Design Resource Reading List

Doctor as Designer
5 min readJan 27, 2020

If you are interested in design, here is a recommended reading list that I have curated over the years from a variety of designers/explorations on the web/resource lists. By no means have I read all of these books but maybe someday! The order does not imply a hierarchy of value or need (beyond the first 6 books!). In addition, here are some recent recommendations from the Design Hive: (Thread)


Just Enough Research
Erika Hall

Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights
Steve Portigal

User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play
Cliff Kuang with Robert Fabricant

The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition
Don Norman

Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Create Extraordinary Products for Tomorrow’s Customers
Jan Chipchase

Health Design Thinking
Bon Ku, Ellen Lupton

Additional Books

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
Jake Knapp

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
Tom Kelley

The Field Study Handbook
Jan Chipchase

Change by Design, Revised and Updated: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation
Tim Brown

Innovation by Design: How Any Organization Can Leverage Design Thinking to Produce Change, Drive New Ideas, and Deliver Meaningful Solutions
Thomas Lockwood

Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value
Thomas Lockwood

Design Thinking Methodology Book
Emrah Yayici

The Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses and Ecosystems
Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, Larry Leifer

User Research

Think Like a UX Researcher
David Travis

UX Research: Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products
Brad Nunnally, David Farkas

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Steve Krug

Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests
Jeffrey Rubin, Dana Chisnell

UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want
Jaime Levy

User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product
Jeff Patton

Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research
Jeff Sauro, James R. Lewis

Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics
William Albert, Thomas Tullis

Human Factors in Engineering and Design
Mark S. Sanders, Ernest J. McCormick

Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research
Mike Kuniavsky

Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services
Kim Goodwin

Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions
Bruce Hanington, Bella Martin

The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide Paperback
Leah Buley

Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys
Jim Kalbach

Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams
Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden

Sense and Respond: How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously
Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden

Frame Innovation: Create New Thinking by Design (Design Thinking, Design Theory)
Kees Dorst

Practical Design Discovery
Dan Brown

Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
Indi Young

USERPALOOZA — A Field Researcher’s Guide: … because it’s easier to design for a customer you understand.
Nick Bowmast, Mat Tait

Contextual Design: Design for Life (Interactive Technologies)
Karen Holtzblatt, Hugh Beyer

Rapid Contextual Design: A How-to Guide to Key Techniques for User-Centered Design (Interactive Technologies)
Karen Holtzblatt, Jessamyn Burns Wendell, Shelley Wood

Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide
Christina Silver

Remote Research: Real Users, Real Time, Real Research Paperback Color
Nate Bolt, Tony Tulathimutte

Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces (Interactive Technologies)
Carolyn Snyder

Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting (Interactive Technologies)
Joseph S. Dumas, Beth A. Loring

Usability Inspection Methods
Jakob Nielsen, Robert L. Mack

User Interface Inspection Methods: A User-Centered Design Method
Chauncey Wilson

Teaching Design: A Guide to Curriculum and Pedagogy for College Design Faculty and Teachers Who Use Design in Their Classrooms
Meredith Davis

Design and Cognition

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman

Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
Timothy D. Wilson

Design for How People Think: Using Brain Science to Build Better Products
John Whalen

How emotions are made: The Secret Life of the Brain
Lisa Feldman Barrett

Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst
Robert M Sapolsky

Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines
Jeff Johnson

Visual Thinking for Design
Colin Ware


Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work
Indi Young

The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers
Johnny Saldana

Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches
John W. Creswell, J. David Creswell

Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo
Kristi Jackson, Pat Bazely

Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes
Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, Linda L. Shaw

Improvising Theory: Process and Temporality in Ethnographic Fieldwork
Allaine Cerwonka, Liisa H. Malkki

The Ethnographic Interview
James Spradley

Participant Observation
James Spradley

The ethnographic interview
James P Spradley

The cultural experience: ethnography in complex society
David W Maccurdy; James P Spradley; Dianna J Shandy

Analyzing qualitative data: systematic approaches
H Russell Bernard; Amber Wutich; Gery Wayne Ryan

Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work
Indi Young

Understanding Your Users: A Practical Guide to User Research Methods Kathy Baxter, Catherine Courage, Kelly Caine

Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories
Steve Portigal

Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook
Matthew B. Miles, A. Michael Huberman, Johnny Saldana

Universal Design

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
Kat Holmes, John Maeda

Participatory Design

Convivial Toolbox: Generative Research for the Front End of Design
Liz Sanders, Pieter Stappers

Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design
Jesper Simonsen

If you have suggestions to add to the list please let me know!

I tweet and blog about design, healthcare, and innovation as “Doctor as Designer”. Follow me on Twitter and sign up for my newsletter.

Disclosures: T1D Exchange, Grant funding from Lenovo.



Doctor as Designer

Joyce Lee, MD, MPH, Physician, Designer, ACMIO, #EHR, #learninghealthsystems, #design, #makehealth