November 18, 2022

My Book Shelf

Books that talk about the power of design

What I am currently reading (Sept 2021)

Building For Everyone: Expand Your Market With Design Practices From Google's Product Inclusion Team

Diversity and Inclusion to build better products from the front lines at Google

Establishing diverse and inclusive organizations is an economic imperative for every industry. Any business that isn’t reaching a diverse market is missing out on enormous revenue potential and the opportunity to build products that suit their users' core needs. The economic “why” has been firmly established, but what about the “how?” How can business leaders adapt to our ever-more-diverse world by capturing market share AND building more inclusive products for people of color, women and other underrepresented groups? The Product Inclusion Team at Google has developed strategies to do just that and Building For Everyone is the practical guide to following in their footsteps.

  • Discover the questions you should be asking about diversity and inclusion in your products for marketers, user researchers, product managers and more.
  • Understand the research the Product Inclusion team drove to back up their practices
  • Learn the “ABCs of Product Inclusion” to build inclusion into your organization’s culture
  • Leverage the product inclusion suite of tools to get your organization building more inclusively and identifying new opportunities.
  • Read case studies to see how product inclusion works across industries and learn what doesn't work.

Building For Everyone will show you how to infuse your business processes with inclusive design. You’ll learn best practices for inclusion in product design, marketing, management, leadership and beyond, straight from the innovative Google Product Inclusion team.

Books I've read and recommend:

The Pocket Universal Principles of Design: 

150 Essential Tools for Architects, Artists, Designers, Developers, Engineers, Inventors, and Makers 

Portable, condensed, and armed with 150 principles, this mini book is like the Swiss Army knife of design knowledge. I was given the book in college in 2015 and it's followed me every year, to 6 different cities and multiple desks. It is sitting on my desk as I write this.  

It's the perfect reminder to keep learning because this industry will never stop evolving. Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, it pairs critical need-to-know design knowledge with visual examples of the principles applied in practice. An indispensable field reference for designers of all types, this pocket edition of the best-selling Universal Principles of Design will sharpen your design thinking and expand your sense of the possible.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

How do successful companies create products people can't put down?

Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?

Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive "hook cycles," these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

Hooked is based on Eyal's years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.

Since Don't Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug's guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it's one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

I read the 2nd edition in 2016 but re-read it again in 2019. Even if you have read it before, you'll rediscover some great reminder tips.

Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don't Make Me Think a classic–with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it's still short, profusely illustrated…and best of all–fun to read. 

Interaction Design: Beyond Human-computer Interaction

The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond

Published over ten years ago, Elements of User Experience was a required reading during my time in college.  Now, in this updated, expanded, and full-color new edition, Jesse James Garrett has refined his thinking about the Web, going beyond the desktop to include information that also applies to the sudden proliferation of mobile devices and applications.

Usability, brand identity, information architecture, interaction design— creating the user experience can be overwhelmingly complex. This new edition of The Elements of User Experience cuts through that complexity with clear explanations and vivid illustrations that focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. Garrett gives insight into user experience development, from strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design.


The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business 

In college, I took classes on digital media, communities, HCI, design and computer science. I thought I was missing some elements of entrepreneurship and was able to find very valuable insights and terminology used in business and finance.

Josh Kaufman has made a business out of distilling the core principles of business and delivering them quickly and concisely to people at all stages of their careers. His blog has introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to the best business books and most powerful business concepts of all time. In The Personal MBA, he shares the essentials of sales, marketing, negotiation, strategy, and much more.

Books I am excited to read next:

The Design of Everyday Things

If you've ever marveled at or grumbled about how a product was designed — The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman will intrigue you. Don explores what makes a design succeed or fail, then shares design principles and methods that lead to user-friendly designs. While some examples are a bit dated — rotary phones, for instance — the psychology and experience behind the advice are still solid.