7 Best Product Design Books

Product design is a dynamic field with many interesting aspects to it. There’s psychology, construction, art, and more. For students to go into the depths of this fascinating subject, they must read as many product design books as possible. 

Only by reading books by experts, students can learn how to holistically and efficiently build a product right from scratch. There are techniques to apply when creating a brand-new product, from the idea stage to the final solution. 

Another reason it’s important to be well-read in this field is its sheer vastness. A product designer must study the market, understand the problems being faced by people, find opportunities, and then create solutions. 

These solutions must be prototyped and tested, and then made. All these functions require different skills and tools. For someone who wants to make a career in this field, it’s best if they study at a reputed institute. But, for those who want to do a little self-study to understand these features of the field, they can read the following books.

The Best Product Design Books

1. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman

This features at the top of most lists of the best books for product designers. The author is an expert in this field and famously advocates for user-centric design. The book is filled with concepts backed by examples, models of human behaviour, and comparisons. 

The book explains the six fundamental principles of interaction, good versus poor design choices, and the psychology behind how different products interact with each other.

2. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Published two decades ago, Don’t Make Me Think is still relevant today. Thousands of web designers, developers, and other professionals have used this book to gain a deeper understanding of intuitive navigation and information design. 

The newest version of this book returns with an addition – a fresh chapter on mobile usability. This edition has updated examples as well and re-examines the principles that made it a classic.

 3. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Most students have one major problem – procrastination. Many adults suffer from this, too. This book takes a frank look at this self-defeating behaviour and how to overcome it. The book talks about the power of suggestion, the effect of placebos, and other such aspects of our lives that we aren’t usually aware of. 

But it’s only with this self-awareness, can we identify these issues within ourselves and figure out how to manipulate our behaviour. This is a great self-help book for those who need that little push to become the best version of themselves.

4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

A major part of product design is understanding how to successfully create solutions to solve problems. This requires high levels of critical thinking. Understanding how to spot errors in judgement plays a role in this. 

The book takes this a few notches further and explains why humans make errors in judgement in the first place. 

It advises on identifying when one is about to commit these same errors. This is another great self-development book for those interested in brain hacks for higher productivity.

5. Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler

According to the author, ‘People have a strong tendency to go along with the status quo or default option.’ He explores similar themes in this book, where he shares principles of behavioural economics. He also dives into a range of issues that could benefit from a ‘nudge’. 

That includes personal finances, marriage, health, and the environment. The heart of this book is his exploration within behaviour psychology, such as choice architecture, heuristics, the path of least resistance, anchoring, representativeness, availability, loss aversion, and more. This is another top product design book, recommended for students.

6. Hooked by Nir Eyal

This is another great book that teaches the reader about the Hook Model. That’s a four-step process that helped create successful and engaging products for many companies. He says it’s this process that differentiates interesting, user-oriented products from those that flop. 

Like bait on a hook, certain factors reel people’s interest and attention in. What are these? This book aims to explain them, plus go into practical insights to create products that people will keep using. He uses real-world examples, such as iPhone, Twitter, etc., to illustrate what constitutes a habit-forming product.

7. The Best Interface Is No Interface by Golden Krishna

Is there a life beyond our screens? There is – according to Golden Krishna. In this book, he expresses three principles that create more meaningful motivation. The book is funny, sharp, and critical. He doesn’t berate technology but on the contrary –talks about creating brilliant technology.  It’s helpful for those working in technology who might need a slight push in the right direction. It’s also great for those who are mildly wary of a gadget-filled tomorrow. It’s a good UX book for those interested in user interface design.

If you’re interested in learning how to excel in this field, look no further. ISDI – School of Design and Innovation, in association with Parsons School of Design, has created a 4-year undergraduate course in product design

This offers students a deeper understanding of this field and equips them to work in the industry as product design professionals, consultants, or entrepreneurs. The courses are taught by industry experts in a world-class facility with excellent amenities.

Begin your product design journey in one of the best colleges in Mumbai!

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