Occasionally, it is an overwhelming decision to choose which book to read or refer to, since choosing the right book about your topic can either develop your interest in it or kill it. Because sometimes books can have irrelevant information about things you are not looking for, hence people choose to just type those specific words in the search engines online. Mostly, young designers and students tend to only look up stuff online be it blogs or websites. These days with the increase in the number of do-it-yourself or step-by-step process videos, books may have become the last option for references. But unlike other genres of books, product design books, since many designers themselves usually write them, have a way of keeping the reader’s attention by using graphics, impactful, relevant words, and illustrations.
So, reading these books can be one of the best ways to look for solutions and inspiration.
Here’s a list, not in any particular order, but a collection that covers several topics corresponding to product design.
Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman | Product Design Books
Donald Arthur Norman is an American researcher, professor, and author.
In this book, he explores the story of everyday objects that are created by humans from a psychological perspective. The book can help you become more observant about what a good or bad design is and how it affects you, even if you might not notice it directly at first.
This book is for you if you want to know how to differentiate between a good and poor design and learn the principles of interaction with the product.
Design as Art by Bruno Munari
Bruno Munari is an Italian designer and artist who has a milieu spread across various domains of visual arts.
This is a reference book for designers from all fields. While reading you can notice the smart humour and practical approach towards finding solutions and how things are more about effectiveness than extra style.
This book is for you if you are trying to understand what art today is and learn the intricacies involved in visual design.
The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick | Product Design Books
Rob Fitzpatrick is an entrepreneur, who wrote this book with his personal experience in user conversations and interviews.
This book is a guide that answers how-to questions one faces when starting a business. It helps you choose the right questions to ask the consumers and get honest feedback.
This book is for you if you have an idea about a product and want to start a business.
Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon
Austin Kleon, is a New York Times bestselling author and considers himself to be a writer who draws.
The book can be read in one go, but the creative ideas presented will stay with you. It will inspire you to not just sit around and wait but start working on your ideas.
This book is for you if, you want some advice and motivation, to set an idea in motion.
Don’t make me think by Steve Krug
Steve Krug is a Usability and User Experience professional who has more than 30 years of experience as a user advocate.
This book is a masterpiece on web and mobile usability. It has clear and simple language to explain evaluation by focusing on the end users’ experience. Fundamentals of good design and a common-sense approach with good humour are shared.
This book is for you if you want to find out how to make your products more accessible and usable.
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Nir Eyal is an author, speaker and investor who writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business.
This book will provide realistic eye-openers in the minds of users to create products that become a part of the users’ daily routines.
This book is for you if you are planning to have your start-up business, build products, and want to know how they influence behaviour of the end users.
100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People by Susan M. Weinschenk
Susan M. Weinschenk is an American behavioural psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in user behaviour and user experience.
The book is a compilation of theories of psychology and their application in designing interaction and peoples’ choices in what or why they make certain decisions.
This book is for you if you want to understand intuitive design effectiveness and what people believe in when they purchase or click on something.
User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play by Cliff Kuang
Cliff Kuang is a UX designer at Google, a design editor and an award-winning journalist.
In this book, the author brings out the whole picture from the beginning and discusses designing around the obstacles that the users face rather than a perfect situation. He narrates stories about what can happen if designs are misleading.
This book is for you if you want to learn how design is more than just aesthetics, how design should help people from all spectrums and product development can be user-centric.
Designing Design by Kenya Hara
Kenya Hara is a Japanese graphic designer, curator, writer and art director of Japanese lifestyle brand MUJI.
In this book, the author explains design and art through examples of projects. He reflects on various topics to understand the meaning of designing.
This book is for you if you want to know the concepts and creative processes of an experienced working designer with a minimalistic approach.
The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelly | Product Design Books
Tom Kelly is an author, speaker and a partner at IDEO, a leading design firm for more than 30 years.
In this book, the author presents the IDEO problem-solving process, how they research and analyse audiences by carefully observing behaviours, brainstorming, taking risks, prototyping, and innovating.
This book is for you if you want to know an extra bit about entrepreneurship skills, team-building, business cultures, ideating and finding inspiration.
Hence, these books can help you find the roots of your design and answer user, product, behaviour and psychology related questions and it’s fun reading people’s experiences and anecdotes about their creative processes.