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Buy @ncresq a book.

PSA - I'm using read.gift as a kind of wishlist for books that I currently want to read because honestly its UX is so much better than other sites, so whenever I come across a book that looks interesting or that I want to read I just park it here for the time being so you may see the list fluctuate a lot 😅

My goal with this is to build a kind of interdisciplinary library of books on design, architecture, tech, product, social sciences, data visualisation etc in order to act as my "second brain".

Anyway, hi, I'm Chandra and I've done a bunch of things. Art things, writing things, design things, music things..

My first job was to figure out the number of potato chips you can take away from a packet without people noticing and it's all been downhill from there. 

We now live in an era where, thanks to the amplifying potential of digital technology, an interaction designer’s work - the interfaces and systems that they design - can affect the lives of not just tens or hundreds, but millions and billions of people. 

John Maeda calls this the era of “computational design”. Designers today are in a position to dictate the ways in which people use technology—and in turn the ways in which they access their money, go to work, talk to their friends and family and myriad other things. I'm interested in learning more about what that means.

Check me out at chandra.fun

You can buy books for Chandra, from their wishlist below, or pick another book yourself.

Design Unbound

Ann M. Pendleton-Jullian, John Seely Brown, Paul N. Edwards, Geoffrey C. Bowker

I'm interested in the impact that design has on societies and systems and this book talks about it

Design Unbound

Ann M. Pendleton-Jullian, John Seely Brown, Paul N. Edwards, Geoffrey C. Bowker

They both have the same name - but they're kind of companion books to each other and talk about the same thing - using complexity science to understand design's impact on society

A Pattern Language

Christopher Alexander

One of the best design books ever written, and one of the first "hypertext" books that proposed an idea of a "design pattern" - these patterns link to each other in a complex constellation of ideas that's honestly unprecedented in literature

How Design Makes the World

Scott Berkun

I'm a big fan of Scott Berkun - he wrote a fantastic book about the future of remote work that I really liked, and I'm looking forward to reading this!

Where the Action is

Paul Dourish

One of the best books on human-computer interaction ever written

Designing Interactions

Bill Moggridge

Bill Moggridge founded the legendary design studio IDEO - and this book is a great educational resource to learn more about where interaction design as a discipline came from

Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated

William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler

A comprehensive encyclopedia and reference book

The Sciences of the Artificial

Herbert A. Simon

Herbert Simon is kind of an O.G of design, psychology and economics. Among his other achievements, he invented what's now called "Design Thinking" - he was one of the first people to realise that design is a different discipline from the sciences and the humanities

Just My Type

Simon Garfield

Typography is a subject that is so vast and fascinating. I realise now that I need to learn more about it so here I am

Interaction of Color

Josef Albers

Color is a very deep and complicated subject. This book is a ready reference guide of principles like temperature, color intensity, color relativity, vibrating and vanishing boundaries, the illusion of transparencies, and reversed grounds..

Designing Brand Identity

Alina Wheeler

It would be good to learn more about branding. It's a fascinating topic that doesn't get enough love because it's one of the hardest applied psychology disciplines out there, playing into our minds and culture to create associations out of thin air

D&AD. The Copy Book


This is one of the best books on advertising

Well-Written and Red

Alfredo Marcantonio

The economist ad campaigns were iconic - I really like how iconic they were.

Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design

Bjarki Hallgrimsson

I really like this book when I had the chance to go through it - Industrial design is in a lot of ways a "mother discipline" of UX and doesn't get enough love

Grid Systems in Graphic Design

Josef Müller-Brockmann, Muller-Brockmann, D. Q. Stephenson

One of the OG graphic design books - every visual designed object you've seen uses a grid because of someone like Brockmann

Interactive Architecture

Michael Fox

I'm interested in how interaction design can interact with other fields - so I'm looking to learn more about computational architecture, for example

Design Justice

Sasha Costanza-Chock

This book is about the responsibility that designers have to create better societies. I'm very excited to read it

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell

This is an iconic book on how constructs and tropes from our collective mythologies affect the kinds of stories that get told today.

Designing Interfaces

Jenifer Tidwell

One of the OG books on interface design. Looking for the 3rd edition (hard to find!)

Designing for the Digital Age

Kim Goodwin

Again - another OG book. Kim Goodwin is famous for pioneering the use of personas at Cooper

About Face

Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, Christopher Noessel

4th edition - Another very important book in the "canon" on Interaction Design

Designing for Interaction

Dan Saffer

Dan Saffer is another OG. I was lucky to listen to his talk on robotics and UX design at the IxDA conference in Milan in 2020 and this book seems great

Design as an Attitude

Alice Rawsthorn

Very interesting book on the current state of design from one of the world's most pre-eminent design critics

Design Rationale

Thomas P. Moran, John M. Carroll

This is one of the best books on an under-rated subject called "design space analysis" in HCI - a design space is a space of constraints and possible solutions that constitute a given situation a designer faces - but how do you articulate the parameters or the limits of that?

