A senior developer friend asked me to recommend them three books about user experience design. After I had sent an email with the list and some helpful tips, it seemed reasonable to share it with everyone. Here are the top three books, in no particular order.
About Face 3 - The Essentials of Interaction Design
It’s long, but very easy to read. The book starts with describing user mental models, user goals and the whole design process. It finishes with specific examples and patterns you can use in your daily workflow.
Don’t Make Me Think - A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
A world famous classic. It’s very short, but packs a lot of usability tips and it’s tailored for beginners. The problem domain is Web, but can be easily applied to other environments.
The Design of Everyday Things
Also a classic, from the 80s. It describes design in general from a very high level, showing examples of good and bad (often industrial) design to drive the point home. It’s excellent to put you in the “design good things” mindset. There is also a new revised edition.
Two other books I can recommend from there are Designing Interfaces (collection of design patterns, very good as a reference) and Interaction Design (similar to About Face 3, but more in depth and academical; recommended for serious practitioners).