Unveiling 30 Game-Changing Design Books for Success in 2024

Abhi Chatterjee
11 min readFeb 29, 2024

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In 2024, being a designer means embracing constant evolution to stay in tune with the industry’s demands. It’s not just about following trends; it’s about strengthening the basics to stay ahead. While I’m not typically one to bury myself in books, I’m drawn to insightful blog posts, articles and youtube videos. Surprisingly, I’ve compiled 30 book recommendations that I believe are game-changers. Let’s delve into how these books can bolster our design skills and drive us towards success in the field.

UX Design

1. The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things is a best-selling book by cognitive scientist and usability engineer Donald Norman about how design serves as the communication between object and user and how to optimize that conduit of communication in order to make the experience of using the object pleasurable.

2. Don’t Make Me Think

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.

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.

3. 100 Things

This book is not just a set of guidelines, but a deep dive into what makes people tick. Dr. Weinschenk shares the psychology research and shows lots of examples so that you can design intuitive and engaging print, web, applications and products that match the way people think, work, and play.

4. Lean UX

The Lean UX approach to interaction design is tailor-made for today’s web-driven reality. In this insightful book, leading advocate Jeff Gothelf teaches you valuable Lean UX principles, tactics, and techniques from the ground up — how to rapidly experiment with design ideas, validate them with real users, and continually adjust your design based on what you learn.

5. Hooked

Why do some products capture our attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain things out of sheer habit? Is there an underlying pattern to how technologies hook us? In this book, the author Nir Eyal answers these questions with his years of research, consulting, and practical experience. It also provides readers with practical insights.

UI Design

1. Refactoring UI

Refactoring UI takes everything we know about design and bundles it into one comprehensive package, including a book, screencasts, a component gallery, custom designed assets, and more.

2. Practical UI

Practical UI shows you the logic and rationale of how to design UI that is not only accessible and usable, but also looks professional. Instead of telling you “use principles like spacing, and alignment to improve your UI”, it instead shows you step by step HOW to actionably apply those principles.

3. Design Manual

This e-book and the practice files are all you need to learn mobile design and become a better designer. We wrote this e-book thinking about everyone lost in the learning process and missing a real actionable step-by-step guide on delivering a complete project.

4. UI Pedia

There is nothing in this Designing book that you won’t understand, even if you are a beginner. This book is made to take your designing skills from basic to advance level no what at what stage you are as a producer.

5. Mobile Design Pattern Gallery

When you’re under pressure to produce a well-designed, easy-to-navigate mobile app, there’s no time to reinvent the wheel — and no need to. This handy reference provides more than 90 mobile app design patterns, illustrated by 1,000 screenshots from current Android, iOS, and Windows Phone apps.

Design System

1. Atomic Design

Atomic design provides a clear methodology for crafting design systems. Clients and team members are able to better appreciate the concept of design systems by actually seeing the steps laid out in front of them.

2. Laying the Foundations

Laying the Foundations is a comprehensive guide to creating, documenting, and maintaining design systems, and how to design websites and products systematically. It’s an ideal book for web designers and product designers (of all levels) and especially design teams.

3. UI Design Systems Mastery

UI Design Systems Mastery is an ebook written by Marina Budarina, a well-known member of the design community. The book is about UI design and design systems. It aims to help readers understand how systems are constructed and learn key steps.

4. Design Systems

As the web continues to become more complex, designing static pages has become untenable, so that many of us have started to approach design in a more systematic way. In this book, Alla Kholmatova sets out to identify what makes an effective design system that can empower teams to create great digital products.

5. Building Design Systems

Learn how to build a design system framed within the context of your specific business needs. This book guides you through the process of defining a design language that can be understood across teams, while also establishing communication strategies for how to sell your system to key stakeholders and other contributors.

UX Research

1. UX Research

One key responsibility of product designers and UX practitioners is to conduct formal and informal research to clarify design decisions and business needs. But there’s often mystery around product research, with the feeling that you need to be a research Zen master to gather anything useful. Fact is, anyone can conduct product research. With this quick reference guide, you’ll learn a common language and set of tools to help you carry out research in an informed and productive manner.

2. Just Enough Research

Good research is about asking more and better questions and thinking critically about the answers. Done well, it will save your team time and money by reducing unknowns and creating a solid foundation to build the right thing, in the most effective way.

