10 best product design books for creative minds in 2024

From the philosophical underpinnings of design thinking to the visual allure of graphic aesthetics, these books are meticulously crafted guides through the complex world of product creation. Dive into our curated list below.
best product design books

“Escaping the build trap” by Melissa Perri.

In the dynamic field of product design, knowledge is power, and the best product design books can be real game-changers. As we step into 2024, the landscape of product design continues to evolve, blending traditional theories with groundbreaking practices.

Whether you’re just starting your journey or are a seasoned professional, staying updated with the latest literature is crucial. For this reason, we have compiled a ranking of our favorites, which are definitely among the best to have in one’s library for the new year. Let’s look at them together.

The best product design books

As mentioned, in this list we have selected the best product design books that, here at Desircle, have impressed and enthused us. The list of the best product design books is difficult to compile because there are truly many that are worth including, but surely the ones below are must-sees that absolutely could not be missed.

And that’s also why we decided to make this article dynamic, updating it from time to time, with new publications, so we can share our latest discoveries with you as well, so come back and visit us, from time to time.

Our top picks

Quick list

Scrolling through this article you will find many details for each book we have selected. If you are in a hurry, however, below is the quick full-list of the best product design books:

  1. Hooked” by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover
  2. The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman
  3. Sprint” by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz
  4. Inspired” by Marty Cagan
  5. The Lean Product Playbook” by Dan Olsen
  6. Start at the End” by Matt Wallaert
  7. The Art of Innovation” by Tom Kelley
  8. Change by Design” by Tim Brown
  9. Escaping the Build Trap” by Melissa Perri
  10. Continuous Discovery Habits” by Teresa Torres


We’ve seen our top picks with the three must-haves among the best product design books, now it’s time to dive into the overview of each of the top five selected best product design books, where we offer more details, our thoughts, and a bit of reflection on the usefulness of each book for your career. Let’s dive in.

1. Hooked

How to Build Habit-Forming Products

In “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products,” author Nir Eyal presents a compelling exploration of how certain products captivate our attention and become essential parts of our daily routines. This insightful book delves deep into the heart of what makes users come back to a product repeatedly, transforming a simple interaction into a lasting habit.

Nir Eyal takes readers on an enlightening journey, revealing the underlying mechanisms that make products addictive. He introduces the concept of the “Hook Model”, a four-step process ingeniously employed by companies to ingrain their products into the lives of consumers. This model is a masterful blend of psychology and technology, offering a framework that can be adapted across various product types to enhance user engagement and loyalty.

ux design books

Eyal’s expertise in the psychology of technology shines through in every page, offering readers a unique perspective on how to design products that are not just useful but become an indispensable part of users’ daily lives. The book is rich with insights on how to create compelling user experiences that resonate deeply and sustainably with audiences.

One of the most striking aspects of “Hooked” is its relevance to product designers and entrepreneurs. It serves as a crucial guide for anyone aspiring to create products that don’t merely attract users but integrate seamlessly into their lives.

The author: Nir Eyal, renowned for his expertise in the intersection of psychology, technology, and business, brings his wealth of knowledge to this book. His background as an author, lecturer, and investor provides him with a unique vantage point on the impact of technology on human behavior.

If you are interested in further exploring his insights you can connect with Nir on LinkedIn, follow his updates on Twitter (X), or delve deeper into his thoughts on his personal website, where he discusses behavior design and habit-forming technologies in greater depth.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked book provides readers with a framework for creating products that keep tech products customers continuously coming back.

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04/19/2024 03:27 pm GMT

2. The Design of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman is an essential read for anyone interested in the intersection of design, psychology, and user experience. In this groundbreaking book, Norman delves into the cognitive processes behind what makes a design intuitive and effective.

The book stands out as a seminal work in understanding the principles of human-centered design, offering a deep dive into how and why we interact with the objects around us.

