10 Best Design Books for UI Designers

You might be thinking, “I’ve already been doing this for years. What could a book possibly teach me?” A lot. Even if you think you don’t need any help, a good design book can challenge your assumptions and make you think about your work in new ways.

In this article, we’ll look at 10 of the best books on design—in no particular order—that will do just that: challenge and inspire you as a UI designer!

Don’t Make Me Think

This book was written by Steve Krug, who is one of the leading UX designers and usability experts. Don’t Make Me Think is a guide to making your web designs usable and easy for users to understand. This book is a must-read for all web designers, even if your main focus is not usability.

The book has been praised as “the best book on web design” by many people in the field, including influential entrepreneur Seth Godin, and it has sold over 600k copies worldwide since its release back in 2000!


Microinteractions are the small, seemingly insignificant interactions that make up the user experience. They’re the building blocks of a design, as well as its essence. Microinteractions are what give form to your product’s personality and help it speak with users in a way that is genuinely helpful and meaningful. They can turn a good product into an amazing one!

As designers, you have access to these tiny details that make up microinteractions because you’re designing them from scratch—which gives you ultimate power over everyone else’s designs (if only in the world of pixels). This means that when it comes time for someone else on your team (like marketing or engineering) to use what you’ve created in their own workflows/products/etc., they’ll need careful guidance about how best to use those same micro-details so as not break anything else within those environments where they’ll eventually be used again later down line too…

The Design of Everyday Things

This book is about how to make things easy to use, understand, remember, learn and look at. It’s an eye-opening read that teaches you how people process information and what kind of design will help them do so.

UX for Lean Startups

If you’re a designer who works in startups, you have a unique challenge. Your design decisions will influence the success of the company from day one. In UX for Lean Startups: Designing with Limited Resources and Unlimited Creativity, authors Scott Hurff and Robert Hoekman describe three phases of a startup: idea, launch, and growth. They offer practical advice for designers working in each phase of a startup’s lifecycle.

The book is written by two experts in their fields: Scott Hurff is an entrepreneur turned author and researcher; Robert Hoekman Jr., PhD​ is currently chairman of User Interface Engineering Inc., as well as a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Universal Principles of Design

In this book, you’ll find 100 design principles categorized into five categories: Organization, Clarity, Visual Order, Dynamic Symmetry, and Meaningfulness. Each principle is illustrated with examples of good design and bad design.

The list of principles is extensive but it’s not exhaustive by any means – there are many more universal design principles out there (in fact there are too many to count). It doesn’t matter if you’re designing a website or an online course because these principles will be useful in any medium.

Atomic Design

Atomic Design is the process of breaking down an interface into smaller components. It is used to create systems of design, which help you to build complex interfaces quickly. The idea behind Atomic Design is that everything on your site can be broken down into three atomic units: atoms (elements), molecules (groups), and organisms (pages).

Atomic Design allows you to think about your website or app as a collection of different parts or “atoms” which form larger groups called “molecules” then these groups are finally assembled into pages or “organisms”.

Designing with the Mind in Mind

You may have heard about this book, as it was a best-seller and has been around for almost 20 years. DMWTM is based on the idea that people are not always rational, and it’s about how to design for the way people actually think. The book is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1: Planning User Experiences
  • Part 2: Designing Interfaces
  • Part 3: Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

Understanding Comics

Comics is a medium that brings together words and images to tell stories. The most common form of comics is the strip, which is usually found in newspapers and magazines. However, even though it consists of a series of panels, each depicting a single image or moment in time, it’s not necessarily considered a comic book (more on this later). In addition to strips, comics can be found in other places such as graphic novels (books with illustrations), comic books (magazines featuring multiple stories), manga (Japanese comics), and even online!

Comics have been around since the 16th century when they first began appearing in newspapers. They were originally used as an educational tool but soon became popular due to their entertaining nature. Comic strips are still used today as part of daily life because they offer readers something different than what they might find elsewhere: humor! Comics play an important role for those who may not have easy access to other forms of entertainment because many people spend more time reading than watching television shows or movies so there’s often plenty available at local libraries or book stores near them if needed anytime someone needs some fun activity without needing any special equipment.”

The Elements of Graphic Design

The Elements of Graphic Design is one of the most popular books on graphic design. It’s a great place to start if you’ve never taken a class on the subject and are trying to learn more about it.

There are many different elements that go into creating an effective design, but this book covers them all in detail: color theory, typography, layout, and structure—you name it! The author explains how each element can be used in combination with others to create effective designs that communicate clearly with your audience.

How to Make Sense of Any Mess

  • The book provides a framework for dealing with complexity.
  • It’s written in a conversational style and is aimed at people who want to better understand their world and make sense of their lives.
  • It’s highly readable, with lots of real-life examples that illustrate the ideas presented.

These design books will challenge and help you think about your work in new ways. They’ll improve your skills, career, and life.


Hopefully, we’ve given you a better sense of the design resources available to you. We hope this list has helped you find a few books to add to your library and that it inspires you to explore more on your own.