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Margaret Gould Stewart recommends

The designer shares books, articles and websites about large-scale system design.

Designing at a global scale

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    The Year of the Looking Glass

    Julie Zhuo

    My colleague Julie Zhuo publishes insightful posts on many aspects of designing at scale, and building and managing design teams, as well as general observations about our industry.

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    Product Design for the Web

    Randy J. Hunt
    New Riders, 2014

    One of the rare books on the subject, this title does a nice job of putting you inside the head of a modern-day digital product designer.

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    Should Tech Designers Go with Their Guts — or the Data?

    Braden Kowitz
    Wired, November 11, 2013

    Google has learned a lot about experimental design over the years, and this blog post outlines some interesting case studies and learnings.

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    Design for continuous experimentation

    Dan McKinley
    Warm Gun Design Conference, November 30, 2012

    A thoughtful and entertaining walk-through of some case studies for product launches, and how experimental design helped Etsy make the right design decisions.

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    Building Websites with Science

    Peter Seibel
    Code as Craft, June 21, 2012

    One of Etsy's former software engineers shares a broad view of the scientific method and how it can be applied to product development.

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    Change Aversion: Why Users Hate What You Launched (and What to Do about It)

    Aaron Sedley
    Google Ventures, April 24, 2012

    Some solid best practices for managing the introduction of change to platforms with a lot of existing usage.

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    Here Comes Everybody

    Clay Shirky
    Penguin, 2009

    Clay Shirky is one of today's most insightful and accessible writers on how technology is impacting society, and vice versa. I always feel informed, inspired and entertained from his work.

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    Hidden in Plain Sight

    Jan Chipchase with Simon Steinhardt
    HarperCollins, 2013

    Jan Chipchase is one of the world's experts on emerging markets; his regular reports from the field are a fascinating way to stay aware of the bubble many of us live in while we try to design for the whole world. His blog is also great to follow.

Great reads on design

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    The Design of Everyday Things

    Don Norman
    Basic Books, 2013

    Originally published in 1988, this is a longstanding classic in the field (25 years is a long time in technology!) which really helps you see the world around you differently. We are surrounded by design, and yet we don't always have the vocabulary to describe what works and what doesn't. This book provides readers with a solid start to that vocabulary.

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    How We Decide

    Jonah Lehrer
    Mariner Books, 2010

    Facilitating effective decision-making is crucial to great interaction design. When faced with choices, why do we choose one thing over the other? How might we help people make the decision that's best for them? A very accessible and interesting read on the psychology of decision-making.

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    The Laws of Simplicity

    John Maeda
    The MIT Press, 2006

    This slim but insightful volume delves deeply into the concept of simplicity, and applies that principle in a variety of contexts, including design, technology and more generally our day-to-day lives.

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    The Universal Principles of Design

    William Lidwell et al.
    Rockport Publishers, 2010

    A great introduction to design for those interested in understanding the hows and the whys. It's a fairly comprehensive overview of the concepts, terminology and theories that drive much of the conversation around design today. It's also something you can pick up and put down easily due to its easily digestible format. I sometimes refer to it, lovingly, as the Uncle John's Reader for design.

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    How Buildings Learn

    Stewart Brand
    Penguin, 1995

    For me, architecture has always been the design discipline that has the most in common with interaction design. In this book, Brand considers how design changes — and must change — over time, but also how some designs endure while others deteriorate.

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    Understanding Comics

    Scott McCloud
    William Morrow, 1994

    Entertaining and accessible, this seems to be a comic book about comic books. But it is also about something much broader: visual language and how it helps us interact and communicate. A great read for designers and non-designers alike.