The books every design leader must read
Apr 3, 2023
Transitioning into a leadership role as a UX designer can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It requires a shift in mindset and skillset, as well as an understanding of how to manage and motivate a team. To help with this transition, here are six excellent books that can provide valuable guidance and insight.
"Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love" by Marty Cagan
Marty Cagan is a well-known figure in the product management community, and "Inspired" is a must-read for anyone looking to become a successful product leader. The book covers topics such as product vision, strategy, design, and user research, and provides practical advice on how to build a strong product team.
"Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High" by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
As a UX design leader, you'll need to have difficult conversations with team members, stakeholders, and clients. "Crucial Conversations" provides a framework for having these conversations in a way that is respectful and productive, even when emotions are running high.
"The Making of a Manager" Julie Zhuo
Julie Zhuo had to learn to be a manager fast, as her role kept expanding in the hyper-growth environment of a successful Silicon Valley start-up. In
The Making of a Manager, she shares what she learned—often, the hard way. She combines cutting-edge analysis of how organizations work with engaging and accessible examples of how theory plays out in real life, with stories of what she did right and wrong
"Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration" by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
As the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, Ed Catmull has a wealth of experience in leading creative teams. In "Creativity, Inc.," he shares his insights into how to foster a culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation within an organization. This book is a must-read for UX design leaders who want to inspire their team to do their best work.
"Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman "
Thinking, Fast and Slow" is a fascinating exploration of the way our brains work and how we make decisions. As a UX design leader, you'll need to be able to make decisions quickly and effectively, and understanding how our minds work can help you do that. This book is a bit more academic than the others on this list, but it's well worth the read for anyone interested in psychology, decision-making, and leadership.
There is certainly no shortage of books that cover design leadership so while these are a few of our suggestions always keep on the lookout on the next must-read and ask your friends or colleagues what they read recently and would they recommend. Or if you’re not so into reading, come to Hatch Conference! Many of our speakers and facilitators have already read, been inspired by, and put into practice many of the teachings of these these great books. At Hatch, you will learn through their experience and join the network for the industry’s most-influential design leaders.