Good reads

Recommended books for design, business and product management.

Over the years I’ve read many books which I’ve found incredibly valuable. All of my recommended books cover topics of design, product management and business.

Design Books

The collection of books below cover everything for you if you have a job title like UX Designer, Interaction Design or Product Designer.

Microinteractions

It’s the little things that turn a good digital product into a great one. With this full color practical book, you’ll learn how to design effective microinteractions: the small details that exist inside and around features. How can users change a setting? How do they turn on mute, or know they have a new email message?

Through vivid, real-world examples from today’s devices and applications, author Dan Saffer walks you through a microinteraction’s essential parts, then shows you how to use them in a mobile app, a web widget, and an appliance. You’ll quickly discover how microinteractions can change a product from one that’s tolerated into one that’s treasured.

Buy It on Amazon


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.

This practical guide focuses on principles, tactics, and actionable methods for presenting your designs. Whether you design UX, websites, or products, you’ll learn how to win over anyone who has influence over the project—with the goal of creating the best experience for the end user.

Buy It on Amazon


Product Design for the Web

Web designers are no longer just web designers. To create a successful web product that’s as large as Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest–or even as small as a tiny app–you need to know more than just HTML and CSS. You need to understand how to create meaningful online experiences so that users want to come back again and again.

Buy it on Amazon


More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First

In this powerful manifesto, Steve Hilton argues that the frustrations people feel with government, politics, their economic circumstances and their daily lives are caused by deep structural problems with the systems that dominate our modern world – systems that have become too big, bureaucratic and distant from the human scale. He shows how change is possible, offering us a more human way of living.

Buy it on Amazon


User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product

User story mapping is a valuable tool for software development, once you understand why and how to use it. This insightful book examines how this often misunderstood technique can help your team stay focused on users and their needs without getting lost in the enthusiasm for individual product features.

Author Jeff Patton shows you how changeable story maps enable your team to hold better conversations about the project throughout the development process. Your team will learn to come away with a shared understanding of what you’re attempting to build and why.

Buy it on Amazon


Well-Designed

In this refreshingly jargon-free and practical book, product design expert Jon Kolko maps out this process, demonstrating how it will help you and your team conceive and build successful, emotionally resonant products again and again.

The key, says Kolko, is empathy. You need to deeply understand customer needs and feelings, and this understanding must be reflected in the product. In successive chapters of the book, we see how leading companies use a design process of storytelling and iteration that evokes positive emotions, changes behavior, and creates deep engagement.

Buy it on Amazon


Management and Leadership Books

Turn the Ship Around!

Captain David Marquet was used to giving orders. In the high-stress environment of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, it was crucial his men did their job well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet.

Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Before long, his crew became fully engaged and the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to the first in the fleet.

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet’s approach to create a workplace where everyone takes responsibility for their actions, people are healthier and happier – and everyone is a leader.

Buy it on Amazon


American Icon

At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself.

Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dys-functional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses. It was an extraordinary risk, but it was the only way the Ford family--America's last great industrial dynasty--could hold on to their company.

Buy it on Amazon


How Google Works

Both Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google as seasoned Silicon Valley business executives, but over the course of a decade they came to see the wisdom in Coach John Wooden's observation that 'it's what you learn after you know it all that counts'. As they helped grow Google from a young start-up to a global icon, they relearned everything they knew about management. How Google Works is the sum of those experiences distilled into a fun, easy-to-read primer on corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption.

The authors explain how the confluence of three seismic changes - the internet, mobile, and cloud computing - has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers. The companies that will thrive in this ever-changing landscape will be the ones that create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom the authors dub 'smart creatives'. The management maxims ('Consensus requires dissension', 'Exile knaves but fight for divas', 'Think 10X, not 10%') are illustrated with previously unreported anecdotes from Google's corporate history.

Buy it on Amazon


Onward

In 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chairman of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became chairman. Concerned that Starbucks had lost its way, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore not only its financial health, but also its soul. In Onward, he shares the remarkable story of his return and the company's ongoing transformation under his leadership, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustainability without sacrificing humanity.

Buy it on Amazon