A book review of Badass by Josh Wayne
I love this book. It's one of the best books to explain the value of good product design and why everyone working on your product should be focused on delivering an excellent customer experience. A must read for anyone creating products.
A book review of Competing Against Luck by Josh Wayne
THE book for understanding the theory behind Jobs to be Done. It’s written by Clayton Christensen, the guy who coined the term “jobs to be done” and developed most of the theory around it. It’s well written and has tons of examples of identifying and using Jobs Theory in the wild. Just an overall excellent book and a great read. If you’re interested in learning about Jobs to be Done, start here.
A book review of Designing for Emotion by Josh Wayne
<p>Short book on integrating emotion into your design work from the former design lead at MailChimp. Uses a lot of great examples of companies using humor, quirkiness, and thoughtfulness to encourage customers to buy and stick around. Definitely worth a read to get you thinking about how you can take your designs past usable and make them delightful.</p> <p><strong>Update:</strong> Since my review I’ve also read <a href="/books/technically-wrong/" ><em>Technically Wrong</em></a> which talks about how many of the practices in <em>Designing for Emotion</em> are no longer used at many of the companies mentioned and are no longer recommended. There’s still some great things to take away from this book but I highly recommend reading both to understand the dangers.</p>
A book review of Don’t Make Me Think by Josh Wayne
If I had to pick only one book for learning UX Design, it would be this one. It should be required reading for all designers. It covers what usability is, why it’s important, and the simplest way you can start usability testing today. Highly recommended for all designers and product managers.
A book review of Fake It Make It by Josh Wayne
Quick introduction on creating rapid prototypes in Keynote/PowerPoint by the creator of Keynotopia (a Keynote UI library). The book is directed towards a complete beginner and rushes through a lot of important concepts that should be explained better. I’d only recommend this book for a non designer who wants to turn their idea into a prototype as fast as possible. If you’re a designer, you’re better off skipping this book and learning Sketch and exporting to prototypes in Invision or Marvel.
A book review of How to Make Sense of Any Mess by Josh Wayne
Despite a lot of experts praising this book, I have a hard time recommending it to anyone wanting to learn information architecture for the first time. The author attempts to cover too much by expanding information architecture to cover any kind of information problem. It’s a great idea, but when an idea is abstracted, it makes it harder to grasp what the author is talking about. Good refresher for experienced designers, but I wouldn’t start here if you’re just starting with IA.
A book review of Jobs to be Done by Josh Wayne
Huge waste of time. The title of the book is <i>Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice</i> but should be <i>Jobs to be Done: Why You Should Hire Me</i>. It explains how the author and his team developed Jobs to Be Done Theory into a process called ODI (Outcome-Driven Innovation). The book explains the high level steps in the ODI process and shares case studies of how the author’s consultancy helped clients make fistfuls of cash, but never tells you how to implement the process yourself. Instead, it’s one big buildup to a pitch on why you should pay thousands of dollars to hire them or do their ODI Practitioner certificate program.</p><p>There’s parts I found useful, but for the most part the book seems to be part of a trend of consultants writing books as a long form sales tool rather than a teaching tool. If this was a free book, I wouldn’t mind, but I’m annoyed that I paid $9.99 for an elaborate bait and switch. If you want to get any value, read my notes and don’t buy the book. Go read <a href="/books/competing-against-luck/"><em>Competing Against Luck</em></a> instead.
A book review of Pair Design by Josh Wayne
Similar to pair programming, pair design is a way for designers to work together to deliver better results and faster. I've had the opportunity to pair design on several projects and I've enjoyed it every time. This book is a short guide for understanding pair design and how to get started in your organization.
A book review of Product Design for the Web by Josh Wayne
Solid introduction to the process of designing web products from the former lead designer at Etsy. The book covers a lot of incredibly useful stuff like what to expect when designing a product, the differences in workflow compared to client work, and strategies for designing good products. Definitely a must read for anyone working at a startup, working as an in-house designer, or creating their own products.
A book review of Remote by Josh Wayne
Good overview of how and why more companies can switch to a remote workforce. It covers dealing with the major objections, common pitfalls, how to convince your company to try it. Definitely worth your time if you want to figure out how to switch to remote working or if you're trying to convince your company (or team) to switch.
A book review of Talking to Humans by Josh Wayne
Brief, actionable, and excellent. <i>The Lean Startup</i> tells you to get out of the building and talk to customers, this book tells you exactly how to do that. When I’ve advised startups to talk to customers, the follow up question is always some version of “How?”. This book covers the tactics of conducting successful customer interviews including real scripts you can use. Now that I’ve discovered this book, this is what I’ll send people who need to do customer research.
A book review of Technically Wrong by Josh Wayne
Great book that brings attention to how the best intentions can make apps sexist, biased, and toxic. It documents dozens of examples of what happens when design teams fail to think beyond the positive effects of their products and the sometimes disastrously negative effects of seemingly cutesy, funny, and happy experiences. If you’ve read [*Designing for Emotion*](/books/designing-for-emotion/) I highly recommend reading this book as well.
A book review of The Art of Learning by Josh Wayne
Highly recommended. Many of us make mistakes in their approach to learning. As someone who struggled with perfectionism, this book helped me realize I was more concerned with how I looked to others, more than my actual performance. It was the breakthrough I needed in business, health, and other pursuits.
A book review of The Laws of Simplicity by Josh Wayne
Big ideas, covered poorly. The irony of this book is the author forgot one of his own “laws” and didn’t strip out all the rambley, barely connected thoughts to make the content clear. I might recommend this book to someone who just wants an easy reading, designer-y book but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who actually wants to learn design. There’s much better books to spend your time on. Otherwise, it’s a decent book if you’re stuck at the airport with a dead Kindle and this is the only design book you could find in the airport bookstore.
A book review of The ONE Thing by Josh Wayne
What's the most important thing I should be working on? It's a question we don't ask ourselves often enough. This book is a good reminder to constantly refocus on the most important task that you should be working on rather than the first thing on your todo list.