6 How-To Books for UX Research
I pulled this list of six books on user research from a much larger list of recent books and articles compiled by a colleague in the research industry. These books offer valuable ideas for all types of market research because UX research has moved far away from just website usability. It now encompasses a broad set of design-based principles for all types of consumer and B2B research.
Do you want to understand what your organization needs to offer and how it is doing from the perspective of customers? That is what UX research is all about, and it offers an excellent supplement to “traditional” approaches to social and market research you may have learned in college or graduate school.
Each of these was published just last year, in 2018. To help guide the choice of which ones to read first, I have also pulled (and edited) snippets of the descriptions supplied by the publishers.
1. Remote Usability Testing, by Inge De Bleecker and Rebecca Okoroji. Birmingham, UK: Packt.
This book will teach you how to conduct qualitative remote usability studies, in particular remote moderated and unmoderated studies. Each chapter provides tips on how to use each method and how to compensate for the specific nature of each. The book also provides material to help with planning and executing each study type.
2. The UX Book. Agile UX Design for a Quality User Experience, by Rex Hartson and Pardha Pyla. Cambridge, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.
One of the major positive trends in UX is the continued emphasis on design―a kind of design that highlights the designer’s creative skills and insights and embodies a synthesis of technology with usability, usefulness, aesthetics, and meaningfulness to the user. The book introduces a new conceptual top-down design framework to help readers with this evolution.
3. UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design, by Laura Klein Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media.
This practical, hands-on book, will teach you how to design great user experiences faster and smarter using Lean UX techniques. It shows you what it takes to gather valuable input from customers, build something they’ll truly love, and reduce the time it takes to get your product to market. No prior experience in UX or design is necessary to get started.
4. User Research: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Products and Services, by Stephanie Marsh. London: Kogan Page.
This book shows readers how to use the vast array of user research methods available. Covering all the key research methods including face-to-face user testing, card sorting, surveys, A/B testing and many more, the book gives insight into the nuances, advantages and disadvantages of each, while also providing guidance on how to interpret, analyze and share the data once it has been obtained.
5. UX Fundamentals for Non-UX Professionals: User Experience Principles for Managers, Writers, Designers, and Developers, by Edward Stull, 2018. New York: Apress.
This book will enable you to participate fully in discussions about UX, as you discover the fundamentals of user experience design and research. It covers the principles of UX before going into more diverse topics, including: being human, the art of persuasion, and the murky waters of process. It offers a learning-through-stories approach.
6. UX Optimization: Combining Behavioral UX and Usability Testing Data to Optimize Websites, by W. Craig Tomlin. New York: Apress.
This book shows you how to Combine two typically separate sources of data―behavioral quantitative data and usability testing qualitative data. It uses step-by-step instructions to show you how to: define personas, conduct behavioral UX data analysis, perform UX and usability testing evaluations, and combine behavioral UX and usability data to create a powerful set of optimization recommendations.
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.