Ask DN: What books have you purchased/read recently?

almost 5 years ago from , Design by Marcus

I'm always on the look out for interesting books to read. They don't necessarily need to be about design although I'm interested in learning about UX at the moment.

If you've read something decent lately I'd love to hear about it!


  • Sri KadimisettySri Kadimisetty, almost 5 years ago

    I am re-reading Shape Of Design. Just can't believe this book is available for free. Brings a lot of clarity to me.

    And then I'm gonna finish up the Execute Book.

    9 points
    • Mark Michon, almost 5 years ago

      As an Educator, The Shape of Design is my go-to for whenever I need a bit of inspiration. Such an incredible book.

      2 points
  • Jason EtcovitchJason Etcovitch, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    I'm reading The Design of Everyday Things which is really good so far. I'm planning to share it with my non-designer friends :)

    6 points
  • David HeinzeDavid Heinze, almost 5 years ago

    Can only recommend to read Elon Musk, if your also interested in a technical background. Although, really inspirational book for me.

    5 points
  • Sheffield LeithartSheffield Leithart, almost 5 years ago

    Currently working through David & Goliath by Malcom Gladwell and Creativity, Inc.

    2 points
  • Sam Pierce LollaSam Pierce Lolla, almost 5 years ago

    Just bought a few actually...

    • Design of Everyday Things - reviewing it as possible course material for an intro to design course
    • Understanding Comics - Awesome discussion of creative process, understanding your medium, etc--in comic book form, of course. Recommended especially if you're not into comics or graphic novels (like me)
    • Manage Your Day-to-Day (99u/Behance) - Insight into the creative process, productivity, and managing your energy from lots of famous creative types. Only read the first couple pages, but already found some gems.
    2 points
  • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, almost 5 years ago

    Amazing how little of us seem to be reading fiction or philosophy. I have recently enjoyed Zen in the Art of Archery and Silk very much.

    Both books are very short and can be finished on a short train ride or evening reading in bed.

    1 point
  • Bilal MohammedBilal Mohammed, almost 5 years ago

    Zero to One — by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel

    1 point
  • , almost 5 years ago

    Thanks for the replies and recommendations, I've added quite a few of these to my to-buy list!

    1 point
  • Steve McKinneySteve McKinney, almost 5 years ago

    I'm currently reading To Sell is Human, only a third of the way through but so far so good.

    1 point
  • Mark Michon, almost 5 years ago

    The User Experience Team of One by Leah Buley. Straightforward, "real", and provides actual tools instead of only theory.

    1 point
    • Gareth LewisGareth Lewis, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      I second this. It's an excellent book, and talks about real world scenarios, and gives great tips about getting people on board with UX.

      I did my UX certification with BCS earlier this year, and this book was on the "recommended reading" list.

      0 points
      • Marcus H, almost 5 years ago

        Do you think it would be useful for a beginner that freelances or is it more for designers that work in companies on their own?

        0 points
        • Gareth LewisGareth Lewis, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

          I haven't read it fully cover to cover, but I'd say its geared towards design agencies and designers that work in companies.

          0 points
        • Mark Michon, almost 5 years ago

          One nice feature she includes in the book is "essential" summaries for each section. "If you only have the time/budget to do one single thing, do this...", which might be nice for freelancers who don't have the resources, time, or scope to do all the research and testing a larger budget may allow. It's modular enough to cherrypick what works best for you.

          0 points
  • James Young, almost 5 years ago

    Couple on the go

    Draplin - Pretty much everything

    This makes me feel that even if I worked 10 careers I probably still wouldn't put out as much work as the man himself. Amazing.

    Nice to own the hardback too, lots to leaf through and browse.


    Interesting reading on sprints for projects no matter how complicated and how you can get masses done with the right team in 5 days.

    Today We Die a Little: The Rise and Fall of Emil Zátopek, Olympic Legend

    I run a lot so I've usually got at least one running related book on the go on my Kindle. This one's a bit slow going to be honest.

    0 points
  • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, almost 5 years ago

    A Grief Observed, by C.S. Lewis

    0 points
  • Jay Tyagi, almost 5 years ago

    Next - Everything on Stoicism (Seneca, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius)

    0 points
  • Faiz MokhtarFaiz Mokhtar, almost 5 years ago

    Recently purchased Hackers & Painters by Paul Graham.

    Halfway through Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future and enjoying it.

    0 points
  • Khaled Islam BouyaKhaled Islam Bouya, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    Recently finished "The power of habit". (Even wrote a little Medium post about it here )

    I'm currently reading Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson and "The design of everyday things".

    But I have other books lined up, the list for is: - Hooked : How to build habit forming products - Priceless: The Hidden Psychology of Value - Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days - 1984 of George Orwell (yeah didn't read it)

    0 points
  • Noam ElbazNoam Elbaz, almost 5 years ago

    Naked Economics. The author makes the otherwise painfully boring topic extremely interesting.

    0 points
  • Mal SMal S, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    A book apart: Design for real life It's a really good read, I'm gonna say best read this year so far... it's focus on "stress case." Stress case is edge case brought to the center of conversations. Edge cases effect an insignificant number of users, "We're designing for the 90% not the 10%" That classic edge case thinking. It define the boundaries of who/what you care about and what you can marginalize. When we make things for people at their worst, they'll work that much better when people are at their best.

    0 points
  • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, almost 5 years ago

    I recently picked up An Essay in Typography by Eric Gill and Ways of Seeing. I still need to get around to reading them though.

    0 points
  • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, almost 5 years ago

    The Systems Bible is a fantastic read. It's great for understanding why nothing goes the way you expect.

    0 points
  • Nicolás Joel EnglerNicolás Joel Engler, almost 5 years ago

    Lea Verou's CSS Secrets. It is a truly entertaining read, incredibly straight-forward and full of helpful tips.

    0 points
  • Toby ShorinToby Shorin, almost 5 years ago

    Recently finished Jacques Ranciere's The Politics of Aesthetics which is a short but challenging read. Definitely recommended for anyone interested in the critical aspects of design.

    From the description:

    The Politics of Aesthetics rethinks the relationship between art and politics, reclaiming "aesthetics" from the narrow confines it is often reduced to. Jacques Rancière reveals its intrinsic link to politics by analysing what they both have in common: the delimitation of the visible and the invisible, the audible and the inaudible, the thinkable and the unthinkable, the possible and the impossible.

    0 points
  • Kevin OhlssonKevin Ohlsson, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    I have an fond interest in psychology and was thrilled when i discovered the book "the like switch" by a former FBI-recruiter, if you are intrested in human pscyhology I very much recommended this book. Link: [The Like Switch](ohlsson.link/the-like-switch)

    0 points
  • Sander VisserSander Visser, almost 5 years ago

    I'm reading both Hooked and The Obstacle is the Way at the moment. Oh and I'm also listening to David and Goliath. I would recommend all three of these actually.

    Two books I read recently and would recommend are Ishmael and The Alchemist. They are not about design but more philosophical. Especially Ishmael made me think a lot about how we perceive the world.

    0 points