If I could only recommend two UX books for beginners, id’ have to be:
While in actuality, there are tons of UX books for beginners that I’d recommend, these two cover a lot and aren’t overly dense.
1. 🦋 Design for Real Life by Eric Mayer & Sara Watcher-Boettcher – $15
2. 🦄 UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Actually Want by Jamie Levy – $8
The Fundamentals of User Experience Design are Dichotomous
These two books combined really set an excellent foundation for the mental models of Empathetic Design, and Data Driven Strategic Design.
The push and pull between the needs of your users and the needs of the company that serves them are a delicate balance to strike.
For many young designers, it can seem intimidating, and stressful to take all of those (often conflicting) needs and desires into account, in order to create the systems that will best serve the most number of people.
The best advice I have for young UX Designers’ in this department may seem completely counter-intuitive, but this is how you set yourself up for success: Design for a specific audience. Fill the needs of one group of people first, and worry about incorporating others later.
This doesn’t mean axing the needs of certain groups, it just means “pace yourself”. You must learn to serve the needs of few, before you are ready to serve the needs of many.
And that doesn’t mean your user base needs to contain a small number of individuals, just that it should (at first) serve a narrow set of needs or solve a specific problem. With each new feature, another layer of complexity is added. Be mindful of technical/design debt.
Balance, Systems, and Communication, Oh My!
We must remember that to be truly exceptional designers, we must be truly exceptional communicators. Our designs are meant to liminal, to communicate, to connect one to the other. We are building an infrastructure and must think of it as such. We need to think of it as a system made of smaller systems connecting to other systems.
Ask yourself, is my design balanced? Does it serve the needs of those it’s intended to? Does it communicate actions, information, intention, and value effectively?
We must also remember that it is our responsibility to understand how our decisions as technologists affects everyday people.
User experience design, when done well, is a dance, and a thoughtful one at that.