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10 New UX Books To Look Out for in 2010

As the sudden explosion in UXBookClub’s popularity showed last year, I’m obviously not the only UX professional who likes to read the odd book now and then. I often find it hard to devote time to reading books relating to work and far too easy to make excuses; too tired, too busy, too close to the TV remote, too far from the bookshelf and so on.

Last year I set up @uxbooks in an attempt to kerb my lethargic behaviour and motivate myself back into reading more often and sharing my experiences with others without the added pressure of maintaining a blog. Whilst running uxbooks I’ve recently noticed a number of User Experience related titles nearing publication so thought I’d share the ones I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on over the coming months.

A Practical Guide to Information Architecture (by Donna Spencer)

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A Practical Guide to Information Architecture, by Donna Spencer

Donna Spencer is a great speaker and has the ability to communicate complex issues simply. Following the publication of her first book Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories last year, this book is intended as a "practical book about information architecture and navigation design, set in the context of website and intranet design."

Publisher: Five Simple Steps, 1st Edition (due 2010)

Undercover User Experience (by Cennydd Bowles & James Box)

Be honest: who doesn’t love the work of Clearleft? It’s like someone saying they don’t like ice cream, sunshine or oxygen. So to have two of their finest working on a book together, it’s sure to be a great success, confirmed for me by Cennydd’s explanation of how the idea for the book came about.

“James and I got talking about the early stages of our careers, when we didn’t have the luxury of doings things ‘by the book’. Through the IA Institute mentoring scheme I’ve met several people in the same situation. For them, what makes UX work difficult isn’t lack of skill, but not knowing how to make headway in companies that don’t appreciate the need. Pioneering UX and inspiring colleagues who’ve never cared about design takes improvisation, persistence and diplomacy.” Cennydd Bowles

The book will cover “guerrilla approaches to the UX techniques we know and love, along with frank advice on how to make the most of them in your business.”

Publisher: New Riders, 1st Edition (due September 2010)

Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for User Experience (by Whitney Quesenbery & Kevin Brooks)

At UX People, a recent conference held in London, Jason Buck ran a workshop on ‘Storytelling.’ Being an advocate of the use of narrative as a communication tool it was interesting to hear Jason’s take on the subject. With this fresh in my mind it was great to see Rosenfeld planning the imminent publication of a book that “looks across the full spectrum of user experience design to discover when and how to use stories to improve our products.” In fact so imminent that it went on sale while I was writing this post!

Publisher: Rosenfeld, 1st Edition (out now)

Search Analytics: Conversations with Your Customers (by Louis Rosenfeld & Mark Hurst)

Next on my wishlist is another Rosenfeld book covering the subject of search analytics. Rosenfeld and Hurst suggest that anyone with a searchable website or intranet has access to a hugely valuable chunk of user data capturing "what users are searching for, how often each query was searched, and how many results each query retrieved." I’ve only really dabbled with search logs before so I’m really interested to see what this book can teach me.

Publisher: Rosenfeld, 1st Edition (due 2010)

Agile Experience Design (by Anders Ramsay)

Sticking with books being published by Rosenfeld Media (covering subjects I know little about) comes the next on my list: Agile Experience Design by Anders Ramsay. I’m not anti “agile” but I often find it difficult to understand how it truly fits within experience design; although it’s doubtful the knowledge I’m sure to gain from reading this book will fundamentally change the way my team works, I’m really interested in reading it, and hopefully being proved wrong!

Publisher: Rosenfeld, 1st Edition (due 2010)

A Practical Guide to Designing the Invisible (by Robert Mills)

Another book following the success of Mark Boulton’s Five Simple Steps is Robert Mills’ Practical guide to Designing the Invisible. In his own words:

“Invisible communication is happening all around us, through body language, gestures, cues for responses and conversations. Messages and understandings are subliminally represented via this invisible communication. It is also happening in the media and on the web. Designing the Invisible will help to break down the barriers surrounding methods of invisible communication on the web, making visible the power and usefulness of language and signs, explaining narrative and how it can be applied to the web, and by providing a deeper understanding of designing to cultural conventions.” Robert Mills

Publisher: Five Simple Steps, 1st Edition (due 2010)

Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design (by Mike Kuniavsky)

Mike Kuniavsky is a founding partner of Adaptive Path. He’s the author of Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research and The Smart Furniture Manifesto. His latest book, based on case studies, will show the evolution of products caused by ubiquitous computing. It will also describe related frameworks and processes, as well as give practical advice on how to handle such unique design challenges.

