Top Design Books For Summer Reading

Brendan Feeney

Interaction Designer

At last Summer’s here! This means the days are longer and the weather is perfect for relaxing with a good book or two. At Graphic Mint we are always on the lookout for a good Design book to read and share. Here are the top 5 Design books we have read so far this year. These are perfect for you to read on the beach, beside the pool or halfway up a mountain. You will be returning to work with fresh perspectives and some new tricks up your sleeve!

Illustration of Designer reading Design Books on beach.

“100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People”

Designing without understanding what makes people tick often results in confused and unfocused Designs. “100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People” by Susan Weinschenk can help solve this problem. The book outlines how people interact with products. Based on this the author then demonstrates how designers can harness these behaviours to increase the usability and effectiveness of their Design projects. The author provides science and research, with practical examples, to deliver a guide every designer needs. Easy to read and understand, this book is a useful resource with great tips on how to refine and optimise User Experience.

“About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design”

Today’s users have little patience for digital products that don’t live up to their expectations. They are quick to abandon a website or app if a better alternative is available. “About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design” by Alan Cooper explores contemporary interface and Interaction Design methods. The book provides current recommendations and up to date examples of modern digital Design platforms. A great reference for Design best practice, this book explains how to achieve the perfect website that users will love.

Book Covers for 100 Things and About Face

“Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”

A blend of Design Thinking and psychology, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products” by Nir Eyal explores how Design influences user behaviour. Documenting the ‘Hook Model’, the author outlines a four-step process to subtly encourage customer behaviour. It also helps to bring users back again and again, without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. A comprehensive yet concise read, this book provides a clear understanding on how to Design products that users will find attractive.

“Sketching User Experience”

“Sketching User Experience” by Bill Buxton is an overarching guide to the Design process from all angles. This book speaks to everyone from designers and product managers to developers and business executives. There is a real emphasis on balancing the back-end with getting the Design right through sketching and ideation. This is a great guide for anyone interested in building better digital products that serve our society and reflects its values.

“Service Design: From Insight to Implementation”

“Service Design: From Insight to Implementation” by Andy Polaine, Lavrans Løvlie and Ben Reason is our final selection. It captures the essence of how Design Thinking weaves many pathways and option points for the designer. The authors provide a roadmap for practical application of the evolving tools and techniques of Service Design. If you are serious about making change this is a great reference source. It helps to clarify your approach and provides much needed structure to the creative process.

Book Covers for Hooked, Sketching User Experiences and Service Design

Want More Than Design Books?

These are just some of the Design books we have enjoyed so far this year. If you know of more why not share on our Facebook page or Twitter feed. Too tired to read? Well, you can chill in the sunshine while listening to a Design podcast instead. Check out our own top 5 UX podcasts and gain real insight from leaders in the Design world. We hope you enjoy your Summer holidays and maybe we will be working together on a project when you get back.