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The Best UX Research books

The best UX Research books to learn and master UX (User Experience) Research. Free articles are great to get a first understanding of a topic but I can't recommend enough to buy 1-3 books on UX Research to go really deep.

Best UX Research books
Best UX Research books

UX Research Book Recommendations

Free articles are great to get a first understanding of a topic but I can't recommend enough to buy 1-3 books on UX Research to go really deep. This is how I learned the most initially during my studies. Here are books I have read or other recommended to me.

  • Understanding Your Users: A Practical Guide to User Research Methods (Amazon)
  • Just Enough Research by Erika Hall (Amazon)
  • Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights by Steve Portigal (Amazon)
  • Observing The User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research by Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky, and Andrea Moed (Amazon)
  • Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior by Indi Young (Amazon)
  • Think Like a UX Researcher: How to Observe Users, Influence Design, and Shape Business Strategy by David Travis and Philip Hodgson (Amazon)
  • Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests by Jeffrey Rubin and Dana Chisnell (Amazon)
  • Surveys That Work: A Practical Guide for Designing and Running Better Surveys (Amazon)
  • Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting UX Metrics (Amazon)
  • It's Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in for User Experience Research Projects (Amazon)

Show more UX Research books

  • The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you (Amazon)
  • Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value (Amazon)
  • User Research: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Products and Services (Amazon
  • UX Methods: A Quick Guide to User Experience Research Methods (Amazon)
  • Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice (Amazon
  • Universal Methods of Design, Expanded and Revised: 125 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions (Amazon
  • Remote Research: Real Users, Real Time, Real Research (Amazon)
  • Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories (Amazon)
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Qualitative Research: After the Interview by Charles F. Vanover, Paul A. Mihas & Johnny Saldana (Amazon)
  • UXR stakeholder management: It’s Our Research (Amazon)
  • Validating Product Ideas: Through Lean User Research (Amazon)
  • About field study and ethnography (Amazon)
  • The Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Amazon)
  • Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems (Amazon)

Books more broadly about UX

  • The User Experience Team of One (Amazon)
  • Sketching User Experiences (Amazon)
  • The Essentials of Interaction Design (Amazon)
  • The Elements of User Experience (Amazon)
  • The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman (Amazon)
  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug (Amazon)
  • UX for Lean Startups (Amazon)

Psychology and Behavioral Sciences for UX

  • Design for How People Think: Using Brain Science to Build Better Products by John Whalen, Ph.D. (Amazon)
  • Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work (Amazon)
  • Make Your Customers Dance: The Key To User Experience Is Knowing Your Audience (Amazon)
  • Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (Amazon)

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the mastery of user experience (UX) research holds paramount significance in the successful development of products and services. To excel in this domain, academic practitioners must remain abreast of the latest trends, methodologies, and best practices. One of the most effective avenues for honing UX research skills lies in the profound exploration of valuable literature. This article presents a  curated selection of the optimal UX research books, meticulously chosen to equip academic practitioners with the necessary knowledge and insights essential for achieving excellence in this dynamic discipline. Here are a few books apart from the listed above that are well-known.

Erika Hall's "Just Enough Research":

A formidable starting point for novices in UX research, Erika Hall's seminal work, "Just Enough Research," provides a comprehensive overview of the research process. The book adeptly underscores the importance of harmonizing research endeavors with real-world constraints. Hall delves into pivotal topics such as research planning, interview execution, data analysis, and the proficient communication of research findings.

Jeff Sauro and James R. Lewis's "Quantifying the User Experience":

"Quantifying the User Experience" by Jeff Sauro and James R. Lewis is an indispensable resource for academic practitioners striving to infuse their work with data-driven insights. The authors offer practical guidance on executing quantitative research and employing statistical analysis to gauge and enhance user experiences. Key topics addressed include usability testing, survey design, sample size calculations, and statistical analysis techniques.

Mike Kuniavsky, Elizabeth Goodman, and Andrea Moed's "Observing the User Experience":

To gain an in-depth comprehension of user behavior and interaction, "Observing the User Experience" stands as an invaluable asset. Authored by Mike Kuniavsky, Elizabeth Goodman, and Andrea Moed, this work expounds upon various observational research techniques, encompassing contextual inquiry, ethnography, and usability testing. Emphasizing the significance of empathy, the authors illuminate the pivotal role played by qualitative research in informing design decisions.

Steve Portigal's "Interviewing Users":

Interviews serve as a pivotal instrument in unearthing user needs, motivations, and pain points. "Interviewing Users" by Steve Portigal serves as a practical guide, proffering invaluable advice and techniques for conducting effective interviews. Encompassing interview preparation, rapport-building, and strategic questioning, this book empowers researchers to elicit rich insights from participants.

Leah Buley's "The User Experience Team of One":

In situations where academic practitioners operate within limited team structures or function as the sole UX professional, "The User Experience Team of One" by Leah Buley assumes utmost importance. This work offers practical strategies for surmounting challenges encountered by lone UX researchers, including prioritization, collaboration, and stakeholder management. Buley provides actionable advice to establish effective research practices in resource-constrained environments.

Investing in professional development within the realm of UX research is indispensable for academic practitioners aiming to maintain a competitive edge in the industry. The carefully selected UX research books highlighted in this article traverse a comprehensive spectrum of topics, ranging from fundamental research principles to advanced methodologies and techniques. Immersing oneself in these resources allows for the acquisition of valuable insights and practical knowledge that bolster the ability to create meaningful, user-centric experiences. As academic researchers, an unwavering commitment to continuous learning and exploration paves the path towards proficiency in the ever-evolving field of UX research. Embark upon this enriching reading journey and unlock boundless horizons within this captivating discipline.