best.

    1 point
  • Leonard Bennett, 3 years ago

    Thanks for the info

    0 points
  • Dan BDan B, over 3 years ago

    These two really surprised me:

    • Sapiens
    • Understanding Comics

    Within my top 10:

    • Hacking Growth
    • Made To Stick
    • The Lean Startup
    0 points