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Just dropping this here — until we have a more official list.

You can often get these used for cheap.

What else you lookin for?

Except for a few books that felt outdated pretty quickly (HTML5 / CSS3 / Sass etc)  – these are all mostly good/great (and short):

Bigger picture

We we recommend people read first…

  1. Badass: Making Users Awesome (first?)

  2. Don’t Make Me Think

  3. The Elements of User Experience

  4. Just Enough Research

  5. Letting Go of the Words


This is going to sound rude… but we don’t really love any of the HTML and CSS books.

We prefer the way we teach it – and think that even the best ones – can create less than ideal mental models.

We’ll note this one as more of a history book about The Web featuring a solid HTML and CSS foundation

  1. Designing with Web Standards

  2. CSS Pocket Reference (Solid!)


This depends what you are trying to do. We’re going to assume you want to build web applications. If you’re learning PHP, then just use the official docs. If you’re learning JS, use the MDN docs and both of these. If you’re done with the course – then consider the algorithms book.

  1. Exercises for Programmers

  2. Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja, Second Edition

  3. Grokking Algorithms

Next steps

Are you going to be freelancing while you continue to learn?

  1. Design is a Job

  2. Just Enough Research

  3. You’re My Favorite Client

  4. Everyday Information Architecture

  5. The User Experience Team of One  (not done reading… but pretty sure it’s a winner)


These are easy entry points

  1. Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works

  2. On Web Typography

  3. Thinking with Type, 2nd edition


These require a higher resolution

  1. The Design of Everyday Things

  2. The Pragmatic Programmer

  3. Design for the Real World

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