2 Design Books Every Human Must Read

Recommending books to the human race is daunting, except for these two.

I had my eureka moment about design after reading these books. Design was not just something well-dressed artsy creatives could do and know about. I came to understand good design as something that solves the problems and challenges humans have. The all-encompassing “user” had a different perspective. This insight is too valuable to keep only within the practice of design and product.

Whether you’re a grade-school teacher, elected government official, software engineer, or aspiring designer, I’d strongly recommend you pick these up.

1. The Design of Everyday Things

The Design Bible. Don Norman has provided a way for every layperson to be able to relate to the principles he shares. You need not know anything about specific high-tech software or industry-specific lingo. I have truly turned my perspective on design inside-out. What I would think looks sexy or feels like a rich experience can completely miss the mark of what purpose things are supposed to serve.

2. Good Services: How to Design Services that Work

If products are tangible goods, services are the invisible interconnected forces that surround them. When we consider designing the user experience, we have to take designing the service into account. Lou does a fantastic job encapsulating what good services should be in 15 principles. I find myself referencing this book and its rubric in my daily work as well as considering the services that I am a user of.

Design thinking is a part of every human’s responsibility and these are the essential books that I come back to every time.