UX Resources: What’s on my bookshelf?

I like to read. I like to keep learning. I could waist, I mean spend, an entire day if not more just reading books or the millions of articles that are posted online daily regarding all things UX.

I’ll also admit; I’m also a sucker for that promotional email that says, for a limited time only download this new book at a price you can’t beat! Yep, that’s me, downloading away. I recently purchased A Practical Guide to Information Architecture, by Donna Spencer offered through UX Mastery for only $5.  I’ve already read through a bunch of it and though I know most the information already, it’s always good to refresh my memory.

The Must Haves

If call yourself a UX designer then you must have read and own the following:

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
– You will never look at the world around you the same. I keep this one as an e-book so I can re-read through it when ever I have a few minutes.

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity by Alan Cooper
– I work with a lot of complex B2B products, this book is essential to say the least.

Don’t Make Me Think: A common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
– I still have the original version. I’m realizing I should really go out and picking up the latest version based on the reviews.

Personal Favorites

Web Form Design: Filling in the blanks by Luke Wroblewski
– I’ve seen Luke speak at a couple different events, he’s always gives a good talk!

About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, and David Cronin

Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas by Tamara Adlin and Jon Pruitt

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People  by Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D.

Interaction Design

Designing Web Interfaces by Bill Scott & Theresa Neil (O’Reilly book)

Sketching User Experiences, getting the design right and the right design. by Bill Buxton

Designing the User Interface, Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interactions by Ben Shneiderman

Designing from both sides of the screen. How Designers and Engineers Can Collaborate to Build Cooperative Technology by Ellen Isaacs and Alan Walendowski

User Research:
Observing the User Experience, A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research by Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky and Andrea Moed

Institutionalization of Usability, A Step-By-Step Guide by Eric Schaffer

Paper Prototyping, The Fast and Easy Way to Design and refine user interfaces by Carolyn Snyder

How To Open The Door To Creativity

My favorite part of school was always art class. In high school I have fond memories of art club with trips to New York City to see the museums. I’ve always loved to draw and create things, but I also wanted to make a living. The starving artist thing just didn’t seem like a great career move. So, design it was. I only applied to one college for an advertising and design program. The rest is history.

I’ve met lots of people over the years that when they learn what I do for a living respond with, “oh, that sounds fun!”. Unfortunately, most design jobs in the real world tend to be very corporate and well, work. That all-inspiring-get-those-creative-juices-flowing project really doesn’t come up very often. That’s not to say the work I do for my corporate clients isn’t challenging and interesting, it’s just not something you’d frame and hang on the wall.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love what I do and I have some of the best clients in the world, but at times I find myself in a creative rut doing the same old thing over and over again. So, what’s a designer to do…

Be creative outside of work!

I’ve attended numerous conferences and seminars over the years regarding creativity. The best advice I heard on how to be more creative AT work, was to be more creative OUTSIDE of work. Sounds simple doesn’t it but what does that mean exactly?

If you think about it does make perfect sense. If you are being creative in ALL aspects of your life, your work will get more creative as well. You will find that the more you do creative things out side of work, the easier it will be to be creative at work. In today’s busy world of juggling work, kids, family and well, just live, how exactly are you suppose to do that you ask?

Pick a side project!

Pick something easy and obtainable and most importantly, what inspires YOU! Take a photo a day, devote to reading every book off the 100 Best Novels list, write or draw once a week in a journal.

It make take a bit of time and effort but lots of folks are doing it, yeah, it’s kind of a trend these days. You’ve probably seen a ton of examples lately. Kate Bingaman-Burt’s Daily Drawings. Jessica Hische has done numerous side projects; one of them is the Daily Drop Cap.

It doesn’t need to be big and you don’t have to post it to a blog for the world to see, You just need to DO it! Of course having something to be accountable to is probably better then not. So get out there and get those creative juices flowing!

Okay, now to follow my own advice and pick a project! Hmmm… what to do?