March 6, 2024
UI/UX Guide
3 min

Must-Read Books for UI UX Designers in 2024

As UI UX designers, we get our inspiration from everywhere – especially in books. So, we’ve compiled a list of all the books every UI UX designer should read.
Cristi Fonea
March 6, 2024
UI/UX Design Books

As UI UX designers, we get our inspiration from everywhere – especially in books. So, It’s time to go back to the basics – books!

Let’s face it – we live in a world in which we’re one click away from all the information we need. Just a quick Google search, and we’re good to go, right? 

And while online resources are undeniably valuable, we can find only so much. Truth be told, we need to know exactly what we’re looking for, or we’ll end up drowning in a sea of information. And usually, the ones that take care of storing information are books. But what happens when UI UX designers are looking for reliable and safe resources of knowledge?

It’s time to go back to the basics – books!

So what can we do? Well, exactly! It’s time to go back to the basics – books. All those articles, tutorials, YouTube videos, forums, and so much more information we can find online can become overwhelming. So, there’s something special about reading perfectly crafted books written by industry experts. 

Books have this amazing power to take us anywhere. They can educate us, inspire us, and they can even change our lives as a whole. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I felt so motivated and I was booming with creativity. Color theory, typography, design patterns, and everything you want to know about UI UX design.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of our favorite UI UX design books in 2024 because we don’t want you to underestimate the power of a good read.

Best Books for Beginner UI UX Designers in 2024

1. UI is Communication by Everett N. McKay

I’ve read a lot of UI design books, and I have to admit – for beginners, this might be the best one that I’ve seen so far- definitely a must read book for UI designers in 2024. It has UI design principles, theory, components, case studies – everything that we, as UI designers at the beginning of our careers, need to know. It even has bad UI examples to make the reading experience more fun and entertaining. But we might already be aware of most of the information provided – depending on the level of knowledge and how much we interacted with design before. 

So, what makes it so interesting about this book? Well, most of the books for beginners are full of theory. But McKay’s book is nothing like that. And that’s what makes it so great. It gives us a lot of practical ideas and tools for immediate improvement of our design process. But the most valuable lesson that we can all learn from this book is how we should see UI design. The UI part of the design being a communication tool between ourselves (our product) and our users. It’s not just about pretty pictures and cool designs – it’s like having a conversation or even telling a story to our users – something that most of us (even experienced UI designers) forget. 

“User interface design isn't a subjective visual art about pixels and aesthetics but rather a principled objective communication skill to explain tasks to users." – Everett N. McKay in UI is Communication.

2. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman 

Sure, there are many iconic UI UX design books out there, but nothing comes close to Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things. This is the OG design process book – “the bible of usability”, might I add. And the best part? It’s not your typical UI design book. Why? Because it’s not really about UI. Nor even about UX design. Nope, it’s all about everyday things (obviously enough) – the things we interact with all the time but never really stop to think about – looked at from a philosophical perspective. 

Norman shows exactly what works and why, and how even the simplest and most ordinary objects can have a deeper meaning than their banal definition. Trust me – you will never see any object the same after reading this book. Doors, tea kettles, faucets, answering machines – all of these will make you think back to Don Norman’s lessons. Even if the examples given are a bit outdated (the book is written in the late 80s, so it makes sense). 

“The Design of Everyday Things” is less about practicability and more about giving designers to look at things from a new perspective. It’s about making UI UX designers go back to the common-sense principles of user-friendly design. The book is definitely a must read for UI UX designers in 2024.

“Two of the most important characteristics of good design are discoverability and understanding. Discoverability: Is it possible to even figure out what actions are possible and where and how to perform them? Understanding: What does it all mean? How is the product supposed to be used? What do all the different controls and settings mean?” – Don Norman in The Design of Everyday Things

3. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk

UI Design is more than just a pretty graphic design. It’s about understanding the psychology of human behavior and interaction. It’s about putting ourselves in the place of the user and understanding what they need. However, for so many of us, especially when we’re at the beginning of our careers, this might be hard. 

But this is where Susan Weinschenk’s book can be the helping hand we need. Her book offers the first step in grasping the concepts of creating a design like a pro. It covers everything from how the brain processes information to the nuances of decision-making. Yet, this is not all, what I love about this is that while it might not be a book you read continuously, it’s full of facts, examples, and references. It even brings out information that we might seem to know but not be aware of it. Did you know that people favor a specific style more when happy and another style more when sad? 

Plus, if we don’t have time to read it all, there’s a section at the end of each chapter, “Takeaways”. Talk about user-centric design. 

“If the Web site is not responsive or takes too long to load, it’s like the person you’re speaking to is not looking at you, or is ignoring other person getting too personal. If the Web site does not save your information from session to session, that’s like the other person is not recognizing you or remembering that you know each other.” – Susan Weinschenk in 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People.

uinkits - Our Figma Design System

We at uinkits understand the importance of inputs in great user experiences and creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include these essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest,” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma UI Kit, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button. 

Our design system components, including variables, cards, buttons, and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

Cristi Fonea
March 6, 2024

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