Through a blend of engaging examples and insightful case studies, Norman uncovers the reasons behind the success or failure of various designs. He breaks down complex cognitive concepts into understandable elements, illustrating how these principles can be applied to create products that not only look good but also seamlessly align with human behavior and instincts.

The Design of Everyday Things Don Norman

This is a must-read for designers and anyone interested in creating products that offer an intuitive and user-friendly experience. It challenges readers to think beyond the surface level of design and delve into the psychological interaction users have with products. This book is a guide to developing a more empathetic, user-centric approach to design.

The author: Don Norman is a renowned figure in the fields of design, cognitive science, and usability engineering. His expertise is evident in every page of the book, making it not just informative but also incredibly insightful. If you’re interested in further exploring Norman’s work, he maintains a presence on LinkedIn and Twitter (X), and shares more of his thoughts and insights on his personal website.

The Design Of Everyday Things

The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how - and why - some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.

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04/18/2024 09:05 pm GMT

3. Sprint

How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

Sprint” stands out as a groundbreaking guide in the world of problem-solving and product development. Authored by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz, this book encapsulates their extensive experience at Google Ventures, offering a practical and innovative approach to tackling complex challenges.

At the heart of this book is the ‘Sprint’ process, a meticulously designed five-day plan that revolutionizes the way teams approach problem-solving and innovation. This process is a distillation of the authors’ collective experiences, providing a step-by-step guide for accelerating project outcomes and bypassing the usual pitfalls of endless discussions and unproductive methods.

sprint book

The book is particularly impactful for its real-world applicability. It presents a method that has been effectively utilized by a range of organizations, from fast-paced startups to established industry leaders. The ‘Sprint’ process is shown to be a versatile and powerful tool for addressing significant challenges, testing new ideas, and making substantial improvements to existing products in a remarkably short time frame.

The authors: Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz, bring their rich backgrounds from their time at Google Ventures to the table. Their insights and expertise are not just theoretical but are backed by real-world experiences and successes.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
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04/18/2024 08:49 pm GMT

3. Inspired

How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

INSPIRED” by Marty Cagan emerges as an essential guide for anyone navigating the complex and dynamic world of technological product management. In this book, Cagan, with his vast experience in the tech industry, provides an in-depth look into what makes tech products not just function, but truly resonate with customers and stand out in the competitive market.

The book delves into the multifaceted nature of product management, revealing the myriad of frameworks, methodologies, and mindsets that are pivotal in the creation of successful tech products. Cagan’s approach goes beyond the surface-level aspects of product development, offering readers a deep dive into the strategies and thought processes involved in identifying and actualizing exceptional tech products.

inspired book

The book is filled with practical insights and real-world examples, making it a valuable resource for both aspiring and experienced product managers. A notable quote from the book, “Product management is the art of knowing what to build,” encapsulates the essence of Cagan’s philosophy – that successful product management is both a science and an art, requiring a deep understanding of both the technical and human elements of product development.

The author: Marty Cagan is renowned in the field of product management, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to this book. His insights are not just theoretical but are grounded in years of hands-on experience in the tech industry. You can further engage with Cagan’s professional insights on LinkedIn, or explore the Silicon Valley Product Group website.

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (Silicon Valley Product Group)
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04/18/2024 08:54 pm GMT

5. The Lean Product Playbook

How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback

The Lean Product Playbook” emerges as a crucial manual for anyone passionate about creating digital products that not only meet market needs but are also deeply loved by customers. This book addresses a common challenge in the product development world: the difficulty of translating the exciting, high-level concepts of the Lean Startup movement into practical, actionable strategies.

Written by Dan Olsen, an entrepreneur and Lean product expert, this playbook is the result of his extensive experience working with a range of companies, from startups to large corporations.

This book stands as a comprehensive guide, offering step-by-step instructions on how to successfully apply Lean principles to product development. It demystifies the process of building successful products in the digital age, a task known for its complexity and high failure rate.

the lean product playbook

The playbook covers essential elements such as identifying your target customers, understanding their underserved needs, crafting a winning product strategy, and deciding on your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is one of the best product design books because it goes further to guide you through designing, prototyping, and testing your MVP with real customers, emphasizing the importance of rapid iteration based on user feedback.