Publisher: MK, 1st Edition (due 9 December 2010)

A Practical Guide to Designing Grid Systems for the Web (by Mark Boulton)

A good grid layout is the foundation of any solid design; they’re used across many disciplines from print to interior design, architecture to web design. But unlike other disciplines, web content can be viewed in many different ways (from RSS feeds to email). Content is viewed on many devices (from mobile phones to laptops). Users can manipulate the browser: they can remove content, resize the canvas, resize the typefaces. According to Mark Boulton, “a designer is no longer in control of this presentation.” This book seeks to be a practical guide to designing visual information structures for the web.

Publisher: Five Simple Steps, 1st Edition (due 2010)

Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers (by Shel Perkins)

The only book to hit my list in it’s second edition is due for release this week. Although not directly relevant to User Experience, it’s important for us to understand the basics of business, especially if you’re a freelancer.

Publisher: New Riders, 2nd Edition (due 22 April 2010)

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers (by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown & James Macanufo)

I love getting other people involved in projects and fueling creative collaboration, and because of this I’m always on the lookout for new workshop games and techniques. Gamestorming… is a playbook for people who want to design the future, to change the world, to make, break, and innovate. It’s a rough-and-ready toolkit for inventors, explorers and change agents who want to use design thinking to navigate successfully in complex and uncertain knowledge and information spaces, to engage others, and to start, grow and sustain movements for change.”

Publisher: O’Reilly Media, 1st Edition (due 15 June 2010)

About the Author

Paul Seys

Paul is VP UX Design at J.P. Morgan. His main focus is on interaction design and experience strategy. You can read his blog Short Bored Surfer and follow his tweets via @paulseys.


  • WebGuide4U Reply

    thanks for the share will be going out to check these books

  • Ahmed Amanatullah Reply

    Thank you for the post. It would be great to get Amazon links for these titles so we can add in our wish lists or buy from there.

    • Paul Seys Reply

      Glad you liked the post. A couple of the books do have links to Amazon but I’m not sure if the others are listed yet, maybe that could be a follow up post!

  • Helge-Kristoffer Wang Reply

    Great! Was just wondering if I should have bought a new book, and your thread convinced me. ;) Going to check out those books asap!

  • User Reply

    missed the R in Search Analytics title. good list by the way.

  • Juarez P. A. Filho Reply

    Great resource. I’ll definitely buy one copy of Donna Spencer. IA is awesome.

  • Rune Reply

    interesting to hear a UX expert say they have little experience in Search engine Optimisation, and in looking at search results. Very interesting indeed. But yes a few of these book will be on my must read list, especially the donna spencer and the clearleft books.

  • Robert Mills Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for including my book on your list. A real privilege. If you want to find out more about the book, as the topic is a bit elusive, feel free to contact me via Twitter (@RobertMills).



  • Luke Stevens Reply

    Wow, lots of great books out this year!

    If I can be so bold as to suggest an 11th: my book “Performance Based Design” will be coming out later this year. It’s a designer’s guide to web analytics, A/B testing (with advanced CSS) & conversion rate optimization. There’s just a landing page at the moment:

    I’ll be handing out review copies left and right when the time comes :)

    Back to editing/layout!

  • Andrew Boyd Reply

    Hi Paul,

    good list. Thanks for the hat-tip to #uxbookclub.

    Cheers, Andrew

    • Paul Seys Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      You’re welcome. I’m writing another post on a similar theme at the moment so watch out for a another tip o’ the hat!

  • Carl – Web Courses Bangkok Reply

    I was going to go with a few of the suggestions then I realised I had not yet read the new Steve Krung book, so that first :)

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