UX, Design, Tech – Current Reading List

by JAMIE UMAK January 16, 2019

At the end of every year I always say that time flew by fast.

Between making improvements to my website, building this blog, becoming group leader for my local Interaction Design Foundation chapter, and finishing the year by starting an exciting new career journey, 2018 was an extremely busy one! 🎉

January 2019 calendar with pen

As a result, I accumulated a few books that I’d been dying to read but only found enough time to read the first few chapters of each. I’m not one to make formal New Year’s resolutions, but instead set goals for myself consisting of what I’d like to achieve and accomplish in the year ahead. One of them is to finally cross these 3 fantastic books off my list.

Making Websites Win book by Dr. Karl Blanks & Ben Jesson

“Making Websites Win”

Making Websites Win by Dr. Karl Blanks & Ben Jesson is a fantastic, comprehensive book that should be mandatory reading for anyone who designs or runs an online business.

I am currently halfway though, having started Section 3. Making Websites Win teaches you how to design websites so they are centered around your customer, empowering you to learn about how they use your website so you can make optimizations and increase your conversion rates.

I love how the book easily lists ideas for diagnosing unique problems and pairs them with methods and tools to create solutions and achieve results.

Bonus: The authors donate all book proceeds to Mary’s Meals. Helping others while getting new ideas is always a win!

I purchased my copy from Amazon.

Lost and Founder book by Rand Fishkin

“Lost and Founder”

Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin is a book about the author’s experiences working in the startup world.

I originally learned about Rand through his former work with Moz when I was learning search engine optimization (SEO). With his friendly personality and plain spoken approach to teaching, his “Whiteboard Friday” videos were very helpful to watch when learning about SEO. I started following him on Twitter, and when he announced his book this past spring I knew I had to read it.

As of this writing I am only a few chapters in, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far. I like his refreshing approach to telling his story from the very beginning, from his start as a website designer all the way to becoming CEO of Moz and building SEO software tools and the various hurdles he encountered along the way.

I purchased my copy from Amazon.

The Heart to Start book by David Kadavy

“The Heart to Start”

The Heart to Start by David Kadavy is the most recently added book on my list. I originally learned about David several years ago through one of his email series on design. I’ve only read the first chapter and I can’t wait to read more.

In this book, David offers his perspective on getting motivated, eliminating distractions, and maintaining momentum so you can try new ideas and follow your passions with complete freedom. This is a book that designers would enjoy or anyone who needs that extra push to get an idea off the ground.

I purchased my copy from Amazon.

What Are You Reading in 2019?

Tell me, what are you reading this year? I’m always down for adding a new title to my list. Let me know what you’re into by tweeting me at @jamieumak.

Image Credits: Featured photo in this post is from Michelle Buchanan Photography.

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