7 Interesting Books Recommended at Big Design 2011

by Louellen Coker on August 23, 2011

A few weeks ago, I had the great fun of attending and speaking at Big Design 2011. If you not had a chance to attend this 3-day conference that brings experts from across the country to discuss theories, experiences, and best practices to anyone looking to stay on the cutting edge of Strategy, User Development, and Code Development with a bit of Career Development thrown in, you’ll want to keep an eye out for details about Big Design 2012.

One of the fun parts of any conference is adding to my reading list. Presenters talked about some books that are already on my bookshelf (or downloaded to my Kindle, iBooks, or Nook apps.) and a few others that I’ve not had opportunity to read yet. Here is a list of books that I jotted down in the Big (D)esign moleskin that was given to all attendees and will soon be added to my bookshelf. (BTW, links to Amazon.com and iBooks are affiliate links. If you happen to purchase one, the vendors will toss a couple of pennies our way.)

It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden1. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be

Arden’s 128 page It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be is a pocket “Bible” for the talented and timid to make the unthinkable thinkable and the impossible possible. Arden shares his wisdom on issues as diverse as problem solving, responding to a brief, communicating, playing your cards right, making mistakes and creativity, all notions that can be applied to aspects of modern life. Rated at 4 stars on Amazon.com, this book is available in Paperback.

Shared by Austin Govella in his session, Make Your Hard Job Easy: A Guide to Farming Miracles.

Tap Worthy on Amazon.com2. Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps

Josh Clark’s Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps walks you through setting your app apart with elegant design, efficient usability, and a healthy dose of personality. This accessible, well-written guide shows you how to design exceptional user experiences for the iPhone and iPod Touch through practical principles and a rich collection of visual examples. Whether you’re a designer, programmer, manager, or marketer, Tapworthy teaches you to “think iPhone” and helps you ask the right questions—and get the right answers—throughout the design process. You’ll explore how considerations of design, psychology, culture, ergonomics, and usability combine to create a tapworthy app. Along the way, you’ll get behind-the-scenes insights from the designers of apps like Facebook, USA Today, Twitterrific, and many others. Rated at 4.5 stars, this book is available in Paperback and Kindle editions. Also available in the Tapworthy - Josh Clark.

Shared by Josh Clark in his Saturday Opening Keynote.

The Shallows on Amazon.com3. The Shallows

Nicolas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains provides an interesting discussion of the effect technology has had on our brains. Be it good or bad, you’re likely to find the book to be thought-provoking. Rated 4 stars on Amazon.com, this book is available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and kindle editions. Also available in the The Shallows - Nicholas Carr.

Shared by Sara Summers (and others) in her Designing for Change and Innovation session.

Cognitive Surplus on Amazon.com4. Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators

Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators is touted as THE must-read book to understand the impact of social media on collaboration. Rated at 4.5 stars on Amazon.com, this book is available in Hardcover, Paperback, Audio and Kindle editions. Clay Shirky has titles available in the iBookstore.

Shared by Sara Summers in her Designing for Change and Innovation session.

Where Good Ideas Come From on Amazon.com5. Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

Steve Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, according to Publisher’s Weekly, delivers a sweeping look at innovation spanning nearly the whole of human history. What sparks our great ideas? Johnson breaks down the cultural, biological, and environmental fuel into seven broad “patterns,” each packed with diverse, at times almost disjointed anecdotes that Johnson synthesizes into a recipe for success. Rated at 4 stars on Amazon.com, this book is available in Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle editions. This book is also available in the Where Good Ideas Come From - Steven Johnson.

Shared by Adam Polansky in his session, Innovation: Ideas are Just the Beginning.

6. Undercover User Experience Design (Voices that Matter)Undercover User Experience Design cover

Cennydd Boyles and James Box put their heads together to write Undercover User Experience Design,  “a pragmatic guide from the front lines, giving frank advice on making UX work in real companies with real problems. Readers will learn how to fit research, ideation, prototyping and testing into their daily workflow, and how to design good user experiences under the all-too-common constraints of time, budget and culture. ” Rated at 4.5 starts on Amazon.com, this book is available in Paperback and Kindle editions. This title is also available in the Undercover User Experience Design - Cennydd Bowles & James Box.

Shared by Austin Govella in his session, Make Your Hard Job Easy: A Guide to Farming Miracles.

Cover of Whitney Quesenbery's Storytelling for User Experience7. Storytelling for the User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design

Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks in Storytelling for the User experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design teach you how to craft and tell your own unique stories to improve your design. Rated at 4.5 stars on Amazon.com, this book is available in Paperback and Kindle editions.

Shared by Austin Govella in his session, Make Your Hard Job Easy: A Guide to Farming Miracles.

Have you had an opportunity to read any of these or know of other great titles? Let us know in the comments. Be sure to also check out Brittany Horton’s outline of brainstorming tips we also learned about a Big Design 2011. Happy reading!

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