The author: Dan Olsen brings a unique perspective to this book, combining his expertise in product management, UX design, coding, analytics, and marketing. His hands-on approach and experience as a consultant ensure that the advice in the playbook is not just theoretical but tested and refined in real-world scenarios. He has applied these principles while working with notable clients including Facebook, Box, Hightail, Epocrates, and Medallia.

The Lean Product Playbook

This playbook by Dan Olsen covers essential elements such as identifying your target customers, understanding their underserved needs, crafting a winning product strategy, and deciding on your Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

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04/19/2024 12:16 am GMT

More design books

After exploring the five best product design books that provide invaluable insights into creating successful and user-centric products, we now delve into an additional array of must-reads. These list contains more valuable resources like UX books and product design exercises, to help you in your design decisions.

6. Start at the End

How to Build Products That Create Change

Start at the End” presents a revolutionary approach to product design, blending the art of behavioral change with the science of effective product creation. Authored by Matt Wallaert, a technology executive and behavioral scientist, this book challenges the conventional product design process and introduces a new, behavior-focused framework.

At the core of Wallaert’s philosophy is the idea that the ultimate goal of any product or service is to facilitate behavioral change. This book turns the traditional design process on its head, advocating for a results-oriented approach.

Instead of starting with the process or the product idea itself, Wallaert suggests beginning with the desired outcome – understanding what behavior change the product aims to achieve and why people are not already engaging in this behavior.

start at the end book

This book serves as an essential roadmap for anyone involved in product design, from entrepreneurs and executives to designers and marketers. It offers a fresh perspective on how to build products that not only succeed in the market but also create meaningful change in user behavior.

The author: Matt Wallaert brings his extensive experience in leading product design across various organizations, from innovative startups like Clover Health to industry giants like Microsoft. His unique perspective combines the rigor of behavioral psychology with the practicalities of technology and product development.

Start at the End: How to Build Products That Create Change
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04/18/2024 09:31 pm GMT

7. The Art of Innovation

Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm

The Art of Innovation,” by Tom Kelley, offers an inside look into the culture and processes of IDEO, a renowned design and development firm known for its creative prowess and groundbreaking products.

IDEO’s approach to innovation challenges conventional wisdom. Rather than adhering to the idea of the solitary genius, Kelley, the general manager of IDEO, advocates for a collaborative and team-oriented approach to creativity. This philosophy is at the heart of the book, showcasing how IDEO harnesses the collective creativity and expertise of its team members to generate continuous breakthroughs in product design and development.

the art of innovation book

The book explores IDEO’s unique problem-solving method, which is a blend of observation, brainstorming, prototyping, and cross-pollination of ideas. Kelley illustrates how this method works in practice by detailing the firm’s approach to understanding the behaviors and needs of the end-users, the high-energy brainstorming sessions that prioritize tangible outcomes, and the rapid prototyping that takes place at every step of the design process.

The author: Tom Kelley stands as a pivotal figure in the realm of design and innovation, holding the role of general manager at IDEO, one of the most esteemed design consultancies globally.

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm
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04/18/2024 09:52 pm GMT

8. Change by Design

How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

Change by Design” is an enlightening exploration of design thinking, authored by Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, a globally recognized leader in design and innovation. This book demystifies the concept of design thinking and illustrates its applicability beyond the traditional boundaries of the design field, demonstrating its power as a tool for business and organizational innovation.

Contrary to the popular myth that innovation is a stroke of genius from isolated individuals, Brown emphasizes that most breakthroughs are the outcome of a thorough and collaborative process.

“Change by Design” unveils this process, showcasing how design thinking involves a rigorous examination of ideas to identify and develop groundbreaking solutions. Brown presents design thinking not just as a creative exercise but as a structured approach that combines meeting human needs with technological feasibility and economic viability.

change by design ux research book

The book introduces design thinking as a human-centered approach to problem-solving. It is a methodology that translates needs into demand and focuses on creating solutions that resonate with users. Brown illustrates this with real-world examples and case studies, demonstrating how design thinking has been effectively employed in diverse sectors, including healthcare and supply chain management.

The author: Tim Brown serving as the CEO and president of IDEO, is a distinguished figure in the world of design and innovation. Under his leadership, IDEO has been recognized as one of the top ten most innovative companies globally. His vision and guidance have propelled IDEO to the forefront of design, contributing to iconic innovations such as the first mouse for Apple and the Palm V.

Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

This book presents the role of design thinking in driving innovation and achieving transformative change within an organization.

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04/19/2024 11:11 am GMT

9. Escaping the Build Trap

How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value

Escaping the Build Trap” is an insightful book by Melissa Perri that delves into the common pitfalls faced by many organizations in product development. It addresses the critical shift needed from a focus on outputs – merely producing features – to cultivating true value for customers through outcome-based strategies.

Perri’s book is a guide for companies seeking to navigate the often challenging terrain of product management. It underscores the importance of aligning product development with customer needs rather than just adhering to schedules and feature lists.

The core message is that truly successful companies are those that prioritize solving real customer problems while also aligning with their business goals.

escaping the build trap book

The book is structured into five parts. Each part of this product design book is created to explore different facets of effective product management:

  1. Understanding value vs. output
  2. Scaling product organizations
  3. Connecting strategy with outcomes
  4. Identifying and pursuing value
  5. Cultivating a culture of success

The author: Melissa Perri is a renowned figure in the realm of product management and strategy, known for her expertise in guiding leaders at Fortune 500 companies and fast-growing SAAS startups. Her work focuses on fostering growth through the development of impactful product strategies and organizational structures. For more insights, you can follow Melissa’s updates on Twitter (X).

Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value
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04/18/2024 10:36 pm GMT

10. Continuous Discovery Habits

Discover Products That Create Customer Value and Business Value

Continuous Discovery Habits” is a comprehensive guide for product managers and teams seeking to create products that resonate deeply with customers while also delivering tangible business results.

This book by Teresa Torres offers a structured approach to continuous discovery, equipping readers with the strategies and tools necessary to ensure that their products are not only desired by customers but also viable and profitable for their businesses.

The book addresses a fundamental challenge in product development: understanding and aligning what customers want with the goals of the business. It guides readers through a sustainable process of continuous discovery, ensuring that product development is an ongoing journey of learning and adaptation, rather than a one-time effort.

This approach allows teams to balance action with doubt, ensuring they are proactive in their development efforts while remaining open to learning and adjusting based on customer feedback and market demands.

Continuous Discovery Habits book

Among the best product design books, this is an invaluable resource for those who may not have had the opportunity to be mentored by experienced product leaders or coaches. It fills this gap by providing clear, actionable guidance on how to navigate the complexities of product development.

Whether you are a seasoned product designer, product manager, or just starting in the field, this book for product designers offers insights and techniques to help you develop products that are not only loved by customers but also contribute positively to the business’s bottom line.

The author: Teresa Torres stands out as a distinguished figure in the world of product management and customer-centric product development. An internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and coach, she has made significant contributions to the field through her teachings and insights on structured and sustainable approaches to continuous discovery in product management.

The Lean Product Playbook

This playbook by Dan Olsen covers essential elements such as identifying your target customers, understanding their underserved needs, crafting a winning product strategy, and deciding on your Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

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04/19/2024 12:16 am GMT

Wrap Up

As we conclude our exploration of these transformative best product design books in good design and management, it’s clear that each offers unique insights and practical knowledge, essential for anyone in the field.

Each book, penned by experts and leaders in their respective fields, provides a unique lens through which we can view the web design, usability testing, product design and management landscape.

These best product design books offer invaluable strategies, tools and resources for creating better products that not only meet market demands but also resonate deeply with users, ensuring both customer satisfaction and business success.

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