Last Updated on June 13, 2023 by Farnaz
In today’s digital age, product design is more important than ever. With the increasing demand for user-centered design, designers need to be equipped with the best resources available to create successful digital products. One way to do this is by reading books written by industry experts. In this blog post, we will discuss the 10 best digital product design books that every designer should read.
Looking to create and sell a digital product? You might want to check out “The Digital Product Playbook.” This eBook is considered the ultimate guide to building a successful digital product business. It covers everything from planning and development to marketing and promotion. With actionable insights and practical tips, you’ll learn how to create engaging content, optimize your sales funnel, and drive revenue. Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or just starting out, “The Digital Product Playbook” is a go-to resource for digital product success.
2. Good Strategy Bad Strategy – Digital Product Book
by Richard Rumelt
Developing and implementing a specific and coherent strategy is the primary role of a leader. Rumelt debunks elements of “bad strategy” such as motivational slogans and financial goals and illustrates the power of a “good strategy” through nine pragmatic tools. These tools can be applied on Monday morning and are brought to life through examples ranging from Apple to Wal-Mart and from the Iraq wars to the 2007-08 financial crisis. Good Strategy/Bad Strategy is a reflection of Rumelt’s expertise in economics, finance, technology, history, and human character, and his ability to address hard questions with honesty and integrity.
3. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
by Nir Eyal
“Hooked” by Nir Eyal is a book that explores the psychology behind habit-forming products. Eyal explains the four steps of the “hooked” model and provides practical advice on how to design products that keep users coming back. This book is a great resource for designers who want to create products that engage users on a deeper level.
4. Don’t Make Me Think
by Steve Krug
Don’t Make Me Think is an essential guide for web designers and developers. Since it was first published in 2000, it has helped countless people understand intuitive navigation and information design. Steve Krug’s witty and practical approach has made it one of the most recommended books on the subject. This updated edition includes new examples and a chapter on mobile usability. It’s still short, illustrated, and fun to read. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a must-read for anyone working on websites. According to Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards, “it has done more to improve my abilities as a web designer than any other book.”
5. Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making
by Tony Fadell
Build is a book full of personal stories, practical advice, and insights into the most impactful products and people of the 20th century. Each 5-20 page entry charts Tony’s journey from a product designer to a leader, startup founder, executive, and mentor. The book is designed to help readers with problems they’re currently facing, such as funding their startup, deciding whether to quit their job, or dealing with difficult coworkers.
Tony’s path to success was forged alongside mentors like Steve Jobs and Bill Campbell, but his advice is unorthodox because it’s old school. You don’t have to reinvent how you lead and manage to make something great. Tony’s learned that human nature doesn’t change, so just focus on what you make.
6. The Book on Digital Products: A Killer Formula for Success
by William McCoy
The Book On Digital Products™ simplifies the process of starting your own digital publishing business. This book provides the secrets for businesses to expand their reach, impact and income using the internet, its technology and product creation tools. You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience to utilize and profit from this cutting-edge approach. By following tested step-by-step processes, start-ups and existing businesses can significantly capitalize on the internet’s infinite shelf space.
7. Designing for Interaction
by Dan Saffer
Building products and services people use is the challenge of the 21st century. Dan Saffer’s book helps create understandable designs that are essential for anyone creating new products. Interaction design is everywhere. Bad interaction design makes pretty mobile phones that don’t work well. Good interaction design creates products that work well and look great, like the iPhone, Flickr, and Netflix. Interaction design is the new field that defines how interactive products behave. This updated edition of Designing for Interaction by Dan Saffer provides expert perspective. It teaches how to create a unique design strategy, use research to design for people, brainstorm new solutions, and define product behavior. The book also includes interviews and case studies from industry leaders on topics such as prototyping, design in an Agile environment, service design, ubicomp, robots, and more.
8. Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value
To stay competitive, companies should prioritize customer needs and outcomes over meeting schedules and producing features. Melissa Perri’s book explains how establishing a strong product management foundation can help companies solve customer problems and achieve business goals. By learning product management principles, any organization can create a successful product culture. The book explores why organizations prioritize features over value, how to create a scalable product organization, how product strategy connects vision and outcomes, how to pursue valuable opportunities, and how to prioritize successful outcomes over outputs.
9. Start at the End: How to Build Products That Create Change
Modern companies often overspend on marketing to drive engagement with products and services that people don’t want and that won’t help them be happier and healthier. In “Start at the End,” technology executive and behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert offers a new framework for design, grounded in behavioral science. He argues that the purpose of everything is behavior change and that the most effective companies focus on outcomes instead of processes. By understanding what people want to do and why they aren’t already doing it, companies can build products and services to bridge the gap. Wallaert uses examples from organizations ranging from startups like Clover Health to industry leaders such as Microsoft to demonstrate how this approach can improve the way we work and live. “Start at the End” is an essential roadmap for building products that matter and changing behavior for the better.
10. The Design Of Everyday Things
by Don Norman
Even the smartest of us can feel helpless when we can’t figure out something as simple as which light switch to use or how to turn on an oven burner. This book argues that the problem is not with us, but with the design of products that ignore user needs and cognitive psychology principles. Problems range from unclear controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, no feedback or assistance, and unreasonable demands on memory.
The Design of Everyday Things demonstrates that good design is achievable by making things visible, exploiting natural relationships between function and control, and using constraints intelligently. The ultimate goal is to effortlessly guide users to the right action at the right time. This book is a powerful guide on how and why some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.
In conclusion, reading books authored by industry experts is a great way to improve your skills as a digital product designer. The 10 books discussed in this blog post are essential reading for any designer who wants to create successful digital products. Whether you are just starting out or you are an experienced designer, these books will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to create products that are both user-centered and business-focused.
And remember, good design is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. As Don Norman argues in “The Design of Everyday Things,” good design can make the difference between a frustrating experience and a seamless one. So keep reading, keep practicing, and keep designing!
Incorporating these 10 best digital product design books into your reading list can help you gain a deeper understanding of user-centered design, psychology behind habit-forming products, and strategies for creating successful digital products. Remember that design is a continuous process, and there is always room for improvement and growth. So, keep learning, keep innovating, and keep designing. Happy reading!