3. Interviewing Users

Interviewing is a foundational user research tool that people assume they already possess. Everyone can ask questions, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Interviewing Users provides invaluable interviewing techniques and tools that enable you to conduct informative interviews with anyone. You’ll move from simply gathering data to uncovering powerful insights about people.

4. Think Like a UX Researcher

Think Like a UX Researcher will challenge your preconceptions about user experience (UX) research and encourage you to think beyond the obvious. You’ll discover how to plan and conduct UX research, analyze data, persuade teams to take action on the results and build a career in UX. The book will help you take a more strategic view of product design so you can focus on optimizing the user’s experience. UX Researchers, Designers, Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Business Analysts and Marketing Managers will find tools, inspiration and ideas to rejuvenate their thinking, inspire their team and improve their craft.

5. The User Experience Team of One

The User Experience Team of One prescribes a range of approaches that have big impact and take less time and fewer resources than the standard lineup of UX deliverables. Whether you want to cross over into user experience or you’re a seasoned practitioner trying to drag your organization forward, this book gives you tools and insight for doing more with less.

UX Writing

1. Staging Writing for UX

When you depend on users to perform specific actions — like buying tickets, playing a game, or riding public transit — well-placed words are most effective. But how do you choose the right words? And how do you know if they work? With this practical book, you’ll learn how to write strategically for UX, using tools to build foundational pieces for UI text and UX voice strategy.

2. Everybody Writes

In the newly revised and updated edition of Everybody Writes, marketer and author Ann Handley improves on her Wall Street Journal bestselling book that’s helped hundreds of thousands become better, more confident writers. In this brand-new edition, she delivers all the practical, how-to advice and insight you need for the process and strategy of content creation, production, and publishing.

3. Nicely Said

Whether you’re new to web writing, or you’re a professional writer looking to deepen your skills, this book is for you. You’ll learn how to write web copy that addresses your readers’ needs and supports your business goals.

4. Content Design

Between 2010 and 2014, Sarah and her team at the Government Digital Service invented the discipline of content design by applying new techniques to their work. In this book, Sarah explains what “content design” really means, and tells you how to put those techniques into your organisation and your web project. This book is short, lively and practical. Using real-world examples and imagined examples, it takes the reader through the content design process one step at a time, explaining everything along the way.

5. Conversational Design

How do we make digital systems feel less robotic and more real? Whether you work with interface or visual design, frontend technology, or content design, learn why conversation is the best model for creating device-independent, human-centered systems. Research and information design expert Erika Hall explains what makes an interaction truly conversational and how to get more comfortable using language in design. From understanding the human interface, to effectively using the power of personality, to getting it all done, you’ll find out how the art of communication can elevate technology.

UX Strategy

1. Customers Know You Suck

Customers Know You Suck is the how-to manual for customer-centric product-market fit. Its highly actionable models, maps, and processes empower everyone to improve the Customer Experience (CX). Learn how to investigate, diagnose, and act on what’s blocking teams. Gather the evidence and data that better inform decisions, leading to increased satisfaction, conversion, and loyalty. Use our governance model for implementing and monitoring the progress, success, and failure of internal process changes and experiments.

2. UX Business

Many UX designers are surprised to learn that much of the job isn’t about drawing things. It’s about knowing what to draw and how to convince people to build it. Whether you’re a one-person design team making products from scratch or a C-level product leader managing many products and strategies, UX for Business is your missing guide to real-world business design.

3. Articulating Design Decisions

Talking to people about your designs might seem like a basic skill, but it can be difficult to do efficiently and well. And, in many cases, how you communicate about your work with stakeholders, clients, and other non-designers is more critical than the designs themselves — simply because the most articulate person usually wins.

4. UX Strategy

User experience (UX) strategy requires a careful blend of business strategy and UX design, but until now, there hasn’t been an easy-to-apply framework for executing it. This hands-on guide introduces lightweight strategy tools and techniques to help you and your team craft innovative multi-device products that people want to use.

5. Inspired

How do today’s most successful tech companies — Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla — design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than the vast majority of tech companies. In INSPIRED, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class in how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization, and how to discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love — and that will work for your business.

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Abhi Chatterjee

UX Designer at Dubai Municipality specialised in User research & Interaction Design