Author: Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Why I love it: Sara takes toxic tech on head first and uses careful investigation to teach how to make tech better.
Why are Alexa, Cortana and Siri all female? Is it because developers are more likely to be male and priviledged and therefore stereotypically place women in service roles? This is one of the interesting observations in the book. As a woman I was especially struck by some of the examples of sexism in the book. Code that keeps women out of a female changing room because it assumes someone with the title 'Doctor' is a male. I found it striking how these aren't stories from 1060 - they're never more than a few years old! I also loved how Wachter-Boettcher’s chapter “Built to Break” held social media accountable. She tackled all the big names and the design blindness and arrogance that stemmed from a lack of diversity among the engineers and founders.
I found this book refreshing and I think it helped me realise my own privileges and reminded me that design is for everyone, and henceforth made my own design processes more inclusive.
Author: Don Norman
Why I love it: A design classic. Don Norman’s focus on design and psychology inspires me heavily in my own work.
After reading this I haven't looked at any man-made object the same. I especially find myself thinking of this book whenever I ring my bank. Who thought this automated voice that doesn't understand my accent was good user experience?!
Author: Scott McCloud
Why I love it: Although this book is not about design within my own field, I think it would be a shame to say it is a book about comics. It's a book about art and philosphy as well as how to visually deliver ideas and content in a smart, concise way. It's contents are magnificantly important to anyone who works in the field of design - and it's easy to read because it still feels like a comic!
At times you can tell that I can tell that Scott McCloud thinks that he is terrifically important but that doesn't take away from the content. McCloud's consideration of how the human brain interprets and processes information makes this one of my favourite books of all time.
Author: Jens Muller and R. Roger Remington
Why I love it: Not a sit down and read book but this is one of my all-time favourite reference books.
I find myself going back to it every time I start a new branding project - and also at times when the project isn’t even branding based. I love how the logos are sorted and filtered in a way that makes finding inspiration simple and quick. A timeless classic.