Mobile Interface Theory

Jason Farman

The book explores a range of mobile media practices from interface design to maps, AR/VR, mobile games, performances that use mobile devices, and mobile storytelling projects, and provides a theoretical framework to understand it

Dealers of Lightning

Michael A. Hiltzik

I'm a big fan of HCI and User Interface history and this book about Xerox PARC which pioneered a lot of the elements of the graphic user interface is a classic

How Artifacts Afford

Jenny L. Davis

This is a kind of huge critique of the "Affordance" concept that's been central to product and UX design in the last 40 years.

Ruined by Design

Mike Monteiro

One of the most important voices questioning the role of design in the 21st century - this talks about the role social media and digital tech designers have had to play in society and asks us to do better

Poor Charlie's Almanack

Charles T. Munger

Apparently one of the most timeless advice on investing and business

The Social Animal

Elliot Aronson

It covers a wide range of cognitive biases which is helpful

Inside the Nudge Unit

David Halpern

Many books on nudges and biases just recount the results of academic experiments. This stands out as it provides lots of details about real world tests that government departments have run.


Philip Graves

A good book on market research


William Poundstone

People attach value to things. What's up with that?

The Person and the Situation

Lee Ross, Richard E. Nisbett

One of the best psychology books ever written

Copy, Copy, Copy

Mark Earls

The strength of the book is that it’s full of practical recommendations and lots of interesting examples of how brands have harnessed the social nature of their customers.


Stuart Sutherland

Again one of the more academic books on human psychology and biases

Set Phasers on Stun

Steven Michael Casey

One of the earliest and best books on human factors and safety

A John Heskett Reader

John Heskett

John Heskett was one of the most famous writers on design, history and economics. This book promises to be good

The 99% Invisible City

Roman Mars, Kurt Kohlstedt, 99% Invisible

I'm a huge fan of the 99% Invisible Podcast on design, and this book promises to be a great successor to it

Designing Media

Bill Moggridge

Bill Moggridge is the founder of IDEO, one of the most famous design studios in the world. In this book, he talks about new media technology and interviews people like Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Williams, Jimmy Wales etc.

Contextual Design

Hugh Beyer, Karen Holtzblatt

This is one of the foundational books on design and human computer interaction

The Best Interface is No Interface

Golden Krishna

One of the best books written on what a post graphic user interface world might look like.

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Edward R. Tufte

Read it for the first time in design school and I was immediately taken by it. One of the first and most important books in data visualisation

Visual Explanations

Edward R. Tufte

Another very important data visualisation book

Speculative Everything

Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby

I'm a big fan of Dunne and Raby who are speculative designers, wondering about what the future can look like. The book is a valuable tool to learn their methods

Dear Data

Giorgia Lupi, Stefanie Posavec

One of the best books on data visualisation currently available - highly recommended

Health Design Thinking

Bon Ku, Ellen Lupton

I'm a big fan of Ellen Lupton and health is an important emerging topic

Radical Technologies

Adam Greenfield

Another good book on how design has influenced everyday life

The Politics of Design

Ruben Pater

A new book that looks at how typography, images, colour, symbols, and information can be applied across different cultures

User and Task Analysis for Interface Design

JoAnn T. Hackos, Janice C. Redish, Janice C.. Redish

Task Analysis is a technique that helps designers and researchers understand what people do in order to meet their goals

The Humane Interface

Jef Raskin

Jef Raskin is a legend in HCI - he led the Macintosh project at Apple. He says current computer interfaces are often poor and set up users to fail, as a result of poor planning (or lack of planning) by programmers and a lack of understanding of how people actually use software.

The Smarter Screen

Shlomo Benartzi

This is one of the best books on how the design of screens has affected human psychology

The Innovators

Walter Isaacson

This is a review of people that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page.

The Idea Factory

Jon Gertner

Bell Labs is credited with the development of radio astronomy, the transistor, the laser, the photovoltaic cell, the charge-coupled device (CCD), information theory, the Unix operating system, and the programming languages B, C, C++.. and 9 nobel prizes. This is their story

The Psychology of Price

Leigh Caldwell

This is a very interesting book on how the price of a product can be dependent on psychological factors

The Making of Prince of Persia

Jordan Mechner

I'm a big fan of the Prince of Persia videogames, and these diaries give an invaluable insight into them