design thinking book

The implementation of design thinking has become widely popular over the last few years. Several large companies such as Nike, Apple, Airbnb, etc., have used design thinking to improve their business processes. If you wish to learn design thinking, you can enroll in a Strategic Design Thinking Course, or you can check out a list of design thinking books that will help you understand the basic concepts. These design thinking books will help you learn more about the methodology and kick-start your design thinking journey. 

Top Design Thinking Books in 2021

  1. Design Thinking For Dummies, 1st Edition
  2. Writing is Designing: Words and the User Experience 
  3. The Design Thinking Toolbox: A Guide to Mastering the Most Popular and Valuable Innovation Methods, 1st Edition
  4. Designing Experiences
  5. Design Thinking in Play: An Action Guide for Educators
  6. Design Thinking: The Handbook
  7. Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing With Accessibility in Mind
  8. Rethinking Design Thinking: Making Sense of the Future That Has Already Arrived (NextD Futures)
  9. Design Thinking for Training and Development

1. Design Thinking For Dummies, 1st Edition

Written by Christian Muller-Roterberg, Design Thinking for Dummies is an excellent book for those individuals who are joining a design-oriented team within their organization. It is also a great design thinking book for start-ups and small businesses looking for opportunities and methods to grow their business and succeed. A few concepts that are covered in the book are as follows: 

  • How to build a creative environment, 
  • Adopting a design thinking mindset,
  • Implementing Design solutions,
  • Design Thinking cycle, and more.  

2. Writing is Designing: Words and the User Experience 

Originally published on 14th January 2020, Writing is Designing: Words and the User Experience was written by Michael J. Metts and Andy Welfle. The book correlates writing and designing. It talks about how words make the software more human-centred. It requires the same amount of thought that goes into branding and coding. The book also shows you how you can give your users clarity, test words, and collaborate with the team. The aim is to show you that writing is designing. 

3. The Design Thinking Toolbox: A Guide to Mastering the Most Popular and Valuable Innovation Methods, 1st Edition

Written by Larry J. Leifer, Michael Lewrick, and Patrick Link, this design thinking book was published on 2nd January 2020. The book explains the most crucial design thinking tools and methods. If you are an individual involved in leadership, innovation, or design, these tools will help you enhance your skills and knowledge. It contains expert tips that will help you familiarize yourself with the tools, teach you how to select the most appropriate tool, plan a schedule for workshops, gain actionable tips, and so much more. It also helps innovators master the early stages of the design thinking process. 

4. Designing Experiences

Designing Experiences was written by J. Robert Rossman and Mathew D. Duerden. The book talks about how we are living in an increasingly experience-driven world. Companies that are delivering great user experiences will thrive. While talking about design thinking books, there’s no way we cannot mention this book as it covers a lot of important topics on why organizations may face difficulties while implementing a vision. 

The book covers several real-world examples and gives practical insights, making it perfect for professionals and students alike. 

design thinking book

5. Design Thinking in Play: An Action Guide for Educators

A book by Alyssa Gallagher and Kami Thordarson, Design Thinking in Play, is a go-to book for businesses and innovators who are gaining traction and are interested in bringing about a positive change. The book was published in 2020 and is a practical guide to educators on how they can implement design thinking processes. It digs deep into the five stages of design thinking- empathy, define, ideate, prototype, and test.

It helps you identify opportunities, pitch solutions, and organize feedback, along with so much more. 

Also Read: How to use Design Thinking in Education?

6. Design Thinking: The Handbook

Design Thinking: The Handbook is a book by Falk Uebernickel, Li Jiang, and Walter Brenner. This design thinking book has been written to help individuals understand design thinking in an uncomplicated manner. It takes you through a step-by-step process on how you can practically apply design thinking. You can learn more about how to benefit from the process and step into the world of innovation today. 

7. Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing With Accessibility in Mind 

Written by Regine Gilbert, Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing With Accessibility in Mind was published on 19th December 2019. Perfect for practitioners of product design, content, and product development, this design thinking book will help you understand the different tools and best practices to be followed for user research. The book helps you familiarize yourself with the usability best practices and understand how to look for future opportunities. 

Inclusive design means that the product has been designed or created, ensuring that it is accessible to various users. Product designers must keep in mind that their product is being used by multiple users and ask themselves a set of questions. Does my user have limited motor skills? Are they visually impaired? Are they hard of hearing? It addresses several issues that disabled people may face. 

8. Rethinking Design Thinking: Making Sense of the Future That Has Already Arrived (NextD Futures)

Rethinking Design Thinking: Making Sense of the Future That Has Already Arrived (NextD Futures) is considered one of the best design thinking books because of how it challenges the traditional approach to the design thinking process. GK VanPatter’s book provides the readers with several different and unique approaches to design thinking. It also teaches you a brief history of the concept.  

9. Design Thinking for Training and Development

Published in June 2020, Design Thinking for Training and Development helps readers focus on the core concepts of design thinking and how they can be used to enhance user experience. This design thinking book by Sharon Boller and Laura Fletcher helps you gain new perspectives and develop testing through prototype processes. 

This brings us to the end of the blog on the top design thinking books that you should check out in 2021. We hope that you found this helpful. If you wish to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of design thinking, join the Stanford GSB Executive Education Design Thinking: From Insights to Viability and upskill today. 

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