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Required Reading for the UX Professional

Software Development, User Experience, Software Solutions

By David Wierbiki

Where can I read up on what UX is and it’s principles?

I get asked this question a great deal by those studying UX, those interested in it and even savvy clients looking to better understand what is involved with and what UX means in general.

Print

There are a metric ton of books out there that you could and should read, but these are the basics that I recommend to people. You will find others on your travels of course, but this is the A list.

  • Read Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" and "Rocket Surgery Made Easy”. Steve is very down to Earth and wrote these books to be read in a single airplane flight. They are very straight forward and will give you a manual for conducting usability studies from zero-budget on up.
  • Read Louis Rosenfeld's "Information Architecture”. Lou loves library sciences... loves them so much that seeing him speak about information architecture is both enjoyable and enlightening.
  • Read Jesse James Garrett's "The Elements of User Experience". When Garrett came out with this book originally it rocked the UI designer world and is still relevant to this day. The principles are sound and timeless on many levels.
  • Read Don Norman's "The Design of Everyday Things". This will change your perspective on how you perceive pretty much everything you interact with on a daily basis.

Be on the lookout for seminars from any of these individuals too.

Email

I’m not big into subscribing to email lists, but this one is a definitive must for the user experience professional.

  • Subscribe to Jacob Nielson's Alert Box and peruse / search the previous articles when you have specific questions. Jakob is the grandfather of usability. He and his firm conduct endless studies and help more clients than I can count with assessing their user experience.

"Print is Dead"

- Egon Spangler, Ghostbusters
A book list is always helpful, but the moment it is printed it will have dated material. Not useless material of course, but dated. One of the best ways to stay current is to get an RSS feed reader like Feedly. Subscribe to design and tech blogs (or anything else you find that you want regular updates for), add the mobile app to your phone too. It makes for an easy time killer when you’re killing time or starting your morning.
Here is a list of a few design and industry related RSS feeds to get you started. You will find more on your quest for knowledge and I have a gigantic list in my reader that covers most of my interests in life. The list is in alphabetical order and not in order of importance. This entire list is also available as a OPML file that you can download and then import into the feed reader of your choice.

Submissions

While this list is lengthy, it is by no means complete. If there is a book or feed that you believe should be added to this list, please let me know.
Happy reading!

TAGS: Software Development, User Experience, Software Solutions

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