I almost made it – I finished Microinteractions, Elements of UX and Lean UX. I am only about halfway through Gamestorming. I do have an excuse – I picked up and spent some time in the excellent Just Enough Research, part of the Book Apart family. So, I’ll call it a draw.
Here are my thoughts in the order I read the books;
– Microinteractions: I was concerned that my lack of professional experience with UX topics would make this one a bit out of my reach, but to the contrary I found it really interesting, and it has certainly changed the way I think about the tiny pieces of software and websites, and the way these pieces change my experience. I would recommend it to anyone who works with websites or software, regardless of your area of focus.
– Elements of UX: This book, while thoughtful and certainly full of really important and structural high level thinking, was not for me. I lack the necessary grounding and experience to get the full value. It was the same experience as reading the third of fourth book in a series independent from the others – I could tell I was not getting the full story, the full impact. So, I would certainly recommend it, but probably not good if you’re just dipping a toe into design and UX.
– Lean UX: Probably my favorite of the books I finished in this list, Lean UX isn’t really about UX per se, but more about approaching that sort of Work from a different angle. As a step forward in management and product development, I liked it an awful lot. This may be because it ties into the sort of thing think about already, have some work experience with already, so the lessons and thoughts are especially tangible and pertinent.
– Gamestorming: Despite only getting halfway, have already started using the games and thinking in this book – my team at Automattic will be putting together our annual roadmap in January, and we’ll be using some of the creativity building games to help approach the next year with open minds. Game storming is mostly a collection of brainstorm games, with a short explanation of how to use them – if you work with other humans to make things in any capacity, you would get a a lot out of this book.
While I failed to meet my book goal in October, I did meet my page number goal, so I feel inspired. I am going to only choose three books for November, including the rest of Just Enough Research. I have reached out to my colleagues Jeremey and Ian for recommendations – stay